How does this procedure leave no scars on the breasts?
Dr. Bartell inserts saline breast implants through tiny incisions in the armpits. This is known as a Transaxillary Incision. The scars vanish within six months.
Since I place the incision in a small skin crease in the arm-pit, often I myself cannot find the scar 6 to 8 months after surgery, and if I can’t find my own scar, certainly no one else will see it either. – Dr. Bartell
Operating and recovery time are the same as for other techniques. But the results … well, look for yourself at our breast augmentation before and after gallery. Then schedule a consultation with Dr. Bartell, a board-certified plastic surgeon, to find out if breast augmentation is right for you.
I have been performing breast augmentations using an incision in the arm-pit (Trans-Axillary Breast Augmentation, or TABA) for almost 30 years. During that time I have performed thousands of these procedures, and it is my preferred approach. I am more experienced in this technique than any other surgeon in this area. – Dr. Bartell
Real Patient Stories
Options for Implants
Dr. Thomas Bartell offers saline implants due to the safety (silent ruptures!) and the flexibility of filling up the implants based on the anatomy and size of the patient as 90% of women have different sized breasts. The saline implant feel is very natural as it’s placed under the chest muscle. What is felt on the outside is YOU, not the implant! Patients will also notice a comfortable, natural projection.
Saline vs Silicon Benefit According to Dr. Bartell
“Another benefit to saline vs. silicone implants is my ability to adjust the fill volume of each implant which accounts for the natural asymmetry of the female chest. In 50% of all breast augmentation procedures, the fill volume is not equal. With silicone, the surgeon is unable to adjust the fill volume.” –Dr. Bartell
What is a silent rupture?
Ruptures of silicone gel implants are silent – looking in the mirror does not tell you if your implants are intact or ruptured. FDA recommends a MRI scan every two years for detection. But with saline implants, you know your implants are intact by simply glancing in the mirror. Rupture is easily detected and the saline is safely absorbed by the body.
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Best Candidates for Breast Augmentation Surgery
The best candidates for breast enlargement are of relatively normal weight and healthy. They also have realistic expectations. While breast augmentation can enhance your appearance and boost your self-confidence, you may not be able to achieve your ideal image. If you do not want any scaring on the chest at all, you will have your heart’s desire with the transaxillary incision (through the armpit).
The best way to know if breast augmentation surgery is right for you is to schedule a consultation. Dr. Bartell will discuss your needs and options, explain the procedure in more detail, and share breast augmentation before and after pictures from his practice. He can also provide a firm quote of breast augmentation cost.
If you are interested in a breast augmentation, there are a few plastic surgeons in the Madison area that can accommodate you. But if you want a great outcome with no scars on the chest, you had better make sure to insist on a transaxillary breast augmentation, and there is no plastic surgeon in this area with more experience with the TABA than myself.
Planning for Your Breast Augmentation Surgery
At your consultation, Dr. Bartell will listen to your concerns, describe the breast implant procedure, and show you numerous breast augmentation before and after photos of previous patients. You will receive a quote for the breast augmentation procedure, which includes all associated fees. Information on financing is also available.
If you decide to have breast enlargement surgery, Dr. Bartell will meet with you to perform a history and physical examination. Be sure to inform Dr. Bartell if you:
- Have allergies
- Take any medications (prescription or over-the-counter)
Dr. Bartell will give you prescriptions for any medications you may need before and after the surgery. You will receive a printed set of pre- and postoperative instructions. These will prepare you for what you should do before surgery, what to have on hand at home afterward, and what to do on the day of your surgery. Dr. Bartell will review these instructions with you, but it’s important to read these instructions carefully on your own and keep them accessible for easy reference.
The Breast Augmentation Surgery
Breast augmentation surgery is performed using a general anesthetic, so you’ll sleep through the entire operation. Dr. Bartell inserts the breast implants through small incisions made in each armpit. The implants are placed behind the chest wall (pectoral) muscle and centered beneath the nipples.
The entire operation takes about 45 minutes. You’ll wake up in the recovery room with a small elastic band across your breasts. You will need to arrange a ride home from the surgery center. Make sure you have someone stay with you for at least 24 hours after surgery.
Dr. Bartell performs breast augmentation surgeries at his Madison office. Take a tour of Dr. Bartell’s fully accredited, private surgery suite on Madison’s westside and meet his topnotch surgical support team.
After Breast Augmentation Surgery
- You should wear the elastic band for three weeks following surgery to prevent shifting of the breast implants.
- You will probably feel sore for a few days, but you’ll be up and around in 24 to 48 hours.
- Most patients can be back at deskwork within four or five days.
- Any discomfort can be controlled by medication prescribed by Dr. Bartell.
- Within six months, the small scars in your armpits should vanish completely. You will have no scars on or around your breasts.
- Almost all patients are extremely pleased with their decision to undergo breast augmentation surgery. Your decision is a highly personal one that not everyone will understand. The important thing is how you feel about it. If the results meet your goals, then your surgery is truly a success.
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Potential Risks of Breast Augmentation
Nearly 300,000 breast augmentation surgeries are performed in the U.S. every year. Modern techniques are very safe and usually result in a happy patient.
Although complications are rare, you should know the potential risks before surgery:
- Capsular contracture: The body naturally places a scar around a foreign body, such as a breast implant. This scar, called a capsule, typically remains soft and insignificant. However, in a minority of women, the capsule can tighten, squeezing the soft implant and causing the breast to feel harder. It is impossible to predict who may experience this complication: If it does occur, further surgery may be needed.
- Bleeding or infection: A small risk with all surgeries, but extremely unlikely with breast augmentation.
- Altered nipple sensation: Some women report altered sensation in one or both nipples following surgery (over-or under-sensitive). These symptoms are usually temporary, but may persist in some patients.
- Implant breakage or leakage: There is a very small chance that an implant may break or leak. If this happens, the implant deflates and the body simply absorbs the saline. Implant manufacturers guarantee their products for the patient’s lifetime and will provide a free implant and pay for replacement surgery if deflation occurs within the first five years.
- Additional mammography images: Breast implants do not make a woman more susceptible to breast cancer, but they may alter the way mammography is performed. Usually, additional views are required to ensure that the implant doesn’t obscure part of the breast tissue.
- Breast asymmetry: Very rare complication of size and/or shape differences.
- Implant shifting: While this rarely happens, it can occur in the first few days following surgery.
- Unexpected size result.
Please feel free to talk with Dr. Bartell about any concerns. One of the best ways to decrease your risk is to choose a surgeon who is highly experienced in performing breast augmentations and is a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Bartell.