Unfortunately, those who cannot
perform it or do not understand the procedure help spread untruths
about TUBA. Such rumors and misconceptions create a
disadvantage for the patient and an advantage for the surgeon who
cannot offer their patients this technique. Afterall, if you
were a surgeon and your patient wished to have TUBA and you didn't
perform it, would you recommend it and risk losing the patient?
And if you were that surgeon, would you go as far as recommending
a surgeon in your patient's area who did, in fact, perform it?
Probably not. I had this procedure in 1998 and can vouch for the
- TUBA is a dangerous procedure performed blindly by
This is absolutely false. Endoscopic procedures are
performed with a small camera so that the surgeon has an
internal view of the patients body. Although not every
TUBA surgeon may be certified by the American Board of Plastic
Surgery, many are. The remainder are often cosmetic
surgeons with hundreds of TUBA procedures logged. A
surgeon does not have to be certified by the American Board of
Plastic Surgery to be a competent and talented surgeon.
Skill is what truly matters when choosing a surgeon, however
if you require a board certified plastic surgeon trained in
the art of TUBA instead of a cosmetic surgeon--they are easily
- Not only is it dangerous but you risk puncturing organs
and massive bleeding which can not be controlled.
This is not true. The skin and fat are dissected away
from the muscle fascia, the muscles of the abdomen are never
cut or separated. The pectoralis major muscles are
dissected from the rib cage and pectoralis minor but the
instruments do NOT go behind any ribs or abdominal muscles.
There are no sharp instruments used after the initial
umbilicus incision therefore the chances of bleeding more than
even 2 teaspoons is lessened considerably. Only blunt
dissection is used.
- You can only get implants placed above the muscle with
Yet another fallacy. Breast implants can be placed under
the muscle. However some surgeons may prefer
sub-glandular placement for other reasons so please discuss
this with him or her. I have several friends who
have gotten TUBA unders and are thrilled with their
results. I CHOSE to have overs, I was not forced
to settle for them because my surgeon didn't know how.
- The Breast Implant Manufacturer's warranties are voided
in the event the TUBA procedure is utilized.
False. This is one of the top misconceptions regarding
TUBA. The implant is rolled up no more than with the
trans-axillary (under arm) and areolar incisions.
The implant is never put under any stress or damaged in any
way during implantation or during the filling process.
The warranty is not voided.
- Breasts often come out crooked, or asymmetrical, with the TUBA approach because it is more difficult to make the pocket.
This is not true. The skill of the surgeon plays a
significant part in correctly determining the appropriate
implant size and placing this implant in the proper fashion.
Asymmetry is just as common in traditional incision placements
as TUBA. As with any incision placement, the
surgeon will raise the patient intra-operatively and view the
position of the breasts in the upright position. If any
corrections must be made, they are carried out immediately.
It is also worth noting that asymmetry is almost always
present pre-operatively in almost every patient.
- TUBA causes
visible "tracks" from your navel to your breasts
which may never fully go away.
In the unlikely event that this would even happen now, it is
more than likely a connective-tissue failure to adhere to the
fascia of the abdomen muscles and not technique-specific.
This was first seen in the initial phases of the procedure
but is no longer an issue with the improved methods and
instruments. If in the event that you may notice tracks post-operatively, it is usually very
temporary until the tissue adheres again from the dissection.
However, if this does remain after several months, and this is
extremely rare, the tissue may be scored or rasped and the
patient is instructed to wear a binder for several weeks.
- TUBA isn't even an"FDA approved procedure.
Actually the breast implant manufacturers sought the FDA
approval for recommendations of endoscopic methods such as the
TUBA method and the trans-axillary method to be listed
for their medical devices. Unfortunately, the
information was not submitted in time so both endoscopic
methods could not legally be recommended by the implant
manufacturers who were given approval (Inamed, formerly
McGhan, and Mentor Corp) due to the red tape involved in
product intention and labeling approval. However,
since implants themselves were only approved in May of 2000 it
goes to show you that procedures, devices and other products
are used without the magic words, FDA
approved. The bottom line is that TUBA has been
shown to be safe, if not safer, in realtime without the
political hoopla. Incidentally, both Mentor & McGhan
(Inamed) submit a PMA (pre-market approval) application for
various device labeling or specification changes every month
to every few months regarding their breast implants which can
ultimately result in a profit.
- Bottoming Out (where the natural
breast crease lowers itself and becomes problematic) is an
often seen complication of TUBA because of the dissection
under the mammary fold.
Not true. The tunnels created are very small and do not
cause bottoming out simply because of this method. Bottoming
out occurs in other incision methods, and statistically no
more than any of these methods.
- Infections occur far more
frequently with TUBA.
The infection rate is the same, if not less, than standard
incisions and are also determined by the individual surgeon's
infection rate, whether or not the surgery is performed in a
hospital and also depends upon the post-operative care of the
patient. The milk ducts are never cut nor is the implant
ever passed through the areola where the incidence of Staphylococcus
aureus (a common bacteria on the skin) is higher.
- You may never have taut abdominal
skin or muscles again after TUBA.
The skin of the abdomen is very elastic and very capable of
extreme expansion. Having said this, the expansion of
the abdominal skin is very nominal intra-operatively and the
abdominal muscles are never stretched or manipulated.
This surgery does not cause any long-term negative affects on
the abdomen unless you specifically have poor elasticity or
connective tissue problems. If you don't have taut skin
or muscles after healing completely from TUBA, you probably
didn't have them immediately pre-operatively and only noticed
it post-operatively due to the attention your abdomen receives
after surgery. Not to mention the abdominal muscles
experience separation and the skin elasticity loss, with age.
If you notice puffiness or an untone appearance after breast
augmentation surgery, including TUBA, please know the the
swelling will seem to affect your abdomen more than other
areas due to gravity and the edema collection around the
breasts. Not to mention if you have decided to stop
working out or exercise as much post-surgery you will gain
weight and lose tone. After you have healed and are
settled back into your normal exercise routine, you can
then accurately determine any changes brought upon by the TUBA
procedure. I personally noticed no problems after I healed.
When considering TUBA breast augmentation, ask your surgeon to view breast augmentation before and after pictures for previous TUBA patients. The surgeon can show you results from these patients and help to answer questions about any remaining concerns that you may have.
about the procedure
risks & complications
(Updated on 02/23/10)
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