Northwest Face & Body



Procedure Time

1-2 Hours

Recovery Time

5 Days

Transaxillary Breast Augmentation

Plastic surgeons perform thousands of breast enhancement surgeries every year in the United States. This volume leads to natural innovation that better serves the needs of patients and plastic surgeons. This includes improvements in breast implants and surgical techniques. At Northwest Face & Body, our Bellevue plastic surgeons stay on top of the latest advancements to best serve our patients. Transaxillary breast augmentation is just one of the breast augmentation innovations offered to our patients. Northwest Face & Body provides the best transaxillary breast augmentation Bellevue and Kirkland offers.

Understanding Transaxillary Breast Augmentation

Transaxillary breast augmentation is a technique that places the incision in the patient’s armpit. Through this incision, your plastic surgeon will place your chosen breast implants. It may seem difficult to place breast implants through a far away incision like one in the armpit. However, a skilled surgeon can easily place breast implants with this method.

In recent years, the transaxillary method has grown in popularity because women do not want scars on their breasts. With this technique, any scarring is well hidden in the armpit. Transaxillary incisions are also known to heal well in most patients.

Transaxillary breast augmentation is a specialized technique that requires a skilled plastic surgeon like those at Northwest Face & Body. Our plastic surgeons take every precaution to minimize the incision and meet your goals.

Advantages Of Transaxillary Breast Augmentation

Transaxillary breast augmentation holds many advantages over other breast augmentation procedures. Many patients find individual benefits from the procedure, especially if not a good candidate for other types. The main benefits of the transaxillary breast augmentation technique include:

  • No scarring on breasts
  • Thickened scarring like keloids and hypertrophic scars may be less likely to form in the armpit
  • May have an easier recovery
  • Overall recovery time may be reduced
  • Little to no visible scarring
  • May reduce the risk of capsular contracture and other complications
  • Offers access to behind the chest muscle
  • Less likely to affect the nipple and milk ducts
  • Suitable for all breast implant types
  • Most breast augmentation patients are good candidates for the transaxillary method

Breast Implant Placement Options

When plastic surgeons place breast implants, there are many options for where the breast implants sit. Traditionally, there are three main breast implant placement options: subglandular, submuscular, and dual plane. The different placement options are something you can discuss with your Bellevue plastic surgeon at a consultation.


When breast augmentation first became popularized, the subglandular breast implant placement was the most common. With this placement, your plastic surgeon will create a breast implant pocket above the chest muscle and behind the glands of the breasts.

This placement does have a few advantages like no distortion of the implant with muscle and arm movements. Women who tend to favor this position usually live extremely active lifestyles or are bodybuilders. It can also look more natural in women with a significant amount of breast tissue already.

The main drawback of this placement is that breast implants placed in this position may have a higher likelihood of developing capsular contracture or other complications. Although, subglandular placement may still benefit some patients.


The submuscular placement is the most common and popular option for breast implant placement. In this position, your plastic surgeon will lift the pectoral muscle enough to create the breast pocket. The muscle will then cover the breast implant.

The main advantage of an under the muscle breast implant placement is that the results may look more natural. Submuscular placement is also associated with fewer incidences of capsular contracture and overall complications.

Submuscular placement is associated with a longer recovery than subglandular placement. Considering under the muscle placement significantly reduces the chances of complications, this placement is largely favored by patients and plastic surgeons.

Dual Plane:

A dual plane breast implant placement combines the subglandular and submuscular approaches. The dual plane placement involves the breast implant only partially covering the breast implants. This sometimes naturally happens with particularly large breast implants.

Dual plane placement provides many of the advantages of both subglandular and submuscular placement. It reduces the chances of complications and can lead to a more natural appearance. Many patients choose a dual plane placement because it can offer a lift to patients with mild breast ptosis.

Before And After Transaxillary Breast Augmentation

Researching your breast augmentation options for technique, breast implants, and placement can become an overwhelming endeavor. At Northwest Face & Body, our Bellevue plastic surgeons can guide you through the process. The first step to undergoing your transaxillary breast augmentation surgery is to schedule a consultation at Northwest Face & Body.

Consultation At Northwest Face & Body

At a consultation at Northwest Face & Body, your Bellevue plastic surgeon will first want to understand your goals and expectations. Then, they will review your medical history. Next, they will perform a physical exam to identify your unique anatomical structures. At this point, your Bellevue plastic surgeon can usually determine if you are a breast augmentation candidate.

Once your plastic surgeon determines you are a candidate for transaxillary breast augmentation, they may use Vectra 3D imaging to simulate your results. This can make the breast implant choosing process easier and less stressful.

