Pacific Lipo of San Diego offers a Bellybutton Breast Augmentation, also commonly referred to as a Transumbilical Breast Augmentation or “T.U.B.A.”. This technique increases the breast size by implanting breast implants through the umbilicus, or belly button. This surgery is faster, more accurate, less painful, less invasive, and faster healing than other breast augmentation techniques and leaves no visible scars near the breast. This surgery is a safer and more predictable method that your surgeon has performed successfully thousands of times.
Transumbilical Breast Augmentation is an effective procedure offering patients breast augmentation with less downtime and less post-operative care than other approaches. If you want larger breasts, need breast reconstruction, do not want or need a breast lift, and are in good physical condition (no active diseases, disorders, or psychological/mood disorders) with good skin elasticity, then T.U.B.A. could be the procedure for you.
How Transumbilical Breast Augmentation Surgery is Performed
Trans Umbilical Breast Augmentation recovery: What to Expect
T.U.B.A. is often performed in less than an hour, usually in approximately 20 to 30 minutes, and can be done under local anesthesia with IV sedation, where the patient doesn’t need to go to sleep completely.
Patients choose the size of their implants in consultation with the surgeon and with attention to the patient’s body frame, size, and surgical goals. Just before your surgery, you will speak with the Doctor again to confirm breast size and get marked for surgery. You will then be taken to the operating room. These markings will indicate where the tunnels will be made from the belly button to the breast.
After you have been sedated, prepped, and stabilized, your surgeon will perform the injections of a local anesthetic around and in the belly button and all-around your breast area, so as to minimize post-operative pain, and to avoid unnecessary bleeding during the procedure.
Your surgeon will then make an incision on the upper margin of your navel and begin local dissection of the tissues around the belly button. It is very important to do this properly, to avoid any scarring on the abdomen, and where less experienced surgeons fail.
Your surgeon will then insert a blunt tunneling device that will make the tunnels from the belly button incision to the breasts. No cutting is used to separate the fatty tissues from the belly button entry point to the breasts. Your surgeon may prefer to place almost all breast implants below the muscle because this placement creates a more natural slope of the upper poles of the breast is achieved, there is less chance of hardening of the breasts (encapsulation), and there is less breast sagging in the future.
After the tunnels and pockets beneath the chest muscle have been created, a balloon-expander with a tube is placed into the new space and inflated. The balloon expander creates pressure that reduces bleeding. It is inflated quite tightly so that the bleeding ends of the vessels inside are closed using a pressure effect. Over-expanding the balloon-expander also allows for freer, easier, and more natural implant movement.
After the balloon-expander is removed, the space created is checked for any possible bleeding. The pocket is thoroughly irrigated using a sterile saline (saltwater) antibiotic solution. This is also thought to lower the risk of breast hardening, or encapsulation by reducing the likelihood of subclinical infections. At this stage, the implants are carefully placed in the space created, with care being taken that they are not upside down, and using a “No-Touch” technique. This means that the implant and patient are wetted with the antibiotic saline solution so that there is always a layer of liquid in-between the surgeon’s hands, the patient, and the implant. The implants are then carefully filled with sterile saline to the desired size.
Your surgeon will then place the patient in a sitting position to check that both sides are as close to the same size as possible. If needed, more saline is pumped into the implants to make both sides more equal. If the amount of saline is correct, the fill tubes are removed by a gentle, but firm tug on the fill tubes and the implanted valve is then self-sealed.
After the procedure is finished, the breasts are wrapped with a light elastic bandage to minimize swelling. The bandage is covered with a sports bra, an elastic band is wrapped above the breasts, and a small dressing is placed over the belly button. You will then be awake and your family or friends will be allowed to visit you.
When you wake up, you will most likely smile. Most of our patients ask: “Are we done yet?” You should not experience any pain, only a slight feeling of weight (the new implants), and tightness. Most of our patients will only need about 20 to 30 minutes to be fully awake and ready to go home.
You may begin to experience some discomfort/pressure in your chest and abdomen as the local anesthetic wears off. It is also normal to feel some nausea from the anesthetic drugs for a day or so after surgery. You should not expect any pain that cannot be relieved with your pain medications. However, pain thresholds are different from person to person.
If there is any ever doubt, our patients are always welcome to call your surgeon or the clinical staff with any questions. Once you are home you will have hopefully set up a recovery area. This recovery area may be a recliner or bed with several pillows for support and elevation, bottled water, medications, a cordless phone, remote controls, books or a laptop, and something to eat, in case you get hungry. You may want to have a bell in case you need to call someone to take care of you. Think ahead and determine what you may need during your recovery. If you believe there is a possibility you may need an item, put it within easy reach. By elevation, we mean that we do not want you to sleep absolutely flat for a few days, but propped up on pillows to help reduce swelling.
You will have to take it easy for a few days. You will not be able to bend over, get up out of bed with ease or raise your arms right away. Your surgeon also prefers that you don’t lift anything over ten pounds for a few weeks after the procedure, or drive a car for at least the first few days to a week. Many T.U.B.A. patients feel fine within a day and most feel better within a few days. Listen to your body and follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions.
You will return to see your surgeon postoperatively within 24-48 hours to have all the dressing completely removed. Many changes occur in the next few weeks during the healing phase, but don’t panic! If something concerns you, simply inform your surgeon. You may experience increase, decrease or loss of sensitivity, sensations of heat or cold, experience pins and needles, itching (from normal healing), or hear crackling under the skin. Your breasts may be bruised, appear pointy, different sizes, flat, too big, too small, too high, too low. These are all normal immediately after surgery.
You must have patience during the healing phase, especially with the sub-pectoral (sub-muscular) placement of the implants. With subpectoral implant placement, you may experience more soreness, tense muscles, spasms in the upper back, as well as your breasts, which may appear constricted due to the pressure of these muscles. This will not last long. Your muscles have been through trauma during the surgical stretching and must be expected to heal before everything returns to normal. If you need anything during any phase of your recovery do not hesitate to call your surgeon at any time.
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(See Before & After images)