Areola Incision -- What You Need to Know
The areola incision is currently one of the most widely used incisions. All implant types can be placed over the muscle, partial sub-muscular, or total submuscular via this incision. Breast implants can also be removed through this incision. One advantage of this incision is that the surgeon is working close to the breast, versus farther away, as with the transaxillary or TUBA incisions -- an incision through the navel.
The Basics of the Areola Incision:
- An incision is made just beyond the areola, which is the darker area of skin surrounding the nipple.
- The incision should be made at the very edge of the areola where the dark tissue meets the lighter breast tissue, which aids the scar in "blending in".
- Leaving the surgical tape on will aid in healing the scar because it reduces the tension on the skin, and keeps the actual incision from "pulling". This helps the scar heal into a very thin line, as well as keeping it flat.
Some surgeons use a protective "sleeve" when inserting the implant via the nipple incision. (This does not apply to pre-filled implants, since they cannot be rolled up and inserted like inflatable breast implants can). The breast ducts are known to harbor bacteria. The "sleeve" prevents the implant from coming into contact with the breast ducts, thus virtually eliminating the risk of contamination, which could lead to problems.
In cases where a mastopexy (breast lift) is recommended, the nipple incision would be the obvious choice. All breast lifts require an incision around the nipple. In these cases, it would be pointless to use any other incision. Doing so would only create more scarring, which is unnecessary.