Many people assume that the only decision needed in breast augmentation is the decision to get implants in the first place. Unfortunately, that is far from the truth. While finalizing the choice to have breast augmentation surgery is the most important part of your cosmetic journey, your decision-making chores are far from over. Incision location and implant placement all play vital roles in determining the look and feel of your results. And while there are many options available, not all of them will be suited for you. Your surgeon will help you decide what your best option is during your consultation; however, it’s never a bad idea to be familiar with your choices.
In this method, incisions are made underneath the breasts where the chest and tissue meet. The pros to this location are that since the incision is so close to the breast, your surgeon will have control over the placement and any future revisions can be done through the same incision. This location can be used with both saline and silicone implants. The inframammary method has much less effect on nipple sensation and no effect on future breastfeeding. The con, however, is that the scar will be noticeable when the breast is elevated.
The incision for the periareolar method is made around the areola. This location is ideal for patients who have larger and darker areolas with well-defined borders as the scar will be well-concealed, and the incision heals nicely. Unfortunately, this method may not be possible if the areola is small, and there is a higher chance of nipple sensation loss. In addition, if you are planning on breastfeeding, this may not be the ideal choice for you as this incision might affect the milk ducts. There is also a slightly higher risk of capsular contracture with this method.
When using the transaxillary method, the incision is made in the armpit. Since the incision is not on the breasts, there is no chance of visible scarring on the breasts and there is no interference with breastfeeding. Unfortunately, this placement can only be used with saline implants and nipple sensation loss is still possible. Since the incision is further from the breast, there may be a higher revision possibility, and the revision surgery will not be able to be performed with the same incision.
This placement is possible with silicone implants. With subglandular placement, the implant will be placed in between the breast tissue and the chest muscle. This option is ideal for those who are looking for larger implants or more cleavage. This is less invasive than the submuscular placement and the recovery time will be less. Subglandular placement tends to be more susceptible to rippling and capsular contracture and is often not as natural looking as submuscular, as the breasts will appear rounder.
All types of implants can be used with submuscular placement. Here, the implant is placed behind the chest muscles to create a more natural look and feel. With this placement, there is less chance of capsular contracture, meaning less chance for a revision surgery. It will also interfere less with breastfeeding, if that is your desire, and will make future mammograms easier. This placement is more invasive than the subglandular placement and will require a longer recovery time.