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What Is an Inframammary Incision?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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An inframammary incision sits at the fold where the breast meets the chest, allowing a surgeon to insert a breast implant. When it is placed correctly, this discreet incision should be adequately hidden by bikini tops and bras, especially if the patient cares for it well to keep scarring minimal. Placement can be complex, and working with an experienced surgeon can increase the chances of a positive outcome. It is also important to discuss the potential for future changes in breast size, where the incision might become a problem.

In this approach to breast augmentation, the surgeon’s goal is to hide the incision in the new inframammary fold that will form after the patient’s breasts are enlarged and have time to heal. The surgeon makes an incision at this point to insert the implant, selecting the best location and checking for symmetry before closing the incision. As the patient heals and inflammation settles, the breasts will reposition on the chest, and the inframammary incision should be hard to see beneath the fold of the breast.

If it is not placed properly, it may appear partway up the breast, which can make it more visually obvious. In addition, changes to breast size can cause the inframammary incision to migrate up the breast or down the chest. Patients considering changes in the future may want to discuss this with their surgeons to arrive on the optimal final size and keep this in mind when placing the incision. Surgeons can also use minimal incision techniques to keep it as small as possible, but it still needs to be large enough to allow the implant to pass through.

One advantage to this technique is that the same incision can be used in the future. If the patient experiences a complication, it may be possible to reopen the inframammary incision to address the issue. It can also be used in revision surgeries to change breast shape or size, if necessary.

Patients caring for an inframammary incision may receive a care sheet from the surgeon. Typically they need to gently wash the area and pat it dry to reduce the risk of infection by keeping the site clean and dry. Compression bandages may be recommended to prevent scar formation. Some patients also experience success with vitamin E oil and other products massaged into the skin after the incision closes to limit scarring and keep the skin flexible. It is important to avoid scratching, picking, or straining the incision, as this can increase scarring.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Read more
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