What is Transumbilical Breast Augmentation?
What surgeons refer to as TUBA, and the layperson might call “belly button breast augmentation,” is an effective method for breast implant placement. In the right patients, this method can produce aesthetically pleasing results with scars that are literally invisible.
To describe the TUBA procedure briefly, the surgeon makes an incision in the navel, creates a tunnel through the subcutaneous tissue of the abdomen to the breasts, and then places the implant above or below the pectoral muscle. The implants are placed symmetrically below the nipple. To provide a view of the patient’s underlying tissues, a tiny fiber optic camera called an endoscope is utilized.
Certain practitioners have criticized the transumbilical method for its inherently “remote” technique, which doesn’t allow the surgeon direct access to the breasts. Although this objection seems reasonable, the results achieved with this procedure say otherwise. If the patient is safe, satisfied, and the aesthetic results are comparable (or superior) to other breast implant placement methods, the objection doesn’t hold any weight.
Jacob Haiavy MD and William A. Brennan MD published a study in 2007 that analyzed 245 patients of transumbilical breast augmentation, and found that the rate of complications was comparable to other breast implant placement methods. Furthermore, 1 year after transumbilical breast augmentation, 95 percent of the patients were satisfied with the surgery and 86 percent were satisfied with the implant size chosen.
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