Placing Implants Through the Armpit?

When patients begin to consider having breast augmentation with Dr. Kearney, they think of where their incisions will be. Most people assume the incisions needed to insert the implants are made along the breast crease at the bottom of the breasts, and that is a popular location. One of the drawbacks to having implants placed here is the obvious scarring on the underside of the breasts. Dr. Kearney places the incision just above the crease, making it easily hidden under a bikini top or a bra, but there will still be a visible scar on both breasts.

Implants can also be placed through an incision made around the areola. These scars are well hidden, but the implant size can be limited due to the obvious small incision option.

There is another option that many women don’t know about, at least not when doing their initial research on augmentation. Implants can be placed through incisions made in the armpits. This is known as the transaxillary incision and it doesn’t create any scarring on the breasts. Here’s some more information on this option.

What is transaxillary breast augmentation?

For these procedures, Dr. Kearney makes the incision vertically in the armpit in the natural crease. He then inserts an endoscope, a narrow fiber-optic camera through the incision. This provides visuals of the anatomical structures and guides Dr. Kearney throughout the procedure. This makes for much more precise implant positioning than with surgeons who do not use an endoscope in transaxillary augmentation. At this point, either the unfilled saline implant or the silicone implant is inserted through the incision and placed into the pocket created to hold the implant. At that point, saline implants are filled, and then are checked for size and placement. The fill tube is then removed and the implant automatically seals itself. The tube is withdrawn and the incision in the armpit closed. With silicone implants, Dr. Kearney checks position and symmetry and then closes the incision. Then he moves to the other breast.

What are the advantages of this incision?

The main advantage of the transaxillary incision is that it does not create any scarring on the breasts. Because the incisions are made in both armpits and are made vertically in the natural crease, they become barely noticeable. This is quite a contrast to implants placed through the breast crease at the bottom of the breast, which creates a noticeable scar. This can be very important for patients with darker skin tones, as their scarring will likely be somewhat more visible going forward. Also, since Dr. Kearney doesn’t have to cut the chest muscle or any breast tissue, recovery from this incision location is easier for most patients. Also, breast nipple sensation and breastfeeding ability are not impacted with this incision location.

What are the disadvantages of this incision?

In most cases, only saline or smaller-sized silicone implants can be placed through the armpit incision. For some surgeons, the placement of the implants through the transaxillary incision can be more difficult due to the distance from the incision to the location of the breast pocket. Dr. Kearney has extensive experience with this incision location, however, and has not had trouble with symmetry or other placement problems.

During your consultation, Dr. Kearney and you will discuss your goals for your augmentation and together you will decide on your incision location. If you’re interested in breast augmentation, please give us a call and set up a consultation, (858) 677-9352.

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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!

Sincerely,

Dr. Kearney and staff

858.677.9352

www.kearneymd.com