TUBA: Transumbilical Breast Augmentation (Bellybutton, Band-Aid surgery).
Written by Jed H. Horowitz, M.D., F.A.C.S.
and Larry S. Nichter, M.D., F.A.C.S., Nov 20, 2003
The TUBA is a relatively new method for breast augmentation started by Dr. Gerald Johnson in 1991. Since then only a limited number of board certified plastic surgeons have trained and performed this most desirable operation. We are pleased to be able to provide this breast augmentation option to our patients. Information regarding general concepts of breast augmentation is available in our office or on our web site: http:\www.pacificcenterforplasticsurgery.com.
Follow the links under breast augmentation and go to the sites and go to the examples of patients under patient photos.
This handout is written to provide specific information for this particular technique that is unique to the TUBA operation as compared to the other methods of breast augmentation.
The TUBA operation can be performed through the bellybutton either in patients who have had previous laparoscopic surgery or exam through the bellybutton, C-sections, or most other abdominal procedures.
Patient’s who have had previous breast operations or breast augmentations through inframammary, periareolar, or transaxillary incisions may be candidates for revisions through the bellybutton. Although any incision and resultant scar can alter the appearance of the existing tissues, those that are generally hidden such as inside the bellybutton, are less obvious than those in more visible areas.
Women who are contemplating pregnancy and breast-feeding should be aware that not all mothers can nurse after each pregnancy. However, statistically incisions through the periareolar approach were those that go through the breast tissue, statistically have a higher rate of difficulty in breast-feeding after breast augmentation when compared to techniques such as the TUBA, transaxillary or inframammary. The single most important prevention of breast sagging is wearing a proper bra that adequately supports the breast tissue. The effects of gravity are cumulative, which means that if you go bra-less only one day a week this adds up to 52 days a year, that will be equivalent of almost 2 months. If you do not wear a properly supportive bra or you go bra-less during pregnancy you compound the effects of gravity. Following breast augmentation your breast will be significantly heavier by the weight of the implants, which will put further stress on the breast skin. It is even more important to wear a bra with adequate support following your breast surgery. You will be making a personal investment of money, time, and healing of your new breasts and this investment should be taken seriously and protected through the use of appropriate support bras.
Following surgery less than 10% of the patient’s will accumulate fluid in the tunnels that extend from bellybutton to the breasts. When this occurs, the fluid can be removed under sterile condition with a small syringe. These fluid filled tunnels may appear as big swollen tracts extending in the area noted. They will disappear as soon as the fluid is removed. In very thin patients with very little fat, this may be a more common occurrence. When these occur this condition will generally last not more than 3-6 months.
Because very few board certified plastic surgeons perform this operation, it is not unusual for those doctors to present many concerns and potential problems regarding this procedure. Most of these doctors have never seen nor performed this operation. If you require another opinion regarding this operation it is important that you obtain this opinion from a doctor who has either personally observed, participated in, or performed this operation.
If you have further questions regarding this pro