By: Dr. Chase Derrick


Have you been thinking about getting a breast augmentation, a surgery to enhance one’s chest? Let’s talk about the different types of breast augmentation surgery, so you understand what those fancy plastic surgeons are talking about!

Let’s talk about the route of implantation for the breast implants. There are different access points–the armpit, underneath the breast fold, through the belly button, or through an incision around the areola. Which route is best? It really depends on the patient. I tend to favor the inframammary fold incision, or right where the breast connects to the chest wall underneath the breast. I find it allows for a natural look and a small, minimal scar. I have the most control over placing the implant exactly where I want it for natural, beautiful results. The scar can only be seen in intimate moments, and not when in a bikini or bra.

The armpit or axillary incision can sound enticing, but the scar is visible when you lift your arms while wearing a tank top for example. Medical research has also demonstrated that it is more difficult to obtain exact results due to less control over implant placement (the closer the incision to placement the easier the placement). Also, I tend to dislike the axillary incision due to the heat in Texas–we sweat a lot here and an incision on an area that is prone to a lot of sweat is not the best for healing.

Next, there is the belly button, or transumbilical. This is not a widely used method since once again, it's too far away from the desired location. Typically, the implant is placed and then inflated to the desired size. Remember, the closer the surgeon is to the incision the better control he/she will have over the end result.

Finally, there is the periareolar, or around the areola/nipple. The surgeon makes the incision around the darker area around the nipple, the areola. This technique can be useful when a patient is already undergoing a breast lift, or mastopexy since there is an incision site being made there already. This area does have a great risk of infection since there is more bacteria around the areola and nipple than in the breast fold. Also, this scar can be more visible when not wearing undergarments. It is not as hidden as in the breast fold.

I bet you know which technique I use most often in my practice as well as what the medical literature supports–the inframammary fold, or underneath the breast. It is a small incision and is typically less than two inches. This route has the lowest rate of complications (problems after surgery). Another bonus is if there are complications from surgery, there is already a direct access point and eliminates another scar placement. Patients LOVE their breast augmentation results through this method in my practice.

–Dr. D

Dr. Chase Derrick sees patients in the DFW area including Dallas, Plano, Frisco, and Richardson. He also has an office in Sherman, serving the Texoma region. Dr. Chase Derrick is Board-Certified through the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the Aesthetic Society of Plastic Surgeons.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.