Are more doctors performing TUBA procedures now? Has it gotten any safer in 2016.

Seems like so many doctors frown upon this technique, and it is very hard to find any information on TUBA BA from doctors who actually preform this type of breast augmentation's, is it just the placement of the implants that look bad? Or truly to many health risks involved?

Doctor Answers 17

Are more doctors performing TUBA procedures now?

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The main reason many plastic surgeons are no longer performing TUBA is that most plastic surgeons are now using silicone gel implants which cannot be placed through the umbilical appoarch.  The TUBA procedure was more popular when more saline implants were used.

Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

TUBA or not TUBA

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TUBA procedure seemed to be more of a fad when silicone implants were taken off the market, as this should only be done with saline implants.  Silicone implants tend to feel and look more natural, so now that they are available, most patients are choosing silicone implants.  There is also definitely a higher complication rate with TUBA procedures.  I regularly have to revise TUBA procedures from other doctors and find also sorts of problems with the implant placement that I don't regularly see with more traditional approaches such as the forl or the areola.  I do not offer my patients the TUBA procedure because I feel the complication rate even in the hands of experienced physicians is too high to be worth the benefits.  A well placed incision at the fold should be nearly invisible.

TUBA breast augmentation

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There are still not many doctors who perform TUBA.  The reason is that the procedure is unnecessary difficult, and in some studies has shown higher chances of implant shell damage, asymmtery, etc.


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The technique is basically the same. This was in vogue more so when we only had saline implants.   Most have silicone and this can not be done that way.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Are more doctors performing TUBA procedures now? Has it gotten any safer in 2016.

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The procedure is not intrinsically inferior and I offer it as an option to my patients.  It does require special training and instruments.


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I don't offer it for a few reasons.

Reason 1: saline

no one wants saline anymore

Reason 2: scars are very minimal and barely noticeable anyway using the crease or nipple

Reason 3: Control

Symmetry and contour are best achieved when working close to the pocket with control, not through the belly button

Reason 4:  bleeding

blunt dissection leads to bleeding. it's the old school way to do augs. the field needs to be bloodless.

Not commonly performed

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In this country the IMF incision placed in the breast fold is performed by the majority of surgeons. It provides the best exposure and allows one to go back through the same scar for revisions that may need to be performed in the future. From a skill standpoint most surgeons are comfortable with this technique which typically means lower complications. There is no benefit to the tradeoff of the scar placed in the umbilicus in my opinion and likely in most surgeon's opinions. A well positioned scar placed in the breast fold will not be seen. 

Best wishes,

Dr. Ravi Somayazula 

Ravi Somayazula, DO
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 71 reviews

I think less..

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A colleague of mine that did hundreds of TUBA has stopped as he has switched to silicone breast implants more and more. You can only sue TUBA with saline and it is a very challenging operation anyway. I think the general trend is down and not up. 

Best, Dr. ALDO

Aldo Guerra, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 216 reviews


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TUBA (trans-umbilical breast augmentation)  can only be done with saline implants because the implant has to be folded up like a cigar and then passed through a long tube into the breast pocket. This cannot be done with a silicone. Most augmentations today are done using silicone implants. I have seen this procedure done at a meeting and I can't figure out why I would want to do this procedure...higher revision rate, visible scar in a bikini, limited to saline implants, etc. I would avoid this method of breast augmentation as I think the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. I hope this helps. Best wishes. 


Trans-umbilical placement

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For most surgeons, the downsides to using this technique outweigh the hiding of the scar. This is why it is uncommon to find a surgeon who recommends and performs it. Generally speaking, it is always risk going with a rare technique, because there is a reason it is rare.

Best of luck!


Dr. Subbio

Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

Newtown Square/Philadelphia, PA

Christian Subbio, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

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