Facts about Transaxillary Endoscopic Breast Augmentation
What is transaxillary endoscopic breast augmentation?
Transaxillary endoscopic breast augmentation is a technique of breast enlargement where breast implants are placed through an armpit incision. The incision is small, about 1 inch, and well hidden in the depth of the armpit. When the incision heals, it is barely noticeable. With the transaxillary endoscopic breast approach, the breast implants can be placed below or above the chest (also known as the pectoralis) muscle with great precision. The endoscope is a long thin tube with a camera at the end and is used to help in the creation of the pocket for the breast implant and the accurate positioning of the breast implant.
Why do patients choose the armpit incision for their breast implant surgery?
Many patients prefer the armpit incision because it avoids scars on the breast and avoids cutting through the breast tissue when placing the breast implants underneath the muscle. The armpit scar normally heals well and is barely visible.
Is it more difficult to have the implants placed through the armpit?
Actually it is easier. The pocket for the placement of the implant underneath the muscle is entered very easily through the armpit incision. The dissection of the breast pocket is completed with the assistance of the endoscope. The breast is lifted up with no cutting of the breast tissue. With the visual guidance of the endoscope, the implants can be placed precisely in the proper position.
Is it more painful to have breast implants put in using the armpit incision?
No. Pain with breast augmentation surgery varies from patient to patient but normally lasts 1 to 2 days and is well controlled with pain relief medications. The pain is usually related to the placement of the implants underneath the muscle whether this is done through the armpit, periareolar or crease incision. Thus, the armpit incision is no more painful than the other incisions.
Is there an increased risk of infection?
No, studies have shown that the incidence of infection is very low and the same regardless of the incision used.
What care is required with the armpit incision?
The care is very simple. The armpit should be washed once a day and antibiotic ointment applied. The stitches dissolve on their own. Deodorant can be used in 2 days. Shaving can be resumed in 2 days with care.
Will having the armpit incision affect me medically in anyway?
No. When the armpit incision is made, none of the deeper structures of the armpit are disturbed. The structures of the armpit including the nerves and the lymph nodes are not affected.
How does the armpit incision heal? And what does it look like?
The armpit incision is about 1 inch in length. Normally, it is barely seen and blends in with the natural creases of the armpit. Many patients believe that it heals better than the periareolar or crease incision.
What if the breast implants need to be adjusted?
If a second surgery is necessary to adjust an implant, replace a leaking implant or correct a capsular contracture, this can be done through the original armpit incision. In rare or severe cases, a separate incision on the breast may have to be performed.
How are the results with transaxillary endoscopic breast augmentation?
In my practice, the most commonly requested incision is the armpit incision followed by the crease and periareolar incisions. I would have to say that the results with the armpit incision are excellent and patients are thrilled with the results.
Who does transaxillary endoscopic breast augmentation?
Ask your plastic surgeon. Not every plastic surgeon performs the armpit incision for breast enhancement. Transaxillary breast augmentation requires special training and expertise. Your plastic surgeon should be able to perform breast implants through a variety of incisions including the armpit, periareolar or crease incision to give you the most options and can recommend what is best for you. Dr. Lo has extensive experience with all three incisions and will provide his recommendations to you.