Reducing Scarring After Your Breast Augmentation
Scaring is a common concern for women considering breast augmentation, breast reduction or breast lift. The location, coloration and texture of the post-operative scar tissue all make the list of typical concerns. Additionally, the healing process, timetable and ways to aid healing all are among questions we receive during consultations. Below you’ll find a series of typical questions and answers. If you have additional questions or would like to schedule a consultation please contact our offices.
Q: Where Will My Scars Be Located?
A: Several factors come in to play when your surgeon recommends a specific breast augmentation incision point and the eventual placement of scars. Chief among these factors are the visibility of the incision area and the post-operative tension or stress that specific area will be under. Also, proper breast function will be taken into account by your physician when selecting an incision point.
As far as the specific location is concerned, increased tension on the skin around the scar area can cause the scar itself to spread that it would have otherwise and also delay healing. The armpit and the area under the lower portion of the breast are two incision points that have lower stress and less visibility, which leads to them being chosen often by physicians. Other procedures, including breast reduction or breast asymmetry corrections require alternative incision points.
Q: I don’t understand the medical term used by my physician. What are the specific names of the incision points?
A: Below are the specific clinical names for common incision points used by surgeons. Each one has its own purpose and scarring characteristics.
Periareolar Incision: An incision that follows the outer line around the areola
Transareolar Incision: An incision made through the areola itself and the nipple
Transaxillary Incision: Incisions made in the armpit area
Inframammary Incision: An incisions made in the crease below the breast
Again, be sure to ask your surgeon any question you have. No question is too small.
Q: How long should I expect the scar area to be red and/or raised?
A: Every patient and every case is different, but typical the scars from breast augmentation will show some redness and be raised for up to 12 months. The scars will fade and improve over that time period but a good rule of thumb is 12 months. Your age, skin type, sun exposure, healing propensity, incision type and skin tone all play a role in the time it will take to fully heal.
Q: Is there anything I can do before surgery to aid healing and minimize scaring?
A: First, choose the right surgeon. Surgical techniques used, incision point placement, suturing approaches and other factors will all will have a significant impact on your healing. Your surgeons should be able to explain their approaches for each and why they will enhance safety and your surgical outcome (success), including your eventual scaring. Also, be sure to follow all of your pre-operative instructions to ensure your body is ready for recovery.
Your surgeon may instruct you to avoid alcohol, tobacco, ibuprofen and aspirin leading up to the surgery. You may also want to limit salt intake and nutritional supplements in the weeks leading up to surgery.
Q: How does direct sunlight affect my scars?
A: Scar issue is different than normal skin. Scars have less protection against UV rays and are more prone to sunburn. Your scar areas should be protected from direct sun exposure year-round until fully healed. Thereafter sunscreen should be used along with limiting overall exposure.
Q: What else can be done to minimize long term scaring?
A: Based on your specific case, your physician may recommend various approaches, including use of silicone sheeting, topical supplements like Vitamin E, self massage of the scar area and the use of sunscreen.
Again, as with any medical procedure be sure to consult with your physician every step of the way. Contact us for a consultation today.