TUBA or InfraMammary?

I'm on the fence about incision sites. I have dark skin and scars don't go away that easily on me. I'm leaning toward TUBA as I'm seeing a lot of implants done by the under boob method and the scar is ON their breast not actually in the crease like it sounds. I keep seeing some doctors saying TUBA is the worst thing on earth. But I've watched videos and the results look great. My PS specializes in TUBA. Are some doctors saying it's awful simply because they just don't know how to do it?

Doctor Answers 16

Incision Site

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If you select a surgeon who is proficient in this technique and use saline implants then it could be a good option for you. Saline tends to look and feel less natural than silicone so many patients will not select saline for that reason and will choose IMF/Nipple or armpit incisions which can all facilitate silicone gel implants.

I recommend that you discuss your options and preferences as well as scar care with your chosen Plastic Surgeon. Be sure to seek a board certified surgeon who specializes in the technique you choose.

All the best 


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TUBA is only suitable for saline /salt water-filled implants so make sure you are happy with that option as most women are preferring silicon implants now.A very short car 1.5-2 cm only can be made under the crease of the breast using a Keller Funnel device . Remember however that no incision will eve be invisible - at best they will be discrete 

The Incision Type is Your Decision

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Belly Button (TUBA) – Trans Umbilical Breast Augmentation is a common method we currently use for saline implants. The results are excellent and only a tiny incision in the belly button is required. Only saline implants can be inserted by this method. Incision is very well hidden. Must be performed by a breast augmentation surgeon who performs this often. Special training, experience, and equipment are required.

Breast Fold (inframammary) – A horizontal incision made in the breast crease at the bottom of the breast. Incision is very well hidden. Many surgeons prefer this incision for silicone implants when women already have a breast that falls over the fold. A very tiny incision can be used here for saline implants. This is the most common and recommended site for silicone implant placement due to the need for a longer incision to accommodate the size of the implant. Silicone implants come pre-filled, so they are full size at the time of placement.

The best thing to do would be to discuss both of these in detail with your surgeon at your consultation and determine which one matches your desired final results. There are always different final results of these incisions that match patients' health needs as well, so be sure to bring all of your questions and concerns to the surgeon in your initial consultation so that you know what will be best for your procedure.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

TUBA or inframammary fold

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To begin with, you is the expert of TUBA in Orange County? Second, you will be taking a great risk by performing a TUBA as it is frought with complications nationally including: unnecessary bleeding and capsular contracture, implant malposition, and suboptimal results. If you are willing to take these risks, you can avoid an incision on your breast; I would tell you that it is not worth the above risks, as you will have to redo, repay, and convert to an inframammary incision.

Arian Mowlavi, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Incsion site.

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he best incision site in my opinion of dark complected women is the under arm. This way there is no scar on your breast at all. The under arm heals very well even in dark complected skin.

Lawrence Scott Ennis, MD, FACS
Pensacola Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 162 reviews

Consider the transaxillary approach

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A transumbillical approach will leave a scar on your belly button that may be hyper pigmented. You may want to consider the transaxillary approach as the scar will be hidden in the crease of your armpit. This will also allow you to use silicone implants instead of just saline. Best of luck! Dr. K

Robert M. Kachenmeister, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

TUBA or InfraMammary

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The TUBA procedure has been around for a long time and like a trans-axillary approach, takes experience to get better. TUBA has some limitations. First is that you can only use saline implant as the new cohesive gel implants cannot be placed through the tube. Secondly is that in many case it is a single time approach. By that I mean if you need further surgery in the future, something that is required about 24% of the time, it likely is impossible to do through that incision. Thirdly it can invalidate the warranty on the implant due to the excess manipulation that occurs pushing the implant through the tube. Fourthly, it is impossible to set the valve protector on the saline implant through that incision so it increases saline implant leaks. Lastly, in some cases it can leave an area of firm tissue in the tunnel used to place the implant and that looks like a ridge on the area between the navel and the breast.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Inframammary incision vs TUBA

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Thank you for your question. The TUBA procedure can only be used if you are using saline implants. This is because they are inserted empty and filled once in place. The most popular implants are the silicone gel implants and the vast majority of women choose the inframammary fold incision. This is one of the main reasons the TUBA is almost obsolete. There are two additional options that may be available to you depending on the size of the implant you are planning on using. The trans-axillary incision (in the armpit) or the periareolar incision (around the areola) can be good options in the right candidate. It is rare anyone complains about the scar with any of the techniques.

Breast Incisions

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The IMF approach is the most popular for a reason.  It is typically associated with the most consistent satisfactory results because the implant can be placed in the most desirable location with exact precision. The ultimate scar lands either in or very close to the fold if meticulous planning is performed.   Consider a periareolar incision if an IMF incision is completely off the table.  It heals very well and is well-hidden even in pasties or when the under part of the breast is exposed while wearing a bikini.  

Justin Yovino, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 103 reviews

TUBA or InfraMammary?

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To say you are an expert in the TUBA technique is nothing but marketing. The technique is quite simple, has been around for many years and is something any plastic surgeon can do. The fact that nearly all plastic surgeons do NOT use that technique should tell you all you need to know about it. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.