Surgery that involves the insertion of an implant - as with breast augmentation - naturally requires surgical incisions. Regardless of the type of implants, whether saline or silicone gel, internal placement must have a means of access.
Breast enlargement surgery has traditionally involved making incisions on the breasts themselves, with doctors taking great care to conceal the incision lines either at the border of the areola (for women with less breast tissue) or in the fold beneath the breast (for women with a greater amount of breast tissue).
Both of these incision sites can potentially accommodate either type of implant - saline or gel - though Toronto plastic surgeon Dr. Wayne Carman notes that "Each patient has individual needs and a patient's goals, current breast size and shape and overall health will help to determine the best choice of implant style, shape and size."
A third option, the transaxillary incision, is a more recent refinement in breast augmentation surgery. This type of incision allows the doctor to insert an implant through a small incision made in the patient's underarm. This approach effectively hides any scarring in a very inconspicuous location-there is no incision on the breast at all!
That also means, however, that the implants are being inserted without direct incisions on the breasts, so the doctor performing the breast augmentation must be well trained and experienced at transaxillary incisions. Dr. Carman has that training and experience, and has successfully performed this procedure on more than 2000 patients.
As with the other potential incision sites, Dr. Carman must determine whether a transaxillary incision is the best choice for each patient who seeks breast enlargement. While an underarm incision is ideal for some, individual factors that can impact safety, recovery time, and the final look of a breast augmentation procedure must be taken into account. The final surgical plan is individualized for each and every patient.
Communication is vital in every surgical situation, so be sure to speak up about what you're hoping for during your breast augmentation consultation, including your thoughts about incision location. The more information Dr. Carman has about you, the better he'll be able to work toward the results you're hoping for.