Asian Breast Augmentation - Armpit Transaxillary Incisions Melbourne
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Asian Breast Augmentation - Armpit Incision 

Armpit Breast Implant Incisions – Transaxillary Incisions for Breast Enlargement: the armpit incision breast implant insertion method

Asian Breast Implant Surgery – Armpit Breast Incisions for Asian Breast Augmentation

When it comes to Asian women and others with more pigmentation in their skin, some women find their skin types are prone to scar a bit more readily than others. This may lead them to consider the armpit breast implant surgery procedure, otherwise known as an “Asian Breast Implant” approach to breast enlargement surgery, e.g., insertion of a breast implant through an armpit incision (the transaxillary incision method).   So if you have skin that has higher levels of pigment, or are concerned about scarring including potential Keloid Scarring, perhaps armpit breast implant insertion can be a good option for minimising scarring risks in the breast area.  It can only be performed, however, on primary breast augmentation surgeries.

Scar tendencies for breast enlargement surgeries, or any cosmetic surgery procedure, may partially relate to a patient’s levels of melanin (pigmentation) in their skin. Melanin or pigmentation (essentially the tone or colour of a person’s skin type) is often higher (richer and slightly darker in tone) in people who have Asian heritage.

Anyone with higher melanin or pigmentation in their skin may be prone to Keloid scarring, no matter what their heritage.  This includes people from the Pacific Islands, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, India and Fiji.

Am I a Good Candidate for Asain Breast Surgery?

Are you unhappy with the size, position or weight of your breasts (they are large, heavy in weight, saggy – or all three).?

Clothing, swimsuits, gym gear and well-fitted bras are nearly impossible to find due to the size of your upper body/breast area.

Your breasts cause physical discomfort, neck or back pain and chronic skin irritations as well as bra strap indentations.

Breasts aren’t symmetric in size.

Your breasts cause you self-consciousness or make you look heavier than you really are (they disguise your rib cage and waist due to where they sit).

As well as being unhappy with the size, position or weight of your breasts, you are concerned about the positioning of your nipples and would like them to sit at a more central location on your chest.

What are the Benefits of an Asain Breast Implant Procedure?

Reduce back, neck and shoulder pain

Improve the position, shape and appearance of the breast mound and areola nipple complex

Reduce breast volume (weight and size)

Reshape and reposition the breasts and nipples

In addition to a more attractive shape and position, the back and neck strain that you previously experienced will go. The breast tissue that is removed is sent off for examination. Your risk of Breast Cancer is lowered as you now have less breast tissue with the potential for cancerous change.

Download Our Breast Augmentation Guide

Breast Augmentation Guide Download


For Asian patients who are wanting Breast Enlargement or Breast Implant Surgery, the armpit breast implant incision method is a popular alternative for inserting the implants.

Many breast implant placement strategies involve incisions in the front of the chest area, along the inframmary fold or “IMF.”  

Although the transaxillary approach (armpit breast implant incisions) can only be used for suitable candidates AND for the primary (first) breast implant surgery they embark upon, it may be a good option for women who you want to minimise the risk of breast augmentation scars or who are more comfortable with scars under the arms than in other areas of the body.

Armpit incisions cannot be used, however, for Breast Enlargement Revisional surgery (Revisional Breast Implant Surgery) nor for removal and replacement of implants procedures.


Asian Breast Enlargement:  Areas for Breast Implant Incisions

Types of incisions including transaxillary for breast surgery breast enlargement surgeon; breast implants

Armpit Breast Implants or Inframmary Fold Incisions are two potential choices for inserting breast implants from Motiva or Mentor.

Armpit breast implant incision methods are known as the Transaxillary Breast Enlargement Approach (“Armpit Breast Implant Incision for Breast Augmentation).

This transaxillary or “armpit” incision method for breast implants involves your Specialist Plastic Surgeon (Dr Geoff Barnett of Melbourne) making incisions along the armpit area, instead of under your breast fold (or inframammary crease) area. THis can help some patients reduce visible scarring and provide an alternative incision option for individuals who may be prone to keloid scar formations.

Transaxillary Implants for People with Skin Types above III on The Fitzpatrick Scale of Skin Phototypes

People with more melanin and pigmentation in their skin are prone to hyperpigmentation development as well as keloid scarring more so than others (but ANYONE can get keloid scars or hyper-pigmentation, especially after excess sun exposure or bad sunburns or hormone changes such as occur during pregnancy or from taking hormone-related medications).

skin types transaxillary incisions breast implants scars

The Transaxillary Incision and breast implant insertion method can be a preferred surgical option for placing breast implants into patients of Asian heritage or other heritage where higher levels of skin pigmentation create more noticeable post-op scarring.

asian breast surgery

Scars after breast augmentation.

Some skin types scar readily.

