It may seem obvious, but the surgical procedures available at my Toronto clinic, The Cosmetic Surgery Institute, require some type of skin incision. In the case of a breast lift, the incision allows for skin to be removed and reshaped. For liposuction, the incision allows for the insertion of a cannula to remove fat from unwanted areas. An incision in a breast augmentation is necessary for the implantation of saline or gel-filled implants to enhance breast volume.
Surgical techniques have come a long way in recent years, but even the most skilled doctors using the best methods can’t avoid some sort of a skin incision the results in a surgical scar. For that reason, incisions are often hidden in inconspicuous areas where their visual impact is minimized. I also make efforts to keep the incisions as small as possible.
An endoscopic forehead lift, for instance, involves a few short incisions on the scalp. The small incision size combined with an inconspicuous location makes for a very favourable result. In a tummy tuck, I hide the surgical incision in the bikini line. In a breast lift, the incision follows the natural contour of the breasts.
For a breast augmentation, the incision can be placed in a crease beneath the breast, under the areola, or, most favourably, high up in the underarm. Not every breast augmentation patient is a candidate for every incision, but every patient will benefit from an incision placed in the most advantageous location possible for her body type.
The areolar incision makes use of the border between the areola and the rest of the breast, where the skin changes color and texture. The under-breast incision is best for women who have a distinct fold beneath the breasts. In my opinion, the underarm incision is the most desirable because it avoids marks on the breasts altogether. Each of these locations acts to camouflage the incision site, making the surgical scar as inconspicuous as possible.
I personally consult with all of my patients to develop the best surgical plan to meet their goals—incision placement is just one of many important details covered in our pre-op discussion.