through the navel
(Trans-umbilical breast augmentation)
This page gives detailed information about
insertion of breast implants
via a tiny incision in the navel.
Richard V. Dowden, M.D., C.M., F.A.C.S.
Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery
Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery, Inc.
6770 Mayfield Road, Suite 410
Cleveland, Ohio 44124
Breast Augmentation (Enlargement) through the navel
Breast augmentation, technically known as augmentation mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure to enhance the size and shape of a woman's breast for a number of reasons:
- To balance a difference in breast size
- To correct a reduction in breast volume after pregnancy or weight loss.
- To enhance the body contour of a woman who feels her breast size is too small.
- To enlarge and help lift a breast that is excessively relaxed.
By inserting a salt-water-filled implant or silicone-gel filled implant behind the woman's own breast tissue, it is possible to increase the apparent size of the breast. In general, the implant can be placed either in front of or behind the chest wall muscles, but either way, it is behind the breast tissue. The implant being located behind the woman's own breast tissue means that she can still nurse an infant, she can self-examine to check for lumps, and she can have mammograms done.
Many women are choosing to have the implants inserted through a small incision inside the navel, the so-called belly-button technique. With this method, there is less time under anesthesia, less discomfort, less chance of losing the sense of touch in the nipple, and of course no scars around the breast. A very small incision is made inside the rim of the navel; and then using an endoscope, the salt-water (saline) implant is inserted through a narrow tunnel just under the skin, into the loose tissue behind the breast. The result of this type of enlargement looks the same as after the older methods, but without the tell-tale scar on the breast. Because the implant is not touched by any instruments during insertion, the manufacturer's lifetime replacement warranty applies. This through-the-navel technique has been done since 1991; it requires special equipment and training to perform. In 1992, Cleveland Transumbilical Augmentation Surgeon Dr Dowden was the first in Ohio to be trained in this technique, and since that time has performed more than 1,400 transumbilical augmentations. Not all women are suitable candidates for this through-the-navel method, but most are. At the present time there is no method for inserting the silicone-filled implants via the navel.
Every procedure has positive aspects and negative aspects. There are advantages and disadvantages of breast enlargement, which must be considered when deciding whether the procedure is correct for the woman. In addition, patients should be aware that every operation has potential complications, which can occur in a small percentage of patients even in the best of hands.
The advantages of breast enlargement in general are:
The advantages specific to doing the breast enlargement through the navel are:
- a breast that never developed sufficiently can be increased.
- a breast that lost volume with pregnancy can be restored.
- there can be considerable lifting of the relaxed breast.
- the woman is able to wear the clothing she desires.
- relief from having to focus on her small breast size several times a day.
- often an increase in self-assurance, or a regaining of self-confidence.
- less time under anesthesia than with the other incisions.
- generally a faster recovery than with the other incisions.
- very large implants can be used because there is no breast incision that could pull open from breast skin tension.
- no tell-tale scar on the breast, only a tiny one inside the navel.
Further, there are additional advantages specific to doing the breast enlargement in front of the muscle through the navel:
The disadvantages of breast enlargement in general are:
- less postoperative pain than with any other method.
- the recovery is more rapid than with any other method.
- there is no cutting in, on, or behind the breast.
- the chance of any complications is even lower than with other methods.
- there is a greater likelihood of keeping nipple sensitivity.
The disadvantages specific to doing the breast enlargement through the navel are:
- there will be a scar someplace.
- that mammograms must be done using special techniques.
- a possibility of needing operation for firmness due to internal scar tissue hardening.
- the certainty that the implants will fail at some point in the future.
- a possibility of nipple numbness.
- can only use saline-filled implants, not silicone-gel-filled, via the navel.
- if the breasts have an actual pre-existing deformity, that may not be easy to correct completely via the navel.
Before & After Small Photos:
Images Copyright © R.V.Dowden, MD, 1993.
To view a large number of before-and-after photos click here: Proceed to breast augmentation photos.
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If you are interested in breast enlargement through the navel and want to find a board-certified Plastic Surgeon in your area who is qualified to do it, call the referral service of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons at (800)-635-0635, or check:
http://www.plasticsurgery.org. If you have been given a surgeon's name by a friend or acquaintance, you can check to see if he/she is actually certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery: The American Board of Medical Specialies maintains a complete listing of ALL the legitimate Boards in the USA, and by inputting the name at the ABMS website you will be informed by what Board, if any, the surgeon is certified.
Images Copyright © R.V. Dowden, MD, 1993.
This page Copyright © R.V. Dowden, MD, 1995,1996,1997,1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002.
This information may not be reproduced or distributed electronically or in print without permission from Dr. Dowden.
Note that while the information given by Dr. Dowden during a consultation is completely current and up-to-date, the information of this website is only as current as the date of last update, and therefore may become out-of-date.
Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery
6770 Mayfield Road, Suite 410
(Mayfield Heights) Cleveland, Ohio 44124
Note: To ensure privacy for our patients, all of our outgoing phone lines have their caller ID permanently blocked; if your phone does not accept blocked ID calls you will not be able to receive any calls back from our office.
Last Update: 7:12 AM on 08/15/2013
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