Dr. Freedland agrees with the FDA in regard to the “belly button approach,” or transumbilical breast augmentation (T.U.B.A. for short). While it is often touted by surgeons, who are mostly NOT board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons, as a scarless breast augmentation, the fact is that there is a scar, only in a place one would not expect, i.e. the belly button. These surgeons tell patients that the other conventional incisions are unsightly, but often T.U.B.A. is extremely disfiguring and the scars cannot be hidden in a bra or bathing suit.
Another problem with T.U.B.A is that the surgeon cannot use silicone gel implants, as they are prefilled, and thus too large to slide through the inserted metal pipe. Since 95% of breast implant patients prefer silicone, the patients have a limited result.
A third reason is that T.U.B.A is not approved by the FDA . Their website states, “The FDA-approved labeling warns surgeons NOT to place breast implants through the belly-button (peri-umbilical approach).” Their statement is based on the complication rate associated with the procedure. That is, because the implant cannot be manipulated once placed; all too often the implants are misplaced, which requires additional surgery. In one study, 85%