Everyone heals uniquely from surgery, but everyone scars. Scars are part of your body’s healing processes and indicate new skin forming at the site of the incision line. If you smoke, your healing is going to be compromised, so be sure you are a dedicated NON-smoker before you schedule surgery and that you do not speak after your surgery or you will put yourself at risk of very poor healing and other complications.

Incision line scars beneath the breast or in the armpit (Primary breast surgery only)


Most incisions – and hence post-surgical scars -can be hidden strategically located below the breast (in the inframammary crease) or – for some patients – in the armpit area (known as a Transaxillary Incision) by a Plastic Surgeon. Scars are simply your body’s natural healing process after surgery.

Scars develop to protect and heal the incision area and underlying tissues.  In other words, you cannot heal from any skin-penetrating injury or surgical incision without a scar. However, surgical incision line scars can be minimised by your Plastic Surgeon and Cosmetic Surgery Care Team in a number of different ways.

Scar minimisation methods for Breast Augmentation with Implants include:

  • undergoing Fraxel Restore treatments (quick and effective for many patients)
  • Disguising the scar by placing it in an area typically covered by clothing
  • Creating ‘skinny’ scars
  • Using medical-grade silicone gel strips (such as Mepiform or Strataderm products or silicone strips)
  • Placing a breast implant scar in the armpit area instead of beneath the breast tissues.

Everyone heals differently from surgery and everyone will have different scars. Many scars can be effectively hidden in the breast crease or underarm area (transaxillary or armpit area) but the transaxillary armpit incision method for implant placement (armpit breast implant incisions) are for primary breast augmentation surgery only.


Whilst everyone will scar after an incision, the difference in your healing and scar formations will impact how much your scar(s) will show afterwards on your skin.  And what YOU do matters after your surgery.  You can help the incision line heal properly if you follow your surgeon’s specific instructions and if you do not smoke.

These include skin types with higher melanin concentrations (darker skin pigmentation) such as frequently seen in individuals from Middle Eastern, Southern Mediterranean, Pacific Islands and Asian-Pacific regions.

Breast Augmentation through an Incision in the Armpit

The Armpit Breast Implant Insertion Method

An ARMPIT INCISION (Transaxillary incision) is used by Dr Geoff Barnett for some skin types, in order to help minimise visible scars.

For skin types with higher pigmentation and a propensity to scar more readily – including a tendency towards keloid scars (raised scars) – different approaches to breast augmentation surgery can be quite helpful.

The gold standard approach for some darker skin types for Breast Enlargement Surgery with implants is to use a Transaxillary incision.  To use the Transaxillary Incision approach means that an incision – and implant entry point – will be created in your under-arm (or armpit) area.

Quality brand breast implants – such as Mentor or Motiva implants – can be placed over the muscle, partially underneath the muscle, or completely behind the muscle/fascia with this type of incision.

Transaxillary Incisions Augmentation is popular among Asian Breast Implant Patients

There are both benefits and deterrents for using the Transaxillary breast implant approach.

Additionally, it is considered a more-complex augmentation surgery requiring the great finesse of a Plastic Surgeon with great experience in this procedure.

Dr Barnett uses a Transaxillary Incision approach for primary breast augmentation on suitable candidates, to help minimise surgical scars from breast enlargement surgery.

breast surgery for asian patients

Why haven’t you heard much about the Armpit Incision approach to Breast Implants?

The transaxillary incision approach to breast augmentation is not as well known as the infra-mammary incision approach. It is certainly also not nearly as widely used, and only a very small percentage of implants are inserted through an armpit incision.

However, the trans-axillary incision insertion of implants can get great results in terms of scar minimisation for breast augmentation patients of Asian, African, Pacific Island, Maori, Philippines, Malaysian, Thailand and Indian heritage as well as other higher-pigmentation skin types.

The Transaxillary Incision Surgery Approach to Breast Surgery: A Great Alternative for Skin Prone to Raised Scars

incisions for implants, breast implant scars

Inserting breast implants through a transaxillary incision (armpit incision) is much more difficult and technically demanding than most other implant methods.  The armpit incision approach requires more technical skill than a standard infra-mammary approach. That’s why it is important to choose a Plastic Surgeon with extensive experience.

This is usually the reason that many Surgeons believe it is difficult (or nearly impossible) to get a great result from using the transaxillary insertion method.

But a highly skilled Plastic Surgeon can perform the Transaxillary Incision and Breast Implant Insertion in a successful way for Asian patients and others concerned with scarring.   This can help reduce the appearance of visible scars around the breasts and chest area.

It’s important, however, that the entry dissection through the armpit be done carefully and with high-precision planning.

That’s because the lymphatics that drain the breast area are near to the incision or implant-entry point.

The Transaxillary Incision for Breast Implants (Armpit Breast Implant Insertion and Placement)

A transaxillary incision is made in the armpit, placed along a natural fold of skin that is present in that area.

