A Disadvantage of Placing Breast Implants Through the Armpit Approach in Breast Augmentation

My preference for the insertion of breast implants in breast augmentation surgery is usually through an incision along the fold at the bottom of the breast also known as the inframammary approach. There are many advantages for this technique some of which I have enumerated on the website. One that wasn’t specifically mentioned is that the final scars from surgery will always be covered by one’s clothes and that can be important for those at a higher risk for more conspicuous scars.

An extremely small percentage of women state that they don’t want any scars located on their breasts as they will serve as telltale signs of them having had breast enlargement surgery. Instead, they request the transaxillary (armpit) approach for breast implant insertion. If their scars do not heal satisfactorily, they may have more significant issues.

The following patient saw me in consultation having undergone a breast augmentation elsewhere using this transaxillary technique. Thick hypertrophic scars developed that were re-excised by her plastic surgeon only to have them recur. Now she is faced with exposed, prominent scars that are clearly visible when she wears sleeveless tops and bathing suits. Furthermore, she does experience discomfort at times when reaching due to pulling on the thick scar.

View of right armpit revealing keloid that resulted from transaxillary incision. It has already been revised once by her original plastic surgeon.

If, instead, these same thick scars were situated on her breasts, at least they would be covered by her clothes and would not be apparent to anyone else until she removed her clothes. Furthermore, she would not have any restrictions in the clothes that she wanted to wear including sleeveless tops and that can be quite important in Arizona summers with temperatures far exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you have any questions regarding breast augmentations or incision choices, breast revision surgery or on any other plastic surgery procedure that I perform or if you would like to schedule a complimentary consultation with me, please call my office at 480-451-3000.

Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona

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