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Medically Reviewed by Dr. J. Hopkins


June 23, 2022

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blonde-model-pink-backgroundWhether you are dissatisfied with the size of your breasts, you have lost volume to pregnancy and breastfeeding, or you have breast asymmetry, a breast augmentation procedure can be an effective solution.

As you pursue breast augmentation, you will work closely with your surgeon to make several important decisions. These include decisions about what type of implant to use and what size. You may even decide to forgo implants altogether, having your breast augmentation performed via fat transfer.

Another crucial decision is the type of incision. This decision will be determined, to some extent, by the type of implants you choose. And it will have a major impact on the type of postoperative scarring you experience.

When you schedule a consultation with Dr. Hopkins, he can provide you with comprehensive information about the different incisions that are available, ultimately helping you choose the incision that is right for you.

What are the Different Types of Incisions?

In breast augmentation, there are basically four types of incision available. These include the inframammary incision (under the breast), transaxillary incision (under the armpit), periareolar incision (around the nipple), and trans-umbilical incision (inside the belly button). Here are some general summaries of each incision type:

Inframammary Incisions

Also known as the breast fold incision, the inframammary incision is the most popular option among breast augmentation patients. Not only was it the original incision method for breast implants, but it remains the go-to for plastic surgeons across the country.

With this option, the incision is placed under the breast, where the lower part of the breast connects with the chest wall. Because the incision is so close to the breast itself, it makes it very easy for surgeons to insert and place saline or silicone implants.

Some of the most significant advantages include:

  • These incisions are usually well-concealed below the breast itself by a bra or bikini top.
  • Due to the proximity to the breasts, this incision type provides surgeons with maximum control over bleeding and the final surgical outcome.
  • This option avoids the milk ducts, which means there should not be any complications with breastfeeding.

Periareolar Incisions

This second type of incision is made between the areola and the surrounding breast skin. Typically, the incision is made along the lower half of the areola, creating a pocket in which the implant can be placed. 

Some advantages include:

  • Most patients with this type of incision find that their scar heals very well.
  • When performed by a skilled surgeon, periareolar incision scars can be close to invisible.
  • This incision type provides surgeons with greater control over bleeding and the final surgical outcome due to the proximity to the breasts.

Transaxillary Incisions

The third type of breast augmentation incision is the transaxillary incision, which is made inside the armpit. Once the incision is made, your surgeon will create a pathway for the breast implants to be placed and then moved into position.

Advantages of this approach include:

  • This type of procedure can be done endoscopically, which means the incision can be quite small.
  • The breasts themselves are untouched, which means t risk of damage to the milk duct or nipple is not likely.
  • There is no scarring near the breast of the nipple, which means women can feel confident wearing any kind of bathing suit or low-cut top.

Umbilical Incisions

Umbilical incisions are made inside the belly button. A tunnel is made through the abdomen, through which the implants are moved into position. Some of the biggest advantages to this incision type include:

  • The breasts themselves are untouched, which means there is minimal risk of damage to the milk duct or nipple.
  • The scar is hidden inside the wrinkles of the naval, which means it is virtually undetectable.
  • Compared with other types of incisions, umbilical incisions come with shorter recovery times.

Explore Your Options for Breast Augmentation

As you consider your options for enhancing your breasts, speak with a skilled and experienced plastic surgeon to achieve your desired goals. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Hopkins, contact our practice today.