When you choose to enhance your contours with breast augmentation surgery, several different types of incisions may be used. Choosing an incision site depends primarily on personal preference, although implant size and type are important factors as well. Inframammary incisions are among the most popular options, and involve placing the incisions at the base, or fold, of the breast where they are easily hidden beneath swimsuits or underwear.
In addition to inframammary incisions, patients may choose to have their incisions placed under their arms, around the areola, or in the navel. It is important to discuss the placement of breast implant incisions with your doctor, and to find a cosmetic surgeon with experience performing your preferred method of incision.
What are Inframammary Incisions?
Inframammary incisions are placed in the groove created where the base of the breast meets the chest. When incisions are made in this location, a pocket is created into which the cosmetic surgeon may place the breast implant. The implant is inserted through the incision site, and centered behind the nipple. This is one of the most common incision methods used by cosmetic surgeons when performing breast surgery, especially when inserting silicone gel implants.
Placing implants at the base of the breast offers a number of advantages:
- Greater control over implant placement. One of the main advantages of inframammary incisions is that they allow your cosmetic surgeon a great deal of control over the implant placement. With incisions at the base of the breast, implants can be placed over, partially under, or completely under the pectoral muscle.
- Incision lines are effectively concealed. Scars resulting from inframammary incisions are easily hidden beneath bathing suits, underwear, and lingerie. In fact, even in the absence of clothing, the incisions sites should only be visible when the patient is in the horizontal position.
- Ideal when placing silicone gel implants. Because silicone gel implants require longer incision sites in order to accommodate placement, inframammary incisions provide the ideal balance of accessibility and discretion.
- The same incision site can be used for revision surgeries. Should any complications arise with your breast implants, your cosmetic surgeon will be able to use the same incision site to perform revision surgery without requiring additional incisions elsewhere on the breast.
As with any breast augmentation incision site, there are disadvantages as well as benefits to inframammary incisions.
- Uncertainty when placing the incision. When there is little breast tissue, or the patient has little-to-no natural breast crease, it becomes more difficult to estimate correct incision placement.
- Patients may not be able to change their breast size in the future. Although inframammary incisions are ideal for performing revision surgeries, it may prove difficult for patients to dramatically change their implant size. If patients decide they want much larger breast implants, the inframammary incisions may become raised to a visible height. Or, alternately, if the implants are significantly reduced, the incision scars will end up being lower than intended. If, for any reason, you decide to have your breast implants permanently removed, the scars will no longer sit undetected in the inframammary folds.
Alternative Breast Implant Incision Sites
Although extremely popular, inframammary incisions are just one of several incision options. Incisions for breast implants may also be made:
- In the navel (transumbilical, or TUBA, incisions)
- In the underarm (transaxillary incisions)
- Around the areola (periareolar incisions)
Each of these alternative breast implants incision sites has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, which should be discussed in detail with a qualified breast surgeon.
Visit the DocShop gallery to view more breast augmentation before and after photos.
Photo credit: Accent Plastic Surgery
Learn More about Inframammary Incisions
Whether you are interested in the inframammary incisions procedure or one of the alternative breast implants incision sites, it is important to discuss breast augmentation with a skilled cosmetic surgeon. Contact an experienced cosmetic surgeon in your area today, who can help you choose the incision site that is right for you.