The last thing that is in your mind when making the decision to have a breast augmentation surgery performed is scars. Nevertheless scarring is one of the major risks of this procedure. This article is intended to help you make sense of scars resulting from breast augmentation including how to treat them.
Breast Augmentation Scars – Breast Augmentation Scarring
Breast augmentation is normally done on women with small, underdeveloped, or misshaped breasts and on older women whose breasts have lost their shape due to factors such as aging and giving birth. An implant is typically inserted beneath the breast tissue.
Because it involves making incisions on the appropriate parts of the breast, it inevitably leads to scarring.
Breast augmentation scars vary in size, shape and prominence based on the technique used, the patient’s genetic predisposition to scarring, and how the incision heals – with the patient’s observation of the post-surgery guidelines playing a key role here.
The scars may be located below the breast fold (inframammary), around the nipple areola (perioreolar), or in the armpit (axilla).
Transaxillary Breast Augmentation Scars
Breast augmentation often involves making an incision in the armpit (axilla). When this is done, the procedure is referred to as transaxillary breast augmentation. As you guessed, the scar associated with the procedure is typically located in the armpit. This is advantageous in that the scar is easily hidden below the clothes.
Minimizing Augmentation Scar Tissue
There are numerous steps that can help you minimize the extent of scarring following the breast augmentation surgery. To start with, you must follow your surgeon’s post-surgery guidelines to the last word to ensure smooth healing process.
In addition, you should consider supporting your breasts with a good supportive bra for a few days to avoid excessive straining of the scarring site which can make it widen; in fact this is likely to be one of the aftercare measures given to your by your surgeon.
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic surgery also says it is good to walk around immediately after the surgery and every now and then thereafter to promote blood circulation and prevent blood clotting. It is also not a good idea to tan the scarring site as this might lead to permanent hyperpigmentation.
Constituents of Breast Augmentation Incision Scars constitute of
Scars emanating from breast augmentation procedures are composed of collagen. Collagen is deposited in large amounts in any site of wounding in the body to strengthen the area and start a natural healing process. The build up of collagen is typically accompanied by an increase in supply of blood to the site leading to the redness that characterizes some scars in their earl stages.
Unlike the collagen found in normal tissues, the collagen that builds up in a wounded site has a linear formation which makes it a lower quality collagen. This explains why scars look different from the surrounding skin and don’t grow hair.
Breast Augmentation without Scars
If you are like most people looking to get a breast augmentation procedure, coming out with no visible scars (on the breast) would be a welcome gesture.
Although there is no procedure that leaves no scar whatsoever, some such as the endoscopic No Scar on the Breast® technique pioneered by Dr. William Burden, a Florida plastic surgeon, leave no scars on the breast. Instead the technique makes incisions that are neatly hidden in the crease of the armpit.
Scarless Breast Augmentation Photos
You probably right now wish to see some scarless breast augmentation photos to see the kind of results that patients can expect from such techniques as the No Scar on the Breast® technique. So here we go:
This photo shows a patient who has undergone a breast augmentation surgery based on the No Scar on the Breast® technique. Notice how the scar is neatly hidden below the crease of her armpit.
Scars after Breast Augmentation- Breast Augmentation Scars before and After
As we have already mentioned, scarring is part of the skin’s natural healing process. It is thus realistic to expect to expect some scars after breast augmentation (but they will fade away with time) as you can see in these before and after pictures:
Breast Augmentation Scars Healing time
Scars resulting from breast augmentation often heal in 6-12 months and most scars will have matured by the time they are 1 year old as to become a grey line that blends in with the surrounding skin.
This is however not always the case owing to factors such as genetics and patient’s observation of post-surgery guidelines which then means that some scars can linger on for longer than 1 year. Such scars might benefit from one of the treatment options highlighted in another section of this article.
Breast Augmentation Scar Treatment- Breast Augmentation Scar Removal
Breast augmentation scars heal over time and most will have matured by 1 year to become invisible white lines. This is however not always the case; some scarring may persist long enough. Such scars may benefit from one of the following breast augmentation scar treatment options:
Silicone gel sheets: This is one of the most common removal options for scars resulting from breast surgeries. This option involves sticking silicone gel on the scarring site using an adhesive sheet and leaving it on for 12-24 hours over a period of up to 3 months. Silicone gel sheets are usually sold over-the-counter under brand names such as Rejuveness and ScarAway.
Creams: Scar creams can as well be used. The active ingredients vary from one cream to another with Kelo-cote and Scarguard featuring silicone as the active ingredients and Mederma featuring Allium cepa – an extract of onions – which is thought to have positive benefits on inflammation.
Massage: Most dermatologists agree that massaging a scar tissue is often beneficial. It helps to break down collagen mechanically and drain the fluids. The best approach is to apply some oil (say olive oil or rosehip oil) onto the scar and massage it in circular motions 2 to 3 times every day.
Other treatment options for scars resulting from breast augmentation surgery that may be performed include:
- Steroid injection
- Laser treatment
- Scar revision surgery (discussed in the next section)
Breast Augmentation Scar Revision
After the scar has had some time to heal, say 1 year, you may want to talk to your surgeon or a dermatologist about the prospects of getting a scar revision surgery if its look still bothers you.
Although surgical revision of scars will help to improve their appearance, they will not make them go away completely. Keep in mind also that the insurance company may not pay the cost of surgery if you are basing your decision purely on cosmetic reasons; it is thus prudent to talk to them first.