There are two popular techniques in breast augmentation that can greatly minimize the appearance of scars and they both utilize a surgical tool called an endoscope. An endoscope is a very small instrument that can be introduced into the body to view underlying tissues and parts.
The two main endoscopic breast augmentation methods are the following:
- TUBA – transumbilical breast augmentation
- Transaxillary – an underarm breast augmentation incision
TUBA breast augmentation
The transumbilical method involves an incision in the navel. For this reason, some have decided to call the procedure “belly button breast augmentation.” Because the surgeon does not have direct access to the breasts with this method, an endoscope is necessary.
After making the incision near the navel, Dr. Pfeifer creates a tunnel through the abdominal tissues to the breasts. The implants are then placed in the breast pocket, in a submuscular or subglandular position. After placement, the breast implants are filled to a specified volume with saline. The transumbilical breast augmentation technique requires a skilled breast surgeon, but when it is performed correctly the patient can obtain beautiful results with scars that are undetectable.
Transaxillary breast augmentation
The transaxillary technique uses an incision in the natural skin folds of the armpit, which allows scars to be well hidden and far away from the breast. Like the TUBA method, the distance to the breast is a factor to consider, but plastic surgeons can perform the transaxillary technique with or without the use of an endoscope.
The incision is made in the underarm and Dr. Pfeifer performs a dissection to obtain a view of the breast pocket. The implant is then placed in one of the three possible placement methods – submuscular, subglandular, or partial submuscular – and filled with saline to a specified volume. Silicone breast implants may also be used, but require a slightly longer incision. After surgery, the scar is small (2-5 cm) and well hidden.
Endoscopic breast augmentation disadvantages
The main drawback of these procedures is the possibility of revision surgery in the future. If a problem occurs such as capsular contracture, the patient will require a conventional incision near the breast. Some plastic surgeons choose not to perform endoscopic breast augmentation or TUBA breast augmentation because it does not allow direct access to the breasts during surgery.
To learn more about endoscopic breast augmentation, contact the office of Tracy Pfeifer MD.