No surgery is without some scarring, which is important to understand prior to your breast implant surgery. Although you may have some trepidation about your breast implant scars showing, know that it is very unlikely that anyone will see your scars unless they are very close to you. To help diminish your scars after surgery, it is important that you know what to expect before surgery.

Various factors – including your body, your surgeon, your healing and aftercare – all play a role in the appearance of your breast implant scars. Having a clear path of communication with your surgeon and working with a skilled, capable expert that lets you know exactly what to do and what to expect can help minimize unexpected scarring. Anticipate that your breast implant scars will appear red and raised for up to a year after your surgery, after which they should fade to a whitish color.

Where to Expect Breast Implant Scars

Your breast implant scars will be at the incision site. The incision site is chosen through collaboration between you and your surgeon. Your surgeon will recommend a spot that is subject to minimal tension during healing and in everyday life after the procedure.

You and your surgeon determine where your scar is placed. This decision should be based on not only the advice and skill of the surgeon, but also your preference. According to your skin elasticity, skin tone and other personal factors, your surgeon may choose to have your scar in the crease under the breast (inframammary incision), around the areola (periareolar incision), through the areola and around the nipple (transareolar incision), through the armpit (transaxillary incision) and in rare cases, through the navel (transumbilical incision).

Excess tension can make scars wider and more visible. It is not possible to eliminate tension entirely, but it is possible to minimize it. Other factors that affect the tension include the size and weight of the implant, which affect the appearance of the scar. Implants of larger size and weight cause more swelling, which places tension on the scar. Some skin tones and skin types are subject to more visible scarring than others, and your surgeon should inform you of this during the examination.

The amount of tension placed on the scar from the size and weight of your implant depends on whether you and your surgeon choose a silicone or saline implant and how big you choose to go. Based on your body and the knowledge of a surgeon, you can find a type and size that will best enhance your body based on how much muscle, skin and breast tissue you have.

Healing Advice for Breast Implant Scars

For the best healing, be sure to follow your doctor’s advice before and after surgery. Stop smoking, avoid alcohol and don’t take ibuprofen or aspirin. You should also reduce or stop your herbal supplements and medications, along with anything else your doctor recommends.

After surgery, your doctor will provide you with a list of guidelines to help reduce the likelihood of excessive scarring. To avoid stretching or falling for 24 hours after surgery, which can affect your scars, have a friend to help you to reach things. Continue to avoid drinking and smoking. Increase your intake of fluids and healthy foods while avoiding salt to prevent swelling. Also avoid the sun, swimming pools, hot tubs and the ocean. Limit stretching and lifting to minimize tension on the breast implant scars.

Your surgeon will provide you with a full list of activities to avoid and let you know when your swelling has subsided enough to resume normal activities and go back to work. It is important to follow your surgeon’s instructions and let the doctor know of any questions and concerns you might have for the best possible results.

How to Make Breast Implant Scars Less Visible

Managing your expectations about your breast implant scars is the key to having a good breast augmentation experience. Some factors, such as your genetic predisposition to scarring, you cannot control. Following pre- and post-surgical advice is in your control and will also help to minimize your scarring in the long term. You can also try other techniques and devices to help make your scars less visible, such as silicone sheeting and cortisone shots administered by your surgeon. Try them about six weeks following your procedure, according to your surgeon’s recommendation.

After the initial healing has taken place, you can also try vitamin E supplements, including both oral and topical solutions, as well as self-massage of the scar area. Using these treatments without the supervision and approval of your surgeon is not recommended  because you may put further stress on the scar or prevent it from healing, which can exacerbate its appearance.

Choosing a surgeon known for excellent technique is a key way to ensure that your scars are minimal. Your surgeon will also be best at explaining what you can expect to see post surgery. Understanding where your scars will be will help reduce any surprise about the location and size of your breast implant scars. It is also important to follow any pre- and post-operation instructions so that you know what to expect and are able to care for your scars to minimize their appearance.

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Dr. Cohen

About Dr. Cohen

Dr. Cohen specializes in breast lifts, augmentations, revisions and reductions as well as breast cancer reconstructions. A long time dream of Dr. Cohen’s was to travel to developing countries and provide expert surgical care to those who have no other possible access to medical care. This became a reality in 2007 when she became a founding member and Vice President of ISMS Operation Kids.