Before leaving our Kirkland office, you will receive a price quote for your procedure and more information about financing options. It may be possible to schedule surgery if you are ready to move forward.

The Transaxillary Breast Augmentation Surgery

On the day of your transaxillary breast augmentation, you will come to our Medicare-certified ambulatory surgery center. The Northwest Face & Body team will prepare you for surgery and take your vitals to promote a successful surgery. Your plastic surgeon will then make preliminary markings before you are placed under general anesthesia.

Once fully sedated, your plastic surgeon will begin the procedure. They will make an incision in your armpit. The size of the breast implant and your anatomy typically dictate the length of the incision. Through this incision, your plastic surgeon will create the breast pocket. They will then insert the breast implant.

After the breast implant is in place, the process is repeated for the other breast. Your plastic surgeon will then stitch the incisions after ensuring results. You will then wake up from anesthesia.


One of the major advantages of the transaxillary method is that it offers direct access to behind the muscle. Often, the muscle does not require cutting and lifting like with other breast augmentation methods. The muscle still needs to stretch to accommodate the implant, however, the transaxillary approach lessens the trauma of surgery.

After surgery, you will go home the same day. You will require a caregiver for the first 24 hours. Your plastic surgeon will give you instructions for after surgery and prescribe medications to promote a healthy and smooth recovery. You will need to rest and take it easy for at least a couple of days. Although, it is important to get up and walk to promote healthy circulation.

Most patients can return to work in one week. Depending on the physicality of your job, you may have to return on light duty. Most forms of exercise can begin at two weeks, although you should avoid lifting and movements that may harm your incisions. Attending all post-op appointments and staying in contact with your surgeon will ensure you can return to activities quickly.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do Transaxillary Breast Augmentation Incisions Heal?

Many patients and plastic surgeons note that transaxillary incisions tend to heal well. Often becoming hidden in the natural crease of the armpit, or fading almost completely. Every patient will see a unique scar and no two patients will heal exactly the same. Luckily, due to the skin type in the armpit, transaxillary incisions are unlikely to keloid or form thick scars. This makes the technique a possible option for patients who tend to develop noticeable or thick scars.

Can You Place Silicone Breast Implants With The Transaxillary Method?

Yes! It is a common misconception that plastic surgeons cannot place silicone breast implants with a transaxillary incision. While not every patient is a candidate, it is possible to place silicone breast implants through an armpit incision.

Choosing saline breast implants for the transaxillary method will minimize the incision to the smallest one possible. You can discuss the choice between saline and silicone implants with your plastic surgeon to determine the one best for your transaxillary breast augmentation in Bellevue.

When Can I Shave?

After surgery, many patients wonder when they can shave their armpits after surgery. This depends on your healing process. Most plastic surgeons will advise you to wait at least four to five days before shaving. You should also avoid getting too close to the incision. However, if you are comfortable waiting, it usually becomes safe to shave normally within a month or so. Your plastic surgeon will monitor your healing closely to determine when you can begin shaving again.

Will The Breast Implants Be Too Far Apart?

Some patients become concerned that their breast implants will sit too far apart when placed through armpit incisions. This is understandable. However, the breast tissue extends into the armpit. This access point allows for precise placement of breast implants, just like other incision types.

Is Transaxillary Breast Augmentation Surgery Safe?

The transaxillary approach for breast augmentation is a perfectly safe surgery. Transaxillary breast augmentation may carry fewer risks and ultimately be safer than other breast augmentation techniques. During your consultation, your plastic surgeon can determine if transaxillary breast augmentation in Bellevue is the safest approach for you.

What Is The Cost Of Transaxillary Breast Augmentation?

The cost of Bellevue transaxillary breast augmentation will depend on the breast implant you choose and the specifics of your surgery. For your convenience, we keep our starting breast augmentation prices on our price list. We also offer a personalized price quote simulator that allows you to explore all options available. You can also receive a customized, preliminary quote.

Bellevue & Kirkland’s Top Destination For Transaxillary Breast Augmentation

Northwest Face & Body provides high quality plastic surgery services to the entire Eastside. Centrally located in Kirkland, our office and surgical center is easily accessible from all major hubs including Bellevue, Kirkland, and Seattle. Serving our patients since 1983, Northwest Face & Body is dedicated to innovating our procedures to best meet our patient’s needs.

Our plastic surgeons and the team at Northwest Face & Body are some of the most experienced and talented in their field. With board-certified cosmetic surgeons, licensed anesthesia providers, and full nursing staff, Northwest Face & Body provides a safe environment for your procedure.

To schedule a consultation at Northwest Face & Body, call us at 425-576-1700. You can also connect with us online via our contact page, chat, or Price Simulator™ app.