Breast Augmentation Scars: What to Expect
Breast augmentation scars are a common concern for many patients. After all, if you’re going to go through the expense, effort, and healing phase required for breast augmentation surgery, you want your results to look as attractive as possible — and not with very noticeable or unsightly scars.
Patients, therefore, want to know: What will my breast augmentation scars after 6 months look like? After 1 year? Where will the scars be located? How noticeable will they be?
Ultimately, the healing process breast augmentation scars go through is unique for every individual. Because of different patients’ natural skin tone, skin elasticity, and breast surgery choices, no two patients’ scars are going to be exactly alike.
With that said, let’s take a look at what most patients can expect in terms of breast augmentation scars.
What Do Breast Surgery Scars Look Like?
First, it’s important to note that there are different types of breast surgery, and scars will look inherently different with each type of surgery.
In this article, we’ll be discussing breast augmentation scars, specifically. But here are the three most common breast surgeries for reference:
- Breast augmentation surgery increases breast size with the use of breast implants (or the patient’s own fat).
- Breast lift surgery raises and tightens breast tissue while removing any excess loose skin.
- Breast reduction surgery reduces breast size by removing excess breast tissue, fat, and skin.
What Do Breast Augmentation Scars Look Like?
Before we describe what a breast surgery incision will look like as it heals following a breast augmentation procedure, let’s talk about where breast augmentation incisions are located. For most patients, there are three options for placement:
1. Inframammary Incision
Breast augmentation surgical procedures that use inframammary incisions have incisions placed beneath the breast in the breast crease, which is also called the inframammary fold. This incision placement allows for zero scarring on the breast itself and is a popular choice for that reason.
2. Periareolar Incision
Periareolar incisions are made around the outer edge of the areola. This is a neat location for an incision because the scar can often blend easily with the areola pigment and typically becomes hardly noticeable as it heals. There is a slight risk of nipple sensation loss with this incision choice.
3. Transaxillary Incision
Transaxillary incisions are made in the natural fold of the armpit. This leaves the entire breast and chest area free from scarring, which patients like. Still, it does pose some challenges in terms of precise placement.
Appearance of Scars After Breast Augmentation
Any surgical procedure that requires incisions will result in scar tissue. Breast augmentation surgery is no exception. This surgery absolutely requires incisions because an opening needs to be made where the implants can be placed.
Most breast augmentation scars start out red and raised, then slowly flatten out and fade to lighter red, pink, and a light flesh color (or even white) over time. Of course, the actual appearance of a scar also depends on the patient’s unique skin type, how patients treat scars during their breast augmentation recovery, choice of incision placement, and implant size and material:
- If a patient tends to scar easily or is prone to hypertrophic scars, it may be more challenging to get scars to lay flat and fade well. Make note of this to your breast augmentation surgeon if you know this to be the case for you. Steps can be taken to reduce the appearance of these types of scars.
- How well you care for each incision site after breast augmentation is important as well. Staying out of the sun, avoiding lifting heavy objects or exerting yourself, avoiding strain and stress on the areas, and dressing each wound carefully will all help to reduce scar tissue and an unsightly appearance.
- Incision placement will also affect scar appearance. While a transaxillary incision can minimize scarring on the breast itself, some patients may tend to scar worse in the armpit crease (skin quality is different depending on the location on the body).
- Finally, larger silicone implants will naturally require larger incisions. Saline implants, however, can often be inserted through quite small incisions, then filled after insertion.
Plastic surgeons will take all of these factors into account as they approach making your surgical incisions.
What Do Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation Scars Look Like?
Breast enhancement surgery (breast augmentation) can be achieved with both implants and fat transfer.
Fat transfer breast augmentation is a two-step plastic surgery procedure that uses liposuction to suction out unwanted fat cells from areas like the flanks or tummy. That fat is then reinfected into the breasts to create added volume.
Scars from this augmentation option are even smaller than breast implant scars. That’s because fat transfer scars only result from the liposuction portion of the procedure and are basically extremely small dots. They are just large enough to fit a cannula through instead of incision lines that are required for implant insertion.
FAQ: Breast Implant Surgery and Scarring
What do breast augmentation scars after 1 year look like?
Breast augmentation scars should typically continue to improve over the first year, gradually fading and becoming less noticeable. After a year, they commonly appear as thin, faint lines that blend in with the surrounding skin.
Why are my breast implant scars so bad?
If scar healing goes poorly, scars may be raised, lumpy, bumpy, or highly pigmented. If this happens, contact your surgeon immediately. Frequently, laser treatments or other scar revision therapies can be used to smooth and fade hypertrophic scars.
Schedule a Breast Augmentation Surgery Consultation
If you have more questions about breast implant scars, do not hesitate to contact us today to schedule a consultation appointment. As you embark on your breast implant journey, you will inevitably have many questions related to optimal implant size and shape, scarring and scar tissue, risks and potential complications, and more.
If you do have questions like these — excellent! This means you’re serious about undergoing the life-changing experience of getting breast implants, and doing your own research is a great place to start.
Call today to set up your one-on-one consultation appointment with female board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Smita Ramanadham.