Breast Augmentation: The TUBA Procedure

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At the Bougainvillea
Clinique we educate our patients on the pros and cons of different procedures,
so each individual can decide which option best
fits his or her needs. Over the last few years there has been increasing
interest in the TUBA procedure among breast augmentation
patients – this is the procedure that allows the implant to be placed
through an incision in the umbilicus (belly button). “TUBA” stands for
Trans Umbilical Breast Augmentation.
Until recently, patients choosing the TUBA procedure were only offered subglandular
breast augmentation (under the breast tissue).

At the Bougainvillea Clinique we offer both submuscular and subglandular TUBA procedures depending
on the individual’s desires and their breast and body shape.

Remember- the TUBA is just another place to put the incision and way to access the breast area to place the implant. The decision on where to place the incision should
never compromise the ability to get the best possible shape of the breast and
best possible placement of the implant.

In general, the inframammary (under
the breast) and periareolar (lower part of the areola) incisions still allow
the surgeon the best access to the breast area. We will determine if the breast
shape needs to be changed or improved significantly, and recommend the best
course of action. It may also not be the best choice if the individual desires
large implants. Remember- larger implants require more extensive work to create
the pocket for the implant, so correct positioning becomes much more important.

The next best incision (besides the fold and nipple incisions) for good access
is the axillary (armpit) incision, followed by the TUBA procedure. Both of
these procedures require the use and availability of an endoscope (surgical
telescope) so the surgeon can visually check the pocket he is creating. Some
surgeons do the TUBA and the axillary approaches without the availability of
an endoscope, which obviously limits the ability to see exactly what has been
done within the pocket. Other surgeons claim that the TUBA procedure is scarless
– this is obviously untrue. The incision and scar are simply now in the belly
button area. For some this is an advantage, for others it may not be their
preferred choice.

We think the TUBA procedure is best suited for individuals
who have good shape and symmetry to start with, and who are requesting a small
to moderate enlargement. The TUBA procedure may be a bad choice for someone
with significant uneven size and shape of the breasts, poor shape to start
with, or someone who wants a large augmentation.

Remember- if there are problems
with the augmentation, there is a strong likelihood that an additional inframammary
or periareolar incision will be required to fix the problem. This is a potential
disadvantage of the TUBA and to a lesser extent the Transaxillary procedure.

As with all the choices regarding breast augmentation, we always recommend you understand the pros and cons of every option. Your surgeon should be able to provide these options, even though as a well-trained surgeon he may make strong recommendations as to what he thinks is the best option for you. Avoid gimmicks, be careful of choosing a procedure just because it is new. This same philosophy applies when considering round or anatomical implants.

The vast majority of breast augmentation scars heal well with very few complaints from patients in our experience. Similarly every area has the potential for a noticeable scar – yes even the axillary and TUBA procedures can have a noticeable scar occasionally.

Advantages of the TUBA:

• Scar in the belly button area(A disadvantage for some)

Disadvantages of the TUBA

• Scar in the belly button area(An advantage for some)
• Will likely require a second incision in the unlikely situation that significant bleeding occur