Is the Areolar Breast Augmentation Incision Right for You?

January 18, 2016 — by Stephen Hardy M.D.
Tags: Breast Augmentation Plastic Surgery

A woman cupping her breasts Breast augmentation can help women who are unhappy with their bust line gain a sense of confidence and pride in their bodies. However, when considering breast augmentation, there are many decisions to make beyond implant size. The type of incision is an important component of any breast augmentation procedure. Dr. Stephen Hardy educates patients about the incision options that are available, including the areola breast augmentation incision. Contact our Missoula, MT practice today to find out which incision option is right for you.

The Areolar Incision Technique

The areolar incision, also called the periareolar incision, is an approach that allows surgeons to place breast implants through an incision made around the areola, the dark, circular tissue around the nipple. With the areolar incision technique, an incision is made around part of the areola where the darker tissue meets the rest of the breast. Once the incision is made, the implant can be inserted above the chest muscle or under the chest muscle. Placing the incision around the areola reduces the appearance of scarring because the incision is located where the tissue color changes between the areola and the breast.

Recovery after Breast Augmentation using an Areolar Incision

As with any incision used for breast augmentation, the areolar incision will require time for recovery. Patients should expect to feel some pain and discomfort in the initial days after surgery; the breast will feel sore from the manipulation of the chest muscles and breast tissue during surgery. Pain, swelling, bruising, and general discomfort should begin to lessen within three to four days. If pain or swelling becomes more severe, it could be a sign of complication or infection and should be brought to your surgeon's attention immediately. Although a full recovery will take at least six weeks, many patients feel well enough to resume work and normal activities within a week of surgery.

The Benefits of an Areolar Incision

Benefits of the areolar incision include:

  • Greater surgical control: The areolar incision allows greater control when placing the implant during surgery.  
  • Minimal visible scarring: Because the incision is located where the areola meets the breast, scarring from an areolar breast augmentation incision is less visible than other approaches.
  • Breast implants can be placed in any plane: With the areolar incision, breast implants can be placed in any plane, meaning they can be placed fully under the muscle, partially under the muscle, or over the muscle.

The Disadvantages of the Areolar Incision

As with any type of breast augmentation, there are some risks to be aware of when considering an areolar incision. Some things to keep in mind when deciding if an areolar incision is the right approach for your breast augmentation include:

  • Increased risk of infection: Bacteria naturally live within the milk ducts and, because an areolar incision requires the implant to pass through the ducts, these incisions are slightly more vulnerable to bacterial infection.
  • Loss of nipple sensation: Areolar incisions put patients at risk of loss of nipple sensation.

Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Hardy

For more information about breast augmentation, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hardy.

Contact Us

Please use this form to contact us. We will get back to you as soon as possible.