Trans-Umbilical Breast Implants
Trans-umbilical breast implants, otherwise known as TUBA implants, is a procedure where the surgeon makes a small J-shaped or C-shaped incision in the rim of the belly button. During the surgery, an endoscope is placed through the incision and used for guidance. Two tunnels are made by cutting through the subcutaneous fat just below the skin. The tunnels go all the way up to the breasts using the endoscope. The surgeon creates a pocket for the implant that can be made submuscular (behind the muscle) or subglandular (in front of the muscle but behind the breast tissue). The implant is then rolled up, pushed through the tunnel and placed into the pockets. Prior to closing the incision, the surgeon will fill the implant with saline using a tube sent through the same tunnel.
Trans-umbilical breast implants provide the patient with an undetectable scar located inside the belly button. Moreover, there are no breast augmentation scars with this technique since the pockets are created under the skin. Since there are no incisions on or around the breast, the risk of losing sensation from nerve damage is avoided. With the TUBA technique, there is a lower risk of infection. The surgery is shorter than other methods of breast augmentation and the recovery period is also shorter.
The TUBA technique is less common than having implants placed in the armpit, the areola or in the natural crease beneath the breast. Patients aren’t able to choose between silicone gel and saline since the implant must be rolled up and filled with saline after placement. Since the TUBA incision is made in a region far from where the breast implants will be placed, there is a greater margin for error on the part of the surgeon. Although the tissue along the tunneled areas usually heal by adhering to the body; there are times the tissues do not adhere properly and tunnel tracks are noticeable. This technique is considered a blind procedure since the surgeon must rely heavily on the endoscope. Asymmetry, or uneven breasts, is a common issue with Trans-umbilical breast implants. Therefore, many women choose one of the other methods for breast augmentation. Finding a board-certified plastic surgeon adequately skilled in performing Trans-umbilical breast implants can help alleviate many risks.