What is the safest place for breast implant incision?

Is there any area that would be particularly high risk for complications or an inability to breast feed in the future?

Doctor Answers 13

Safest breast implant incision?

There are three commonly used incisions: under the breast fold, in the areolar border and in the axilla (armpit). The under breast incision is the "tried and true" location as this is the one that has been performed the longest. It has many advantages, among them the fact that IF you ever have to have the implant surgery revised, it offers the most options and safest entry into the breast implant pocket. The areola border incision offers a generally esthetic scar that is usually inconspicuous. There is a growing body of evidence that this incision is more likely to allow contamination of the breast implant with bacteria from the breast ducts. This in turn may lead to capsular contracture. While not all plastic surgeon s perform the axillary approach, its main advantage is that the scar is not located on the breast. It allows placement of the implant either below or above the muscle. To learn which is the most ideal location for you, plan to consult a Borad Certified plastic surgeon who can demonstrate plenty of ecperience with the various incisions that you are willing to consider.

Suffolk Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Breast implant incisions

Hi, thank you for this excellent question.  As you know, there are three commonly used incisions: under the breast, in the armpit, and around the areola (pigmented part of the nipple complex).  No area is at high risk for complications, but in general the infra-mammary incision (under the breast) is considered to be the safest because it allows the surgeon excellent access to the breast tissue, and has been shown to be associated with a lower risk of infection and capsular contracure.  My colleague Dr. Mark Jewell recently did a study in which he showed that over 90% of women are able to breastfeed following breast augmentation regardless of their incision site.  I suggest seeing a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area and asking him or her about this as well.  Some surgeons have a preference for one incision versus another based upon their personal experience.  Best wishes.

Nina S. Naidu, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Best breast augmentation incision

Thank you for your question.  There are three incisions that can be utilized to place implants during a breast augmentation procedure.  These include the inframammary incision in the breast crease, the nipple incision and the axillary or armpit incision.  I believe that the inframammary incision offers patients the lowest complication rate (lowest incidence of capsular contracture formation) and that they heal (in most patients) exceedingly well.  The inframammary incision also is very well hidden in the crease of the breast.  I would recommend seeking out a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who is well-experienced in breast augmentation procedures.  Best of luck!

Stephen T. Greenberg, MD
Woodbury Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Best Incision for Breast Augmentation

Statistically, there is a slightly higher complication rate for incisions in the axillary region, but all 3 sites are reasonably safe. The inframammary incision is used more because of its' ease of hiding it in the inframammary fold and offers better vision for dissection. Each incision has pros and cons. Be sure to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon. Good luck!

Robert M. Tornambe, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Breast Aug Incisions

The two most common incisions sites are periareola, an incision made around the nipple, and inframammary, an incision made in the breast fold, where the breast meets the chest wall.

The periareola incision is typically the most concealed, because the incision is made along the outer edges of the darker area of the areola. However, this method involves cutting through the breast tissue to get to the pocket for implant placement, possibly severing nerves and milk ducts. This increases the risk of change in nipple sensation and increases the likelihood of difficulty with breastfeeding. There is also a higher risk of capsular contraction, which is when scar tissue forms around the breast implants and causes the breasts to harden. There is a risk that if the scar does not heal well, the scar may appear raised or lighter color than the areola, a look that may be more obvious than one may prefer.

The inframammory incision is the most common type of incision and is hidden in the breast fold. Though this type of incision is less concealed than the periareola, a bra, bathing suit, and often the breast itself can hide the small 3-5cm scar. There is less risk of capsular contraction, and nerve damage. Also this incision allows for the most control over the placement of the implant meaning the results are more likely to be symmetric and consistent. I most often recommend the inframmamory incision for patients who have moderate breast fold allowing for the scar to be naturally concealed and for patients with small areolas looking to significantly increasing the size of the breasts.

Kamran Azad, MD
Pasadena Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

What is the safest place for breast implant incision?

Thank you for your question.  Studies have shown that the inframammary crease incision underneath the breast is least likely to result in capsular contracture than the periareolar incision and less likely to require revision than the transaxillary incision.

Incision for breast augmentation

All incision options for breast augmentation have pluses and minuses. You re best to review these directly with your surgeon. I commonly perform them through a periareola incision or along the breast fold.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews


Ideally, the incision under the fold is easiest, most pain-free, gives the best placement of the implants, and least risk of capsular contracture.  

I recommend an in-office examination as well as a detailed discussion with a surgeon who you are comfortable with and who is a Double-Board Certified Plastic Surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Best wishes!

Dr. Desai

Urmen Desai, MD, MPH, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 233 reviews

Breast augmentation incisions

There are various incisions that can be utilized for a breast augmentation such as in the breast fold (inframammary), around the areolar (peri areolar), through the arm pit (trains axillary) or though the belly button (trains umbilical).   The incision with the least risks including the ability to breast-feed is the infra mammary incision.  It is usually well concealed after surgery.

Gerald L. Yospur, MD
Mesa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Breast implant incision

Under the fold probably safest and easiest. As long as the entire breast tissue is lifted, breast feeding should be ok. Although, many consents lost inability to breast feed as a risk.

An exam and consultation with a plastic surgeon is recommended to discuss your options and expectations.

Harry T. Haramis, MD, FACS
Montclair Plastic Surgeon
3.7 out of 5 stars 19 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.