Is Breast Augmentation Through Tummy Tuck Incision Possible?

I had read of a procedure that allows a breast augmentation while doing a tummy tuck, using the tummy tuck incision rather than incising the breast. Is this a commonly used procedure? Would it be as accurate placement if it was done using this method?

Doctor Answers 48

Breast augmentation through a tummy tuck incision?

Hello,

Yes, a breast augmentation can be performed through a tummy tuck incision.  Although the same result can theoretically be achieved by doing so compared to an incision in the breast fold, areola, or arm pit, the amount of control that the surgeons has is potentially less.  

If my loved one asked which I would recommend for them I would say to perform the breast augmentation through a standard incision and get the best result possible with the lowest risk for complications or less-than-ideal result.

All the best,

Dr Repta


Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Definitely not common but interesting

I agree it can be done and it is always possible that it will have a beautiful scarless result. However, I would worry that you are taking a very simple procedure with terrific results and making it more complicated for no great reason since the scars associated with breast aug are so minimal (at least mine..shameless plug :) Although not aware of any good study, I would bet the farm that there is a higher rate of capsular contracture, infection and revision procedures when going through the abdomen but this is just my guess. I would like to see Dr. Schulman do one as I know he is a terrific surgeon...maybe I will start doing them. You never know.

Joshua B. Hyman, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Breast Augmentation Through Tummy Tuck Incision

Yes not only is it possible but I prefer this technique. Tummy Tuck and Breast Augmentation Combination makes sense and is safe. Contrary to some of the answers I have found that the recovery time is not delayed and is the same as the tummy tuck procedure by itself. That is because you are healing simultaneously and not sequentially - both heal at the same time. The procedure only takes me about a half hour to 45 minutes longer than the tummy tuck alone. Best of all, I usually put in the breast implants through the tummy tuck incision so that there are no scars on the breasts.
I have performed many of these combination procedures over the past few decades and think it is a great idea without significant increased complications.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 119 reviews

Breast Augmentation is Probably Best Kept Separate from a Tummy Tuck

Disadvantages outweigh Benefits for using Tummy Tuck scar to place Breast Implants

Mommy Makeover procedures combining a Breast Augmentation and Tummy Tuck are highly satisfying for both patients and surgeon.

While it is possible to place breast implants through the Tummy Tuck incision, the disadvantages would seem to outweigh the benefits:

 

Benefit

Admittedly, not placing separate incisions for Breast Augmentation is a benefit, and conceptually I like this idea.

Disadvantages

Control and visualization - placing breast implants from the tummy tuck decreases control and visualization of the operation (especially silicone implants because silicone implants come fully-filled).

Capsular contracture - separate incisions allow us to keep the two areas of the tummy tuck and breast augmentation apart, and this should reduce the chances of cross-contamination and subsequent capsular contracture.

Hope this helps,

Nick Slenkovich MD, FACS

Breast Implants Through a Tummy Tuck Incision

Placing breast implants through the tummy tuck incision is definitely possible, but not recommended.

It may sound like a good way to reduce incision scars, but the tradeoffs are not worth it.  It is harder to create the implant pockets with the precision breast augmentation deserves.  The results from this approach may increase the risk of poor implant motion, malposition, or asymmetry.

As plastic surgeons, we are always sensitive to minimizing scars, but not to the point of disproportionately compromising the outcome of the surgery.

 

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Mommy Makeover - with no visible breast scars

You are asking for a Mommy Makeover with no visible breast scars.  Although it is done, I do not think it is a great operation.  Look at the patient in my video - her breast augmentation was via a periarolar incision.  Direct approaches (such as the infra-mammary approach or periareolar approach) give excellent visualization to allow for a lot of finesse in the result of the breast augmentation.  With the trans-abdominoplasty approach, either a small tunnel will be utilized (which limits what you can see), or a wide tunnel will be used.  Because the approach is from below, if a wide tunnel is used the surgeon runs the risk of loosing a well defined infra-mammary crease - something that we would prefer to avoid.  I view this operation somewhat the same at TUBA (trans umbilical breast augmentation) - a bit of a sales gimmick.  Do your research and form your own opinion.

Dr.B

Breast Augmentation thru Abdominoplasty Incision

Possible to do but not recommended. There are many creative ways to perform some of the plastic surgery that we do. But at times those creative ways are not always the best way of doing it and has compromises.

So, no it is not recommended. It is a compromise and not optimum. The periareolar incision heals so well and provides an accurate way to place the implant, why do it in a compromised way?

Hope that helps and gives you some insight.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Transabdominal breast augmentation

Transabdominal breast augmentation or (TABA) is exactly what you described. While performing a tummy tuck, breast implants are placed through this incision in a precise manner to also perform a breast augmentation. Although, I am not the first person to do this, I have written this technique up in the plastic surgery journals and have presented it to other plastic surgeons at national meetings. It is for a limited number of patients. If the breasts sag significantly, it would be done in a more conventional way with a lift procedure.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Separation of breast and belly

While the idea of a scarless breast augmentation is appealing, the reality is that techniques which compromise the inframammary fold, (where the breast meets the chest wall), which would need to be done in order to place the implants through the top aspect of the abdominoplasty flap are not freebies. Surgical manipulation of this area can result in "bottoming out" of the breast implant, where the breast slides off the chest into the upper abdomen. Most of the other consultants agree that it is preferable to use another approach. Good luck.

Lavinia K. Chong, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Breast augmentation through a tummy tuck is not recommended

Breast augmentation through an abdominal approach is a fairly old procedure which was also called a TUBA or a trans-umbilical breast augmentation. The advantage was a scar off the breast though we seldom hear much about the technique any longer. The technique required special instruments and was 'blind' in that it was difficult to control the implant placement, and submuscular augmentation was quite difficult. The procedure applied to saline implants inflated in place. Augmentation through an abdominoplasty incision is possible though there seems again to be little interest in the procedure and added risk of a poorly positioned implant, or adding to what would extend beyond the more conservative and safe tummy tuck procedures practiced today. Keep in mind as well that as your breast implants wear they will be in need of replacement and any of the other three choices, inframammary, periareolar, or transaxillary is a better approach.

Best of luck,

peterejohnsonmd

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

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