TUBA Breast Implants
Many women who are interested in breast implants are leery of the scars from breast implant incisions appearing on their breasts. Because of this, surgeons have explored breast implants incision sites away from the breasts, including the TUBA breast implants technique, also known as the navel incision breast augmentation procedure.
Navel Incision Procedure
TUBA, or trans-umbilical breast augmentation, involves an incision around the edge of the navel for implant placement. An endoscope is then inserted through the incision to create a pocket within the breast for the implant to be placed. Afterwards, the implants are positioned into the breast pockets through the navel incision, which are then filled with a saline solution through a small tube. Once the implants are filled, the tube and endoscope are removed, and the small navel incision is closed for healing.
Advantages of TUBA
Patients usually choose TUBA breast implants because the scar that's left behind is tiny and almost unnoticeable. Since skin around the abdomen is more elastic than skin elsewhere on the body, the small incision can be opened wider to allow for the implants and surgical instruments to be inserted. In combination with using the navel as the incision location, the TUBA breast implant procedure leaves the breasts free from scarring with minimal scarring elsewhere.
The TUBA breast implants technique allows the implants to be placed above or below the pectoral muscles. The placement of breast implants is a matter of personal preference and should be discussed with a qualified breast augmentation surgeon.
Some surgeons have reported that trans-umbilical breast augmentation involves a shorter recovery period and less postoperative discomfort than other types of breast implant incisions.
This technique is also chosen because of the decreased risk of damage to the breasts' nerves, since no incisions are made on the breasts themselves. Women who are considering having children may opt for this breast augmentation incision because it leaves the milk ducts untouched, causing less possible barriers to future breast feeding than other breast implants incision sites.
Visit the DocShop gallery to view breast augmentation before and after photos.
Photo credit: James P. Wire, MD
Disadvantages of TUBA
One large disadvantage of TUBA breast implants is that the procedure can only use saline breast implants, because the implants are inserted through the incision site, into the breast, and then filled with saline. Since silicone breast implants have been approved by the FDA, some people prefer these pre-filled implants, but they cannot be inserted through the navel.
Another drawback to the procedure is that the distance between the navel incision site and the breasts can create a challenge for ensuring symmetry after the breast implants are placed.
If there is a pre-existing breast deformity or a breast augmentation complication like capsular contracture, it is difficult to correct with TUBA breast implants.
TUBA breast implants are also not a good idea to be used with procedures already leaving scars around the breast, such as a breast lift. This would create unnecessary scarring to the patient. Although a rare complication, sometimes the endoscope can create tracks (permanent marks) from pushing up from beneath the abdominal skin.
Since it is a relatively new technique, there are a limited number of qualified breast surgeons with the experience and training needed to place breast implants through navel incision sites. If you are considering breast augmentation surgery with the T.U.B.A. technique, it is important to work with a cosmetic surgeon who is skilled in navel breast implant incisions.
Alternative Breast Implant Incisions
Since no one type of breast augmentation incision meets the needs of all patients, there are other breast implants incisions available to patients. Similar to TUBA breast implant incisions, underarm (transaxillary) breast implants incisions do not leave scars on the breasts after surgery. More traditional (and currently more popular) breast implants procedures include inframammary (crease) breast implant incisions and areola (nipple) breast implant incisions.
If a patient is already undergoing an abdominoplasty procedure, they may be interested in a TABA breast implant procedure as well. The TABA technique, or transabdominal breast augmentation technique, is very much like the TUBA technique in that it places the implants through incisions made around the abdomen. However, it takes advantage of scarring already taking place due to the tummy tuck, thus eliminating the need for extra scarring around the navel.
When deciding on the method that will suit your needs, it is important to discuss the pros and cons of each of the breast implants incision sites with your breast surgeon.
Contact a Cosmetic Surgeon in Your Area
The number of surgeons experienced in the navel breast augmentation incision is growing, but it is a relatively new procedure compared to those used for other breast implants incision sites. Because of this, it is important to work with a breast surgeon skilled in T.U.B.A. breast implant incisions. The physician directory offered through DocShop can help you locate cosmetic surgeons in your local area with experience in breast implants procedures.