Nipple sensation after breast augmentation: Does the incision site make a difference?

When it comes to choosing an incision site for breast augmentation, the most common question that I get relates to the ability to maintain nipple sensation. In 2010, the vast majority of breast augmentation occurs through either an infra-mammary incision or a peri-areolar incision. In my practice, the overwhelming majority of patients end up choosing a peri-areolar incision. I do prefer using the peri-areolar approach most commonly for several reasons.

1) The incisions heal well and are frequently imperceptible one year after surgery.

2) Many patients will require some degree of lift in conjunction with their augmentation and this almost always involves an incision around the nipple.

3) Many women simply prefer to have an incision around the areola instead of in the fold below.

In addition to the excellent reasons listed above,  studies have shown that there is no significant difference in nipple-areolar post-operative sensitivity between women whose implants are placed through an infra-mammary incision versus a peri-areolar incision (Plast. Reconstr. Surg 117: 1694, 2006).

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