Breast augmentation is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures in America. This is an operation that changes the level of self-confidence in terms of appearance for many women. Many women who have this operation do not want to telltale signs that they have undergone the procedure. The dedicated breast augmentation surgeon will always strive for shorter and better scars.
The best way to minimize scarring is through proper planning. First, understand that some patients have a predisposition to forming thick raised scars, such as keloids or hypertrophic scars. Unfortunately there is no test for this. Many patients point to scars on other parts of their body, this is not always an indicator of how well the scars on their breasts may heal. If you have a history of healing poorly it is important to notify your plastic surgeon at the time of your consultation.
There are currently 4 approaches for scar placement in breast augmentations, 3 of these approaches are currently offered by Dr. Spence. These include:
- Crease incision
- Armpit incision
- Incision around the areola
The fourth method is called TUBA, or transumbilical breast augmentation, involves a scar through the belly button.
The inframammory fold or crease incisions have been popular for breast augmentations for many years. The aim has always been to make these scars as short as possible. (Remember, in general, since saline implants are filled inside the breast, it is easier to pass these implants through a small incision allowing for a shorter scar. Silicone implants come pre-filled usually require a slightly larger scar.) It is important to plan the placement of this scar in the future or new fold of the breast at that portion of the crease where the breasts hangs over the fold to make this inconspicuous. Even with such meticulous placement and a short scar, over time if the breast descends the scar may end up slightly higher than planned. These scars must therefore be treated with aggressive scar management protocol early on.
The placement of scars around the nipple (areola) is quite common especially for the patient that has good color contrast between the darker skin of the areola and the lighter skin of the breast. It is important to observe this contrast at the time of consultation. The scar can be nicely hidden just inside the dark of the areola. If the areolas are quite small, the length of the scar may not be accommodated in the dark of the areola skin.
Endoscopic / transaxillary (scar through the armpit) is quite frequently performed in Dr. Spence’s practice. Depending upon the anatomy, these scars can be hidden in a crease of the armpit. Discuss the exact placement of the scar with your surgeon, as it should not be visible when wearing a strapless evening dress.
Other Scar Prevention Techniques
A five pronged approach to breast augmentation has helped to improve the scars of the breast augmentation patient. This includes the following:
- Proper planning as mentioned above.
- Keeping the scars taped following surgery. This should be done only under the direction of your surgeon. An appropriate history must be taken to ensure that you have no allergies to adhesives and the tape must be changed frequently to prevent the breakdown of the skin. The type of tape used must be specifically directed by your surgeon.
- The use of topical steroids must be carried out under the specific direction of your physician to determine strength and frequency of application. Steroids work by blocking the build up of excess collagen and speeding up the breakdown of excess collagen.
- Laser or light based devices, such as Intense Pulsed Light, can be used to improve scars. Dr. Spence has found these devices to be helpful. Consult with your surgeon about this.
- Topical silicone sheeting or silicone products are available over the counter and are probably the most widely used aids for scar management. These aids work by regulating the temperature and humidity of the scars and provide compression to the scars. The timing of their use is important. This should be directed by your plastic surgeon.
To schedule a breast augmentation consultation with Dr. Spence at Orlando Plastic Surgery, call 407-999-2585 or request a breast enhancement consultation online. Also, feel free to browse through our Before and After Photo Gallery for Orlando breast augmentation photos.
- Read more about Breast Augmentation Orlando