Last week we talked about what’s great—and what’s not so great—about periareolar incisions. This week, we’re moving on to the inframammary incision. What advantages does it offer, and what drawbacks does it present? Here’s the story:

The Inframammary Incision

Inframammary incisions are made in the fold where the lower part of the breast meets the chest wall. From there, a saline or silicone implant can be inserted below or above the muscle.

Many patients prefer this type of incision—especially those whose breasts hang a bit—because the scar is easily hidden by a bra or bikini (or the breast itself). Because of the incision’s proximity to the area being operated upon, surgeons have more control over bleeding and precision than they do with transaxillary and transumbilical incisions. Like the periareolar incision, the original incision site can also be reopened for subsequent surgeries, if necessary, which means no future additional scarring—plus, unlike a periareolar incision, the inframammary incision presents no additional risk of nerve damage in the nipples.

One drawback to inframammary placement is the fact that, from an aesthetic standpoint, it makes it difficult for a patient to change her breast size later on. If a woman increases her breast size, it can make the scar move up so it’s on the breast itself; if she decreases it, the scar can move down so it’s visible below the fold of the breast. For patients who start out with very small breasts or little-to-no natural breast crease, it can also be difficult for a plastic surgeon to place the incision in the optimal position (though this risk can be minimized by going to a highly experienced plastic surgeon).

Next week: the transumbilical (TUBA) incision.