Size of Inframammary Incision for Saline Breast Implants?

For sub muscular saline implants how big should be the size of incision (inframarry)? Mine looks huge and I am worried.if that will cause lack of sensation in my breasts permanently? Please help.

Doctor Answers 15

Size of the inframammary incision

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The inframammary incision needs to be large enough to allow for proper pocket dissection and to place the implant. I typically use a 3-4cm incision. The placement of this incision does not interfere with sensation to the breast. The sensory nerves run over the pectoralis muscle, thus in a submuscular placement of implants, there is a lower incidence of sensory disturbance (particularly from an inframammary incision). If you have sensory changes, it may be from the implant size.

Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Small incisions for saline implant placement

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Your inframammary scar should not be cause for lack of sensation in your breasts. It's more likely that swelling or a large implant size are the reasons for lack of sensation right now.  The inframammary scar length can vary, but is typically about 2-3 cm long for saline implant placement.   A longer scar in that area wouldn't necessarily lead to numbness in the breast.  Talk to your surgeon about your concerns with sensation--if you just recently had your surgery, the feeling often comes back.  If you have ANY sensation at all, that's a good sign for future recovery.

Carmen Kavali, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Breast Augmentation Incision Size

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There is no "rule" regarding incision size but most infra-mammary crease incisions are around 3cm for saline implants and a little bit bigger (3.2-3.5 cm) for silicone implants. Incision size should not affect sensation unless a very large periareolar incision is used. The good news is that most changes in sensation after surgery are temporary.

Douglas L. Gervais, MD
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Saline Breast Implants can be placed with a very small incision.

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Saline breast implants can be placed with a very small incision, approximately 3 cm in the breast fold because they are inflated in the breast pocket as compared to silicone implants which are pre-filled and need a slightly larger incision. Your incision sounds large but should have no bearing on sensation since that is more related to a nerve which runs on the outer aspect of the muscle.

I hope this helps. 

Andrew P. Trussler, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Breast Augmentation Incision

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You may have to qualify "big".  Meaning is it wide or long.  The usual length is around 4-5 cm.  The width should be minimal.  The incision size has little bearing on numbness.  A picture would be very helpful.

Dr. ES

Breast augmentation scar length varies with implant type

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For saline implant augmentation using an IMF approach, the scar can be kept quite short. The most important thing is not scar length, but scar position. A good surgeon will ensure that your scar ends up in the fold beneath your breast. The scar should not be on your breast, not should it be on your chest wall. Scar length for saline augmentations are typically 3 -4 cm in length, depending on the amount of visualization needed to do the augmentation.

Length of breast crease incision

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Typically, the IM crease incision for a saline implant is only long enough to put in the lighted instrumentation needed to make the pocket.  This varies with each surgeon byt 4 cm or less is typical.  The length of the incision has nothing to do with breast numbness though.  Your scars should fade with tiem and as long as you like the new look of the breasts, the scar should eventually become a non-issue.

Incision for Breast Implants

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I usually make a 3 cm incision for access, but each physician may be different requiring slight differences in incision length in order to create the most accurate pocket. Studies have shown that temporary sensation changes are common, and are unrelated to the incision site. Larger implants can exert more pressure on surrounding nerves to the breast skin and nipple. Be patient, it sometimes can take a full year for nerves to recover from pressure, stretch or irritation.

Breast Numbness after Under the breast Breast Augmentation

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Regarding:  "Size of Inframammary Incision for Saline Breast Implants?
For sub muscular saline implants how big should be the size of incision (inframarry)? Mine looks huge and I am worried.if that will cause lack of sensation in my breasts permanently? Please help

Hello fellow Memphian.

One of the advantages of saline breast implants is that unlike silicone gel breast implants, they are placed in the breast pocket empty and are filled with saline after placement. As a result, they can be placed through smaller incisions (under < 4 cm) than silicone gel implants.

A disadvantage of smaller incisions is that as the sheer size of the incision decreases, the amount of visibility decreases as well. (Imagine your field of vision through progressively smaller windows). But - in your case you say you had a large incision. That would mean that the surgeon's visibility was not hampered.

Damage to the sensory nerves of the breast may be temporary (due to swelling) or permanent (due to the pulling of the nerve cables). This could be caused by the process of widening the side wall of the implant pocket or by the traction and tension of a large implant on the nerve. The feeling usually comes back if it is not lost but studies have shown a 15% rate of permanent breast / nipple numbness with Breast Augmentation surgery.

Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Size of inframammary incision

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Typically for saline implants the inframammary incision is about 2-3 cm or about an inch in size. The incision should not affect the skin sensation of your breast. The inframammary scars usually heal very well and diminish over the course of a year. Sensation to the breast is usually less after an augmentation but returns to normal as swelling subsides in 3-5 months. Sensation is usually not altered permanently with  a submuscular implant since the nerves to the skin are above the muscle.

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.