One major drawback to traditional breast implants are the scars left behind on the breasts. Transaxillary breast implants are inserted through the armpits, eliminating the scarring of the breast and the damage to breast tissue that may cause complications with nursing later on.
Underarm Breast Implants
The incision site for the transaxillary breast implants is the armpit. Once the underarm breast implant incision has been made, a channel to the breast is created. Next a pocket for the implant is made behind the breast, and then the empty implant is inserted into place. Then through some tubing, the implant is filled with a saline solution until the desired pre-determined size.
Advantages of the Transaxillary Method
The obvious gain with transaxillary breast implants are that they leave no scars on the breasts. The underside of armpits are usually hidden from view, so any scarring is usually concealed. Even if the scars don't heal as well as desired, they are kept unobstrusive.
Another positive aspect to this method is by using an armpit incision, less damage is directly done to the mammary gland. This leads to fewer complications with breast feeding than incisions along the inframammary or areola, which can directly damage the gland.
This method allows for the implants to be placed either above or below the chest muscle, even though some surgeons prefer the transaxillary breast implants to only be placed under the muscle. When discussing this method with your surgeon, determine which one would be best for you.
Visit the DocShop gallery to view more breast augmentation before and after photos.
Photo credit: Dr. Brian Kobienia
Disadvantages of Transaxillary Method
The principal disadvantage of transaxillary breast implants is that the original breast augmentation incision cannot be used if a patient needs revision breast surgery. The follow-up surgery would require additional breast implant incisions, which would result in additional scarring. Some statistics suggest that approximately 20 percent of women with breast implants will need a subsequent surgery at some point in their lives.
This method also can't be utilized with silicone breast implants. The pre-filled implants cannot be fit through the transaxillary incision, which is why deflated implants are used instead and then filled with saline once in place. If you are interested in FDA approved silicone breast implants, then it would be advantageous to discuss the options available to you with your surgeon.
Finally, since the incision site is not directly on the breast, it makes it a bit more difficult to perform than the areola or inframammary types of incisions. This gives it a higher risk of breast asymmetry Additionally, transaxillary breast implant incisions require the surgeon to work farther away from the breast, making this method more difficult than the inframammary and areola incision methods. In fact, underarm breast implant incisions pose a greater risk of breast asymmetry after surgery. Therefore, if you are considering an armpit breast augmentation incision, it is vital to find a surgeon who is skilled and experienced in this type of technique.
Alternative Breast Implant Incision Sites
Because of potential complications with the transaxillary breast augmentation incision, many patients consider alternative breast implants incision sites, including:
Although some patients shy away from underarm breast implant incisions because of potential complications, the alternative breast implants incision sites are not free from possible risks. Before choosing a breast augmentation incision technique, you should research each of the breast implants incision sites and methods and discuss them with your surgeon.
Locate a Plastic Surgeon near You
After conducting your initial research on breast implants, including incision sites, types, and placement, you will need to find a qualified plastic surgeon in your local area to perform the procedure. Because of the differences in breast implant incisions, it is important that you select a breast doctor who is skilled in the breast augmentation incision you want.