There are three main types of breast implant incisions that can be performed during breast augmentation surgery. However, not every patient realizes they have a choice when it comes to this aspect of the procedure.
Unfortunately, we haven’t yet discovered a way to perform breast implant surgery without incisions of any kind. For now, every patient must simply choose (working with recommendations provided by their surgeon) which incision placement is best for them.
Naturally, there are pros and cons to each incision type. So, to help educate breast augmentation patients, we’ve provided a summary of all three breast implant incisions below, along with the benefits and drawbacks of each one.
What Are the Different Types of Breast Implant Placement?
Breast augmentation surgery is typically performed using one of the following three incision types.
Keep in mind that your incision options may vary depending on whether you choose saline vs silicone implants (or silicone gel “gummy bear implants”), smooth implants or textured implants, teardrop implants or round implants, etc. All breast augmentations are unique, and all patients are unique.
Inframammary Incision Placement
The inframammary incision is made beneath the breast in the natural crease where the breast meets the chest. This location allows for discreet scarring and easy access for implant placement.
- Minimal breast implant scar visibility after healing
- Direct access for precise implant positioning
- Low risk of interference with milk ducts for breastfeeding
- Possible scar visibility depending on attire
- Potential for longer healing time compared to other incision types
Periareolar Incision Placement
The periareolar incision is made along the border of the areolae. This approach offers flexibility in implant placement and allows for inconspicuous scar placement, which retains the breasts’ natural shape.
- Concealed breast implants scars along the areolar border
- Direct access to breast pocket for implant positioning
- More options for implant placement
- Risk of changes in nipple sensation
- Potential impact on milk ducts and breastfeeding in future
Transaxillary Incision Placement
Transaxillary incisions are made in the natural folds of the armpit, allowing for implant insertion with no scarring on the breast itself. This incision option is often chosen for its scar-minimizing benefits, but it does have some drawbacks.
- No scarring on the breast
- Reduced risk of visible scarring even in the armpit
- Limited access to the breast pocket, requiring additional surgical skill
- Potential for uneven implant placement
- Not suitable for all implant types
2 More Options for Breast Augmentation Incisions
Trans Umbilical Breast Augmentation
Also called a TUBA incision, the trans umbilical incision type is rather rare. Not all board certified plastic surgeons perform it because it requires specialty training.
Essentially, an experienced plastic surgeon creates an incision through the belly button. A temporary inflatable device, along with a long hollow tube, must be inserted up through the abdomen. Once at the breast, the device will be temporarily placed and inflated to create a breast implant pocket.
Typically, only saline implants can be used with this procedure because the empty saline implant will then be slid into place through the navel and temporary pocket. It will then be filled with saline solution and sealed.
Some patients may qualify for a fat transfer breast augmentation, which is virtually a “scarless” plastic surgery for increasing breast volume (little if any visible scarring). The fat grafting process uses the patient’s own fat, which is removed via liposuction, to add volume to the breasts.
The only surgical incision type that is required for this procedure is for liposuction. Very small incisions will be made to accommodate the liposuction tube (cannula), which removes fat. The fat is then reinjected into the breasts.
This latter process leaves only faint marks, which should nearly completely disappear with time. Liposuction may leave only slightly larger “dots”, which also fade well and are typically difficult to see after a few years.
FAQ: Implant Incisions & Breast Augmentation Scars
Which breast implant incision is best?
The best breast implant incision depends on many factors such as patient preference, breast implant type, patient anatomy, and the surgeon’s recommendations. The inframammary incision is probably the most common incision type, but there is not “perfect” solution for all patients.
What is the difference between periareolar and inframammary incisions?
Periareolar incisions are made around the areola’s border while inframammary incisions are made beneath the breast’s natural fold (inframammary fold). Each option has its own advantages and considerations regarding outcome and scar visibility.
Where are incisions made to remove breast implants?
This depends on where your initial incisions were made, the reason for breast implant explant (removal), and the surgeon’s evaluation of the most suitable approach for minimizing scarring and achieving optimal results. Whenever possible, a surgeon will usually reuse the same incision made during the initial augmentation procedure.
Where are incisions made during a breast lift with implants?
Incisions for a breast lift with implants are typically made around the areolae, extending vertically down to the breast crease (lollipop incision). Or, some patients may have an additional incision made along the breast crease for a more extensive lift and more breast tissue removal (anchor incision).
How much does a breast augmentation cost?
You really must book a consultation appointment with a board certified plastic surgeon to know for sure how much your breast implant surgery will be. It’s the best way to get an accurate quote since prices vary so widely depending on where you get surgery, what your needs are, and who your surgeon is.
Call Today to Request a Consultation
At your breast augmentation consultation appointment with female board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ashley Steinberg, we will be able to answer all of your questions related to the breast augmentation procedure. Most notably, the two of you can discuss everything about your breast augmentation incision options in detail.
You’ll also decide on the types of breast implants that suit your desires, choose between saline or silicone implants, look at breast augmentation before and after photos, and discuss recovery and costs. The consultation appointment is designed with you in mind.
We want you to feel comfortable, confident, and excited about your new breasts! Please call to set up your consultation appointment with Dr. Steinberg today.