Periareolar augmentation is one of the most popular methods of placing implants into the breast. The surgical approach for this procedure uses the natural border of the areola as the site to make the entry incision. Although this allows good visibility and access to the breast interior, it can also create potential problems for the patient. Before consenting to breast augmentation through the nipple, it is very important to learn the benefits and potential complications of this surgical procedure.
This discussion provides the facts on this popular method of breast enhancement.
Periareolar Breast Surgery Comparison
Using the nipple as the anatomical entrance is one of 2 surgical breast augmentation approaches which actually cut into the breast itself. The other possibility is the inframammary approach.
The remaining 2 possible surgical approaches keep the incision off the breast and well hidden in bodily areas which are not subject to intense scrutiny. These approaches are the transaxillary incision, which is placed in the underarm, and the transumbilical approach, which is completely concealed inside the belly button.
Each of these procedures has good points and bad, but is appropriate for women with certain goals or fears related to their surgical expectations.
Benefits of the Technique
The good points of this procedure are the ease of the operation and the generally good results. Placement of the implants is easy to achieve for the surgeon and the patient is usually pleased with the overall aesthetics.
In addition, the incision site is almost identical to that of a mastopexy, so this approach is perfect for women undergoing a simultaneous breast lift and augmentation at the same time.
The majority of other benefits of performing breast augmentation through the areola are given to the surgeon, rather than the patient. The surgery time is faster than most other approaches and implant placement is easier. If you are trying to save money, maybe you can get a better deal by going with this approach.
Remember, saving money on a procedure, by making concessions to your surgeon, is never advised and should always be avoided. It is better to save up and pay more for the procedure which best suits your needs, not your doctor’s.
Negative Aspects of the Periareolar Approach
The areola is a desirable place to hide a scar, in theory. The skin is a different color and is often slightly irregular in shape and contour. This allows a skillfully created surgical wound to heal and blend into the surrounding tissue.
However scars can form and some can be severe and even raised. Black or dark skinned women might be prone to developing keloid scars which could really be unsightly on the areola.
Make sure to discuss methods of scar reduction with your surgeon and definitely inform them of any past history of abnormal scarring or keloid formation.
The areola is also directly over the glandular breast tissue and is vital to the neurological function and breastfeeding function of the nipple. Any surgical incision near the nipple can produce nerve or gland damage, which can result in any of the following complications:
Reduced ability or inability to breastfeed
Reduced sensitivity in the nipple or areola
Inability for the nipple to become firm and erect
Numbness in the breast or nipple
These effects can be serious and should be discussed with your cosmetic surgeon prior to surgery.
In addition, this procedure carries the normal risks of all plastic surgeries , including infection, pain, bleeding and poor surgical results.
Breast Enlargement through the Areola
This method of breast enlargement is still very popular, but does not seem to have the same patient-oriented benefits as some of the other surgical approaches.
Most women would prefer to have transumbilical implantation, if they are planning on receiving saline breast implants. This approach offers excellent results and no scars, whatsoever.
The other terrific option is the transaxillary approach, which can place the surgical scar in a natural seam of the underarm and can also utilize all varieties of silicone breast implants.
Consider your options carefully, since you are trying to improve your body, not scar it.
If you are planning a combination procedure such as a breast lift with implants, then the periareolar approach is a natural fit.