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In a breast augmentation procedure, incision preference is ultimately left up to the woman undergoing the procedure. There are different benefits and drawbacks to each of the four incision options, which should be discussed in detail with your surgeon. Incision preference will also be related to the type of implant that you desire, as some incisions do not allow for the use of certain implants.
Incision preference is also tied to the surgeon's level of skill and experience. Most surgeons also have their own incision preference, or one technique they are most comfortable and experienced in performing. If you do not have a strong incision preference, it is probably wisest to go with the technique your surgeon is most confident in and experienced with. Conversely, if you do have a strong incision preference, it is important to find a qualified surgeon who is comfortable and experienced performing the procedure you desire.
Types of Incisions
There are four different types of incisions that can be made to achieve breast implant surgery:
The periareolar and the inframammary incision are most popular, the former being made around the nipple and the latter made within the natural fold of the breast. The transaxillary incision is made in the armpit area. The least common incision preference is the transumbilical incision, where incisions in the bellybutton are used to place the implants.
Regardless of incision preference, breast augmentation surgery will begin with the surgeon making one incision for each implant. These incisions will be made as small and inconspicuous as possible in order to reduce the appearance of scarring after the procedure. Once the incisions are created, the surgeon will have to cut a path to the surgical site. Necessary tissues will then be cut and/or separated in order to create a pocket for the implant. Surgical skill is extremely important when creating the implant pocket. During some breast augmentation surgeries, the surgeon may employ temporary implants, or sizers, to ensure that the pocket has the right placement and is the right size for the desired implant.
Incisions Based on Implant Type
As mentioned, incision preference may be determined by the type of implants desired.
When the patient and her surgeon have chosen inflatable implants, all four incision techniques are possible and the incision is typically smaller. During surgery, the inflatable implant will be rolled up and pushed through the channel into the appropriate place. The incision will be closed once proper position has been attained and the surgeon will fill the implant through a syringe to a predetermined size.
If the chosen implant is a pre-filled implant, the incision will be larger and incision preference will be more limited. There are many benefits, however, to pre-filled implants, which can be discussed with your breast augmentation surgeon in greater detail.