The location of your breast implant scars is one of several important points you will need to consider for your breast augmentation procedure. What you can expect for your breast implant scars depends on the techniques used by your plastic surgeon, as well as your body’s own healing process.
Three Options for Scar Locations
Breast augmentation incisions are available in three different types: inframammary, periareolar, and transaxillary. Each of these incisions is in a different location.
- Inframammary Incision: This incision is hidden underneath the breasts. There is one horizontal incision under each breast, placed along the natural breast crease (breast fold).
- Periareolar Incision: This incision is placed around the border of the areola (the darker area of skin that surrounds the nipple). There is one incision around the areola of each breast.
- Transaxillary Incision: This incision is hidden in the underarm. There are no incisions on the breasts themselves, just one incision hidden in the natural creases of each underarm.
Pros and Cons of Each Scar Appearance
Each incision location has pros and cons related to its appearance.
Inframammary Scar Appearance
- Pros: Inframammary scars are placed in the natural fold underneath the breasts, which means they are not visible from most viewing angles. They can easily be hidden by most clothing items.
- Cons: From some viewing angles, such as while raising the arms or lying down, inframammary scars may be more noticeable than other scar types.
Periareolar Scar Appearance
- Pros: Periareolar scars are generally unnoticeable due to the texture and darker color of the border of the areolas. They usually blend in well and can easily be hidden by clothing items.
- Cons: Periareolar scars that do not heal well may be more conspicuous, especially if the scar tissue is raised or if it develops a lighter color than the areola.
Transaxillary Scar Appearance
- Pros: Transaxillary scars are not located on the breasts, so the breasts themselves are completely scar-free. This makes it less visually apparent that the breasts were surgically altered.
- Cons: Scars in the underarm are less easily hidden by clothing.
Beyond the appearance of breast implant scars, their locations also have important implications for implant type, surgical risks, and options for future breast revision. Patients should consider the following before making their final decision.
More Things to Consider for Each Incision Type
Besides scar appearance, each incision type affects critical components of the breast augmentation procedure. Here are additional things to think about for each incision type.
- Advantages: Inframammary incisions can be used to insert any type of implant with the fewest risks. This incision type can be used with the full range of implant options. If future breast revision is necessary, the same incision line can be used (preventing any additional scarring).
- Disadvantages: Increasing breast size at any point in the future may move the scar upward onto the lower breast, while decreasing breast size in the future may move the scar downward so that it is visible below the breast crease.
- Advantages: Periareolar incisions can be used for many (but not all) implant types. The scar’s proximity to the implant’s final position inside the breast makes it easier to be very precise with implant placement. If future breast revision is necessary, the same incision site can be used (preventing any additional scarring).
- Disadvantages: Periareolar incisions can only be used for a limited range of implants. There is also the risk that they may sever nerves or milk ducts, which can reduce sensation and lead to difficulty with breastfeeding in the future.
- Advantages: Transaxillary incisions are less likely to cause any damage to the mammary glands, breast nerves, or milk ducts. Otherwise, they are valued mostly for aesthetic reasons.
- Disadvantages: Transaxillary incisions have the most limitations regarding which type of implants can be used. It is more difficult to achieve breast symmetry with this technique. Also, the incisions cannot be reused for future breast revision surgeries, which means that if an additional surgery is necessary, a new surgical incision will need to be made.
The final decision about which breast implant incision type you get should be based not just on location or appearance, but on whether that incision type is best for your needs. Talk to your plastic surgeon about the different breast implant incision options and what each one entails, and they will help you choose the best breast augmentation incision for you.
For more information about breast implant scars and their locations, schedule an appointment with Dr. Aycock. Call (720) 634-7400 or contact us online today.