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What is Transaxillary Breast Augmentation?

Transaxillary breast augmentation means the incision for breast implants is performed in the axilla.

The axilla is the space beneath the shoulder through which vessels and nerves enter and leave the upper arm – the armpit, in layman’s terms.

Patients see this technique as appealing because the incision is in a remote location, away from the breast. That’s why some call it a scarless technique: because the scar, if it is visible, is not associated with the breast augmentation.

Breast Implant Choices

The incision is small, and space is limited when passing the implant from the armpit to the breast. Therefore, only a saline breast implant can be used with the transaxillary technique.

The outer shell of the implant is passed from the armpit to the breast pocket. Through a port, the implant is filled with saline (sterile salt water) while inside the breast pocket.

Challenges of the Transaxillary Method

A significant challenge with the transaxillary technique is difficulty seeing the breast pocket and muscle tissue. Without direct access to the breast (such as with the inframammary technique), it becomes more challenging to control breast implant placement.

Surgeons have addressed this challenge with endoscopy, an established technique in minimally invasive surgery. Using an endoscope, equipped with a tiny camera, your plastic surgeon can get a clear view of the breast pocket and pectoral muscle.

The majority of breast augmentation procedures still use the inframammary technique, which uses an incision in the crease below the breast. However, transaxillary breast augmentation is an accepted technique with rigorous studies evaluating its safety and effectiveness.

Ask Dr. Pfeifer if this technique is suitable for your breast augmentation.

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