Is The Transumbilical Breast Augmentation (TUBA) A Good Idea?

Q: I want to get breast implants but am concerned about the scar. I really don’t want  a scar on my breasts anywhere as I think that would look bad. Who would care how big my breasts were if they were badly scarred? I have read about the belly button insertion of breast implants and there seems to be a lot of negative comments about it from other plastic surgeons. Do you agree with these feelings? What are the problems with putting in breast implants this way? It just seems to make sense to me that it is the best way to go.

A: When considering breast augmentation, the size and location of the incision is one important consideration to most patients. But one must remember that the incision is not the operation, the breast implant and its proper positioning is. Going through the belly button does provide a hidden scar but does so at the expense of several significant disadvantages for the final breast implant result. Besides being only able to use saline breast implants, there are potential problems with getting them in the right pocket and having good symmetry afterwards. At the least, these risks are higher when going through the belly button as opposed to any of the other three options. If one wants a hidden scar, a transaxillary (through the armpit) incision can be used without incurring a higher risk of other potential implant-related problems. This approach is more direct and gets the implant immediately underneath the muscle. The belly button incision offers no advantages at all over the armpit incision.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis Indiana