Breast Implant Incisions
Inframammary Fold Incision
An inframammary fold (IMF) incision is one placed near the region where the breast tissue meets the chest wall. This incision is usually very well hidden after the procedure and for most implant sizes the length of the incision is limited to a few centimetres. For inserting very large silicone implants, the incision may have to be longer and you should discuss this with us at your consultation. These scars will only be seen from underneath and when placed well, they will be in line with the inframammary crease, meaning they will be very well hidden.
A periareolar incision is one placed around the lower half of the nipple/areolar region as a semi-circle just inside the outer border of the areolar and is only suitable for women with large enough areolars to accommodate the size of the implant being inserted. If you are having saline implants inserted then it is quite rare for the areolars to be too small to use. Although periareolar incisions usually heal very well and are often barely visible, incisions around the areolar will always be seen by someone who is looking very close to the breast. There is always the risk that an incision does not heal with an almost invisible scar, and a prominent scar on the areolar may not be the best position for a prominent scar.
An axillary incision is also known as an armpit incision. Usually saline implants only can be inserted this way; silicone implants need to be squeezed and pushed too far into the chest with an axillary incision, whereas saline implants can be inserted into the pocket and inflated once they have been pushed through the small incision. The advantage of the incision is that there is no scar on the breast, however, there is a greater theoretical risk of bleeding and infection after this type of incision. In addition, the scar usually takes longer to fade in comparison to periareolar and inframammary fold scars.
The Tuba Incision
A TUBA is a trans-umbilical-breast-augmentation. In this, the incision is placed near the belly button (the umbilicus), a tunnel is made using a blunt dissecting instrument and a saline implant passed into the breast pocket. The implant is inflated once it is in place. The advantage of this incision is that there is no visible breast scar at all, however, special instruments are required and the implant placement is a little more imprecise in comparison to some of the other methods of pocket creation. Imprecise pockets can lead to asymmetry after the operation which may have to be corrected using one of the other incisions (eg the inframammary fold incision). Please note that we do not perform breast augmentation surgery using this technique.
A nipple lift or breast uplifting procedure can be performed at the same time as a breast augmentation. In these cases, your incisions will be placed all the way around the nipple and may go down the breast and along the inframammary fold at the same time - either as a round incision, a lollipop shaped incision or an anchor shaped incision. The type of incision during a combined lift and augmentation depends on how much lift needs to be done, whether the size of the nipple needs to be reduced at the same time and how much of the shape of the breast needs to be changed.