This particular incision goes by several names such as: transax breast augmentation, transaxillary breast augmentation, and armpit breast augmentation.
If you don't know very much about breast augmentation, it may sound a little strange to insert a breast implant through the armpit. However, it isn't uncommon at all. As with all other incisions, there are advantages and disadvantages.
Transaxillary breast augmentation can be performed one of two ways. First, there is the "blind" method. Basically, this means that an endoscope (small camera) is not used when performing this particular type of breast augmentation surgery.
The second approach is with the use of an endoscope. An an endoscope is a small camera with a light on the end. The endoscope is inserted into the pocket the surgeon makes for the implant and it allows the surgeon to see what he or she is doing "inside" of you on a TV screen. Both approaches give wonderful results. It really depends on how the surgeon prefers to perform the procedure.
While transax breast augmentation is certainly more popular now than it was ten years ago, it can still be difficult to find a surgeon to perform this incision. Since the surgeon is working farther way from the breast, especially in comparison to the areola or crease incision, placement of the breast implants is more difficult. For this reason alone, you should find a surgeon that regularly performs this type of surgery.
Check out the video below to show how the armpit incision is made.
The next video shows the endoscopic approach.
Advantages of Transaxillary Breast Augmentation
There are several advantages go transaxillary breast augmentation including:
The skin in the armpit in the area heals very well, and tends to leave a scar that is next to invisible. The incision is made in one of the natural creases in the armpit, thus hiding it very well.
The skin in the armpit in the area heals very well, and tends to leave a scar that is next to invisible.
Even if the scar is noticeable, most people won't associate it with breast augmentation surgery.
No scars on the breasts.
When the breast implants are placed beneath the muscle, no dissection (incisions or cuts into the muscle) are necessary.
Breast implants do not come into contact with the milk ducts, which harbor bacteria.
Recovery may be somewhat easier with submuscular breast implants as the muscle can be "lifted", and does not need to be cut.
Larger implants can be places since there is no incision on the breast, which means that the larger implant won't cause any tension on the incision.
Disadvantages of Transaxillary Breast Augmentation
There are a few downsides to transaxillary breast augmentation. The most important thing to do (with any incision) is to do is weigh the pros and cons, and then decide on what works best for you.
More difficult to find a surgeon experienced with this incision
If a complication arises, an incision will likely need to be made to the breast in order to correct it.
When silicone breast implants are inserted via the armpit, sizing is limited. Extra large silicone breast implants cannot be inserted during transaxillary breast augmentation.
There is a slightly higher risk when inserting silicone via the armpit. This is due to the breast implant rubbing against the skin during insertion. Even though the skin has been sterilized, it is still possible for microscopic bacteria to come in contact with the implant. This can lead to an inflammatory response, which in turn can result in capsular contracture.
Most surgeons apply steri-strips (somewhat like adhesive tape) to all incisions post-operatively. While the strips are still well adhered, deodorant can be worn. However, once the steri-strips begin to loosen from the skin, it is not wise to wear deodorant, as you don't want it coming into contact with the incision. Most surgeons recommend wearing no deodorant for two weeks. (Follow your surgeon's instructions.)
Transaxillary Breast Augmentation Myths
Provided you choose a plastic surgeon with plenty of experience in transax breast augmentation, you should have no problems and should wind up with a beautiful result. Unfortunately, there are myths about this incision that need to be debunked. Most of them are due to misinformation, while some of them could be true, but only if your surgeon is not experienced with this incision.
The Breast Implants Won't Drop
This is a pretty common myth regarding transax breast augmentation. Just because a breast implant is placed via the armpit incision does not mean that it will not drop. The location of the incision has nothing to do with that unless your surgeon is not experienced with this incision, in which case he or she may not create the pocket correctly.
Big Gaps in Cleavage Area
This is yet another myth. The amount of cleavage one has depends on their individual anatomy, not the incision that is used. This myth is only true when you have a plastic surgeon that is not experienced with this incision.
My Breast Implants Will Fall To the Sides When Laying Down
Breast implants should fall to the sides some when you are in prone (laying down) position. However, the myth that the implants will "be in your armpit" just because of transaxillary breast augmentation is not true. If the pocket is created incorrectly (aka made too large on the outer sides of the breasts), the implants can certainly fall into the armpit. However, this can happen with any incision. It is not exclusive to the transaxillary incision.
Transaxillary Scar Photos
As you can see from the photos below, you can't even see the incisions once they have healed. Keep in mind that it is possible to not have a result this good. However, since the skin in the armpit tends to heal very well, chances are, your incisions will heal satisfactorily.