A number of misconceptions and incorrect information about the TUBA procedure may be given to patients seeking advice. These myths were clarified in an article entitled ‘Dispelling the Myths and Misconceptions about Transumbilical Breast Augmentation’ in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ Journal publication Volume 106, Number 1, July 2000.
Summary of the common misconceptions addressed in the article are as follows:
1.) Dissection of the breast implant pocket is too difficult from a remote location.
– The pocket is created by expansion not actual sharp dissection.
2.) The rate of TUBA complications is higher than other traditional approaches.
– In trained hands the complication rate is 1/8 that of regular breast augmentation.
3.) Bleeding cannot be controlled from a remote position.
– Remarkably, bleeding is sparse with the TUBA procedure. The rate is less than 0.5 % in published articles.
4.) The positioning of implants cannot be properly controlled.
– In fact, during the expansion phase, the surgeon can modify and manipulate the final shape of the breasts and position of the implant.
5.) Navel rings preclude TUBA procedure.
– The ring is removed prior to surgery and re-inserted after the procedure.
6.) Since the implants are pushed through an endotube, they can be easily damaged.
– The implants are not pushed through the endotube or via the tube. In fact, the implants will not make any contact with any instruments and are gently guided along the created tunnel by external pressure.
7.) Visible abdominal track deformities occur.
– No instances of visible track deformity on the abdomen was reported in the article. Nor any has been noted by Dr. Agha.
8.) Since the implant is used as an expander, it becomes damaged.
– A separate expander is used specifically to perform dissection of the pocket for final implant placement.
9.) The warranty of the implants is voided because of the TUBA procedure.
– This is untrue.
10.) The TUBA procedure is a blind technique.
– An endoscope is used to confirm tunnel and breast pocket dissection and implant placement.
11.) Subglandular implant placement is the only option available using the TUBA procedure.
– Both subglandular as well as submuscular TUBA procedures can be performed. In fact, Dr. Agha performs submuscular implant placement in most cases
12.) Implants cannot be removed through a TUBA (umbilical) incision.
– Implants can be removed through the umbilical incision to change size with no secondary incision needed.
13.) Pain occurs in the abdominal muscles as a result of trauma and disruption.
– The abdominal muscles are not disrupted. The procedure is performed over the abdominal muscles in the subcutaneous plane. Overall, the TUBA procedure is less painful than other procedures for breast enhancement and results in a more rapid recovery for the patient.
14.) If the patient has an umbilical hernia, the TUBA procedure cannot be performed.
– The TUBA procedure offers an excellent opportunity to repair an umbilical hernia.
15.) The plane of the implant placement cannot be controlled by the surgeon.
– An endoscope is used to verify where the implant pocket is positioned relative to the pectoralis muscle.
16.) An incision on the breast would be required to insert a drain.
– Dr. Agha does not use a drain with his breast enlargements.
17.) It is not possible to perform TUBA if you have had other abdominal operations.
– In fact, old abdominal scars can be used as an alternative site of entry.
18.) Your surgeon can perforate your organs or lungs when doing the procedure.
– The instruments are not sharp enough. The tunnels are created through the fat beneath the skin, not where the organs are.