Scarring from Breast Augmentation: What to Expect

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Breast augmentation scarringUnsurprisingly, one of most frequently discussed topics in breast augmentation consultations is scarring. Many women are eager to know whether scarring will be noticeable after having breast implants placed.

Breast augmentation patients should understand that any time an incision is made on the skin, a scar will eventually appear as part of the body’s healing process. The good news is that when performed by a trained and experienced board-certified plastic surgeon, breast augmentation results in barely noticeable scars.

Here, Sacramento plastic surgeon Dr. Debra Johnson explains what type of scarring you can expect from breast augmentation.

Incision Technique Matters

The location of scars after breast augmentation depends on the placement of the incisions. There are three main incision techniques used for placing breast implants:

  • Periareolar Incision – Involves creating an incision along the edge of the areola. The color change between the areola and the natural skin camouflages the final scar.
  • Inframammary Incision – Made on the fold under the breast, the scar is hidden in the shadow under the breast, but is visible when the breast is lifted up.
  • Transaxillary Incision – Made in the armpit area, meaning there is no scarring on the breast, just in the armpit. This incision is associated with a higher risk of implant malposition.

The placement of your incisions will depend on several factors, including the type of breast implants used, your personal preferences and your anatomy. No matter which incision technique is used, you can expect your scars to take up to 12 months to fully heal and mature. Immediately after your surgery, your scars will appear red or pink and slightly raised. Over time, the scars will mature, soften, and become lighter. Factors like your age, genetics and skin tone will affect how long it takes for your scars to fully heal.

Tips to Minimize Scarring

While the surgeon’s technical skill is the most important factor in the appearance of your scars, it is certainly not the only factor. There are a number of ways that you can help to minimize scars after breast augmentation, including:

  • Avoid smoking as it impairs the body’s healing process
  • Avoid exposing your scars to direct sunlight
  • Always apply sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher whenever outdoors
  • Above all else, follow your surgeon’s post-op instructions

If you would like to learn more about breast augmentation scarring or other aspects of the procedure, please schedule a consultation with top board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Debra Johnson. Contact her Sacramento practice by calling (916) 929-1833 or by emailing us today.