Breast Implant Scars: What to Expect
If you are considering breast augmentation or a breast lift procedure, you understandably have questions about how breast implant scars will look after surgery. Patients often wonder how noticeable their breast implant scars will be. Ultimately, the answer depends on a many factors including the type of procedure performed, the type of implant used, and some genetic factors regarding scar healing.
What are the types of procedures associated with breast implant scars?
Surgical procedures associated with breast augmentation are associated with some minimal scarring. Breast augmentation will increase or restore volume to the breast, most often through the placement of breast implants. There are many implant types available, including silicone and saline, along with a variety of shapes and profiles that bring desired results based on your specific cosmetic goals.
In some cases, the surgeon performs a breast lift during the procedure which elevates the breast to a more youthful position. Your specific breast implant scars will depend on the procedure you undergo, but in all cases, your surgeon will minimize the appearance of scars for the most beautiful, natural result.
Why do breast implants leave scars?
The fact is whenever an incision is made in the skin, a scar can result. Plastic surgeons are specifically trained in advanced cosmetic techniques to minimize the appearance of scars after surgery. The type of scar you end up with depends on your type of breast augmentation procedure, and the skill of the surgeon you choose. There is some degree of variability regarding how scars look after a surgical procedure. For most people, breast implant scars close within a few weeks but can take up to two years to fully fade.
What are the common types of breast implant scars?
There are several incision types for breast augmentation procedures, and your breast implant scars will depend on the surgical approach selected. The most common types include:
This common incision occurs in the inframammary fold, which is the crease underneath the breast, where it meets your chest wall. This incision is popular because it is hidden by the breast and can be reused if you ever remove or replace your implants. It also does not affect the milk ducts or nipple, so sensation usually remains intact, and breastfeeding is often possible afterwards.
This incision goes around all or part of the nipple and tends to blend in well with the tissue in the area. The periareolar incision allows the surgeon to precisely place the implant and can also be accessed in the future for implant replacement or removal. In this approach, some milk ducts are disrupted, so breastfeeding may be difficult or impossible down the road. There is also a higher frequency of lost nipple sensation.
Lollipop or Anchor
If you are undergoing a breast lift, the surgeon will need to make an incision around the areola, and then down the center of the lower breast, to reshape the breast tissue and reposition the nipple. This is called a lollipop incision. When the incision continues from the center of the lower breast to the left/right of the inframammary fold, it is an anchor incision. Both incisions are so named because of their shape. Generally, a surgeon performs a lollipop lift with moderately sized breasts, and anchor lifts for larger breasts or in cases of significant excess sagging tissue.
This incision is made in the armpit crease, and therefore there are no visible breast scars. This incision is most suitable for women with saline implants, as the fill level is fine tuned after placement. While nipple sensation remains intact with a transaxillary incision, it is more difficult to precisely place the implant using this approach.
The decision regarding which incision is the best for your specific case will depend on many factors that you will discuss at your consultation appointment.
What about breast implant nipple scars?
Breast implant nipple scars occur when the surgeon performs any cutting around the nipple. Surgeons can minimize scar visibility in this area because of the natural pigment change between areola and skin. In most cases, nipple scars are very well concealed.
Will I have breast implant scars after six months?
Scarring is a natural process of healing, and it is likely that yes, you will have breast implant scars after 6 months. The good news is that scars fade over time. Also, your surgeon’s technical expertise creates the finest lines possible for surgical procedures. The goal is a beautiful aesthetic result, with minimal to light, barely noticeable scarring.
How can I minimize scars after breast implant surgery?
One of the most important ways to minimize scars after breast implant surgery is to choose a plastic surgeon with extensive experience in breast enhancement surgery. Indeed, a skilled surgeon will know which incision is most ideal, and how to minimize the appearance of any scarring for your specific case.
Following your doctor’s post-operative care plan is another important step. Your surgeon will give you guidelines to promote healing and to minimize excess tension on the surgical site which helps scars heal better. Healthy life habits, like avoiding smoking and excess sun exposure, are also beneficial for helping scars heal properly.
If there are any other interventions your surgeon would like you to try, like massage or cream, that will be outlined in your post-operative care plan. You should always follow your surgeon’s guidance to optimize your outcomes, and long-term aesthetic results.
Dr. Ashley Howarth, Scottsdale Specialist Minimizing Breast Implant Scars
Dr. Ashley Howarth is a top female plastic surgeon in Scottsdale specializing in breast enhancement procedures with minimal scarring. Recognized for her meticulous attention to detail and compassionate demeanor, Dr. Howarth offers top tier cosmetic and reconstructive procedures to patients across the region.
If you would like to find out more about breast implant scars, and which procedures will help you reach your personal goals, the first step is to schedule a one-on-one consultation at our office. Each treatment plan is unique, and Dr. Howarth will thoroughly discuss your options, so you can make an informed decision on how best to proceed. Deciding to pursue breast enhancement is an exciting step, and Dr. Ashley Howarth will guide you through the entire process, treatment, and recovery with confidence and care.