Incision Options for Breast Augmentation

There are many choices associated with a breast augmentation procedure. One of the important decisions is where to place the incision for insertion of the implants. There are three primary options and each has its own unique benefits and drawbacks. It is important to understand the pros and cons of each incision location to make the best choice for your procedure.

Incision Location

Inframammary Incision

This incision is located underneath the breast in the breast crease. Inframammary incisions allow for placement of the implant both above and underneath the chest muscles and can be used for both saline and silicone implants. Scarring is usually hidden in the breast crease or underneath a bra or bathing suit top.


  • May allow for more control when creating the pocket for the implant 
  • Can be used to place silicone or saline implants


  • Scarring may be more visible with this incision location

Transaxillary Incision

A transaxillary incision is made in the armpit and a special instrument called an endoscope is used to help the surgeon place the implant in the proper location. The incision may be used to place both saline and smaller silicone implants, although scarring may be more visible with the larger incision needed for silicone implants.


  • No visible scarring on the breast 


  • Not as easy to place the implant
  • Does not work well for larger silicone implant
  • May not work as well with sagging or tuberous breasts

Periareolar Incision

This incision is placed around the border of the areola, where visible scarring will be minimal after the procedure. This incision may also be used for both saline and silicone implants. It is commonly recommended for patients who will be combining a breast lift with the breast augmentation procedure.


  • May be associated with less scarring in patient’s with certain skin types
  • Can place either silicone or saline implants


  • Greater likelihood of loss of nipple sensation or 
  • More likely to have difficulties breastfeeding after surgery 
  • Slightly higher risk of infection and capsular contracture

Just like the decision to have breast augmentation, placement of the incisions during the procedure is a highly personal decision. We take the time to explain all of your options to you, while making recommendations on the best choices for your needs. To learn more about breast augmentation or other plastic surgery procedures we offer, contact Dr. Andrews at 319-800-6877.

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