Deciding on the Incision Site for Breast Augmentation

Breast Augmentation San Diego, CAAs we’ve covered in past blogs, if you’re considering breast augmentation with Dr. Kearney, you’ll have lots of research to do and lots of decisions to make. Choosing where Dr. Kearney will make the incisions to insert your implants is a very important decision. To help you, here are the four incision choices with some information on each.

Benefits and downsides of different incision locations

There are four incision locations: areola, inframammary crease, transaxillary, and transumbilical. Each has pluses and minuses.

Areola — This incision is placed just outside of the areola, the darker pigmented skin surrounding the nipple. This incision will be well hidden when you’re fully healed. Through this incision, the implants can be placed either over or under the pectoral muscle.

On the downside, this incision location limits the size of silicone implants, as they are pre-filled and will have to fit through the incision. Also, there is a higher risk of loss of nipple sensation and the future ability to breastfeed with areolar incisions.

Inframammary crease — This incision is made along the crease at the bottom of the breast. It is usually placed just about the crease to hide it under a bikini or lingerie. This incision offers the best view and control for Dr. Kearney. Implants can be placed either above or below the chest muscle through the crease.

On the downside, this incision leaves the most visible scarring. To place implants beneath the muscle, it will have to be cut to gain access, which complicates your recovery.

Transaxillary — Here the incision is made vertically in the armpit. Dr. Kearney uses an endoscope to provide a view of the breast pocket. Obviously, this incision leaves no scarring on the breasts, and even the scar in the armpit becomes almost invisible. Placing the implants under the pectoral muscle doesn’t require any cutting of the muscle. The implants don’t come in contact with the milk ducts, where bacteria can cause inflammation and capsular contracture with areola and inframammary incisions. Larger implant sizes can be accommodated.

On the downside, this incision does limit the placement of extra large silicone implants. There is also a slight risk of the implant coming into contact with bacteria because it rubs against the skin during insertion. Wearing deodorant will necessarily be prohibited for around two weeks.

Transumbilical — In this technique, the implants are inserted through the belly button. This incision is the rarest of the four options, by a long way. An endoscope is used to provide a view of the inside of the body. Scarring is virtually nil, as the incision occurs inside the belly button. Only one incision is required for both breasts. Recovery is usually easier, since this method is less invasive than the other three options. There are no scars on the breasts.

There are some downsides with belly button insertion. Almost any revision work or implant replacement cannot be done through the belly button incision. Silicone implants cannot be placed with this method. Bleeding is more difficult to control. There is also a slightly higher risk of damaging the implant during this placement.

During your consultation with Dr. Kearney, the two of you will discuss your incision choices and how you feel about each option. He’ll give you as much information as possible to help you with your decision.

Are you interested in breast augmentation with Dr. Kearney? Call us at (858) 677-9352 to schedule a consultation.

Comments are closed.

Our office is now open!

Your health (and ours) is our highest priority so we are making a few changes to our reopening so that you can feel safe and confident coming in to see us. We are of course following all federal and local guidelines such as wearing masks and conducting phone screenings prior to your appointment but we are also implementing the following:

      Increasing the frequency of cleaning and sterilization to not only include exam rooms but also the waiting room, restroom, all doors, counters, etc.

      Offering multiple hand sanitizer locations throughout the office

      Reducing the number of appointments per day as well as our office hours, to limit the number of people in the office, including staff members

      Minimizing patient overlap to allow for proper social distancing

      Testing all surgery patients for COVID-19 at their pre-operative appointments

      Asking patients to leave family members or friends at home, unless they are coming with their primary caregiver. Please leave children at home as well


How can you help?

      Come alone to your appointment, unless you need your primary caregiver with you

      Please wear a mask or face covering to your visit and keep it on unless you are asked by Dr. Kearney or an RN to remove it

      Postpone your visit if you have traveled by air or experienced symptoms in the last 14 days

      Use a pen from the holder marked “clean” and put it in the one marked “used” when you’re done

      Use the hand sanitizers in our office

      In the rare case there is someone at the front desk when you come in please take a seat until we call you and maintain proper distance throughout your visit

      Take advantage of our virtual consultations or follow up appointments if it makes you feel more comfortable

Please bear with us as we work to return to our new “normal” and feel free to call or email with any questions. We look forward to seeing you again soon!


Dr. Kearney and staff