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Plast Reconstr Surg. 1993 Oct;92(5):801-8.

The endoscopic breast augmentation: the transumbilical insertion of saline-filled breast implants.


Initial aesthetic breast augmentation with inflatable saline implants has always had the distinct advantage of insertion through a small breast or axillary skin incision. Adapting established techniques utilized in suction-assisted lipectomy, operative endoscopy, and tissue expansion with inflatable saline implants, breast augmentation is possible through an umbilical incision. Under general anesthesia, an incision is made in the umbilicus; a new tubular instrument with an obturator [designated an endotube (Johnson) or mammascope (Christ)] is inserted into the umbilical incision like a suction cannula; it is pushed over the abdominal fascia across the costal margin until it literally pops under the breast fascia; through this tunnel is then inserted an implant coiled like a tobacco leaf; the implant is then inflated to 50 percent more than the final volume and manipulated to help expand the pocket; finally, the excess volume is removed, methyl-prednisolone acetate is placed in the final volume, and the fill tube is removed. The endoscope (laparoscope) is utilized to visualize positioning and to document the absence of bleeding. The umbilical incision is closed after insertion of both implants through the same incision. A series of 91 young women have undergone this procedure with 188 breast implantations without significant bleeding. Implants appear to ride high initially, but they settle into place by 6 weeks. Patients have reported less chest discomfort and some visible temporary upper abdominal swelling. The long-term follow-up is currently being monitored.

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