Once the armpit incision has been made, a channel to the breast is then created, and “pockets” (areas to hold your selected implants) are then made behind your breasts.

Saline or Silicone implants and Armpit Incision Approaches to Breast Augmentation

Both saline and silicone implants can be used in this surgical method for breast enlargement. Some Plastic Surgeons prefer saline implants for this approach, primarily as they are not pre-filled (whereas silicone implants are pre-filled with gel).   Silicone implants are shown below.

Saline implants, in contrast to pre-filled silicone gel implants,  can be filled after placement in the breast pocket.


With saline breast implants, the implant shells can be inserted – and the implants filled – after they are put into place in the created breast ‘pocket.’

This means the incision can remain somewhat smaller in size than might otherwise be needed.

That noted saline implants can sometimes end up becoming deflated.

If your saline implant deflates, you’ll tend to know right away (especially if it occurs only on one side or in one implant, as they will suddenly look mismatched in size).

This usually requires additional surgery where your implant revision surgery incisions will need to be made in ‘under-breast’ skin crease area – because the armpit incision and insertion route for breast augmentation surgery can only be performed on the FIRST breast surgery or first primary implant surgery procedure.

Why do some people prefer Transaxillary Incisions?

Scar minimisation in the breast or chest area is the main reason patients request transaxillary incisions for their breast augmentation surgery.

With incisions under the armpit area, your breast enlargement procedure or scars may be less noticeable to others.

This insertion method can also potentially result in fewer interruptions to the mammary glands than, for example, inframmary or periareolar incisions for implant placement  This could have some benefits for later breastfeeding if you plan to have children at a later stage in life.  However, many women who have had inframmary or periareolar incisions for their breast implants – when performed by a skilled Plastic Surgeon – have been able to breastfeed afterwards. And even women who never had breast implants may find it impossible to breastfeed, so this is a consideration but not the only one you’ll need to consider when it comes to choosing your implant incision preferences.

Transaxillary Incisions can only be used ONCE for a Breast Augmentation surgery – your primary procedure but not for corrective procedures or removal and replacement.

best transaxillary incisions for asian skin; plastic surgeon Geoff Barnett

The transaxillary incision location can only be used once. Some patients feel this is its primary drawback.

If Revisional Breast Surgery, future implant removal or eventual removal and replacement is needed down the line, you will incur new scars.

For Revisions and breast implant removal or replacements, your scars will typically be in the inframammary area or periareolar area.

Other common medical descriptions for this Transaxillary Incision Breast Implant surgery procedure include:

  • transaxillary breast augmentation
  • armpit breast augmentation

Transaxillary breast augmentation can be performed with or without an endoscope – and there are advantages to both.

The main drawbacks of the procedure are that it can be more difficult to achieve the best placement of the breast implant because the Plastic Surgeon is (a) operating further away from the incision and from the breast area and (b) having to create a surgical channel to move the implant into its position, without overly disturbing other tissues.

Risks of Breast Implants for Augmentation Surgery (Breast Enlargement) when you choose the Armpit Incision Method

replacing your implantsAll surgery has risks, and patient results can vary significantly from patient to patient.  Hence, surgery should never be taken lightly and you want to be aware of risks before you consent to surgery. These risks are typically detailed during a confidential consultation and you will be given additional information on how to best prepare for surgery and post-op healing.

In addition to the surgical challenges involved in getting an excellent breast augmentation results using an armpit incision method for breast implants, there are some added risks to this procedure compared to other incision choices.

  • These risks may include a slightly higher potential for bacterial infections, potential for injury to the lymphatic system near the breasts, or nerve damage that can lead to numbness in one or both arms or hands.
  • Achieving breast symmetry – even breasts and nipple locations –  can also be a greater challenge with this procedure.
  • If you have very noticeable asymmetry (uneven breasts) including breast sizes or shapes – with one side looking very different to the other side – then you might be better off having breast augmentation performed using a different incision method for your implants.
  • Additionally, if a complication occurs during your primary breast augmentation surgery, and you need to have revision surgery, you could end up with multiple incisions (some under your armpit, some under your breast) – where if you start with surgery using an inframammary insertion point, the incisions for Revision surgery can typically be placed in the same place again for the revision.

Interested to learn more about Breast Augmentation in Melbourne?


Not all patients are suitable for the armpit incision approach to breast enlargement surgery. The best way to know if you’re suitable for the Transaxillary Incision approach (armpit breast augmentation) is to meet with Dr Barnett or to speak with his Patient Care Advisors.

Send an enquiry form today to schedule a confidential consultation with Dr Geoff Barnett, a caring and easy-to-speak with Surgeon who will go over all the pros and cons of different surgical techniques for breast enlargement.  He is a highly skilled Plastic Surgeon with over 20 years of experience so you can relax knowing you’re choosing a very skilled Surgeon who has specialised in these procedures.

You can also phone a Patient Coordinator on (03) 8849 1444 for further information.


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