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Breast Implant Scars: What You Need to Know Before Getting Surgery

Breast augmentation, also known as mammoplasty, has become increasingly popular in recent years, with both breast enlargemet and breast reduction procedures on the rise in the UK. For many people, this surgery provides a way to enhance their body image and self-confidence. However, before making the decision to undergo breast augmentation, it is essential to understand the potential for scarring that may result from the procedure.

In the following guide, Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors provides comprehensive information on breast implant scars, helping you make an informed decision about whether or not to pursue surgery. We will also explain what you can do if you have already undergone the process and are unhappy with your breast augmentation scars.

What are the different types of breast implant?

There are several types of breast implants available, each with its own pros and cons, and the size and shape of the implant you choose may affect the visibility of scarring after surgery. The most common types of breast implant available in the UK include:

  • Silicone gel implants - known for their natural feel and appearance, but may require a larger incision.
  • Saline implants - can be adjusted more easily post-surgery but may be more prone to rippling and damage

Each type of implant has its benefits and drawbacks. Read our guide to which implant is safer to better understand these.

What are the different surgical techniques typically used in breast implant surgery, and what does this mean for scarring?

The location and visibility of breast implant scars will depend on the surgical technique used. The implants are inserted behind the breast or on top of the chest muscles to lift the breasts up. To achieve this, surgeons use one of the following techniques:

  • Inframammary incision - made along the fold beneath the breast, this is the most common technique and usually results in a well-hidden scar, beneath the breast
  • Periareolar incision - this incision is made on the front of the breast, scar tissue may be more visible
  • Transaxillary incision - made in the armpit, this technique leaves no visible scar on the breast but may be less precise in implant positioning
  • Transumbilical incision - made near the belly button, meaning the scarring will not be anywhere near the breasts

Each technique has its own recovery time and scar visibility, which should be considered when deciding on the best approach for your surgery.

What factors can influence scarring following breast surgery?

Several factors can influence the appearance of breast implant scars - some of which are out of you or your surgeon's control, and some which can be managed either by your surgeon or you. Some individuals are more prone to scarring based on their genetic makeup and skin type. Contrary to popular belief, younger people often have more visible scarring following procedures due to the higher elasticity of the skin at younger ages. Additionally, there is minimal evidence to suggest that older patients are at higher risk of unsuccessful surgery.

The surgeon's skill and experience also play a role. A skilled and experienced surgeon can minimise scarring through precise incisions and suturing techniques, while a surgeon with less experience might be more prone to mistakes. However, you should consider that even experienced surgeons can make mistakes.

Following your surgery, your surgeon should provide you with postoperative care instructions. Proper care and attention to the incision site can help reduce the risk of excessive scarring. By creating the best environment for healing, you can maximise your chances of good healing and minimise the risks of unwanted scar tissue.

What steps before and after surgery can you take to minimise scarring?

One of the first things you should do is make an informed decision on which surgeon to go with for your surgical procedure. Select a skilled and experienced surgeon - ask for recommendations from people you know who have gone under similar procedures, research online, and review each surgeon's portfolio to ensure they have a good track record.

You should also discuss incision options and scar placement with your surgeon to choose the most appropriate technique. Consider the risks of the techniques we have discussed and what this might mean for your appearance. You should also discuss the options that each surgeon offers should something go wrong with your procedure. Some surgeons offer free corrective surgery, while others do not. If you are concerned that you may want to undergo further surgery to remove any visible scarring, this may be a crucial factor in your decision-making.

Maintain proper nutrition and hydration before and after surgery to promote healing. If you are unwell leading up to your surgery, this may affect your body's ability to heal, and could lead to increased scarring or other complications. Avoid smoking, excessive sun exposure and any activities that may put strain on the affected area, as these can impair the healing process and contribute to scarring.

What scar treatments are available for breast augmentation surgery?

There are several options that may help to alleviate scarring and improve your healing process. However, these should not replace seeking a proper diagnosis from a medical professional if you believe something has gone wrong.

  • Silicone gel sheets and ointments can help flatten and fade scars by providing consistent pressure and hydration to the affected area
  • Topical creams and ointments containing vitamin E or Mederma may improve scar appearance Steroid injections can help flatten raised scars, but should only be administered by a medical professional
  • Laser therapy - can improve the colour and texture of scars
  • Microneedling and dermabrasion are both treatments that can stimulate collagen production and help reduce scar visibility

When should I consider scar revision procedures?

In some cases, you may want to consider scar revision surgery to further improve the appearance of breast implant scars. If the scar remains highly visible or causes discomfort after a significant amount of time has passed, revision surgery may be your best option. You will need to discuss your concerns with a qualified surgeon to determine if scar revision is appropriate for your situation. If you do not trust your previous surgeon, you should make sure you conduct proper research to find the right one for your revision procedure.

Before revision surgery, weigh up the potential benefits against additional costs and recovery time. While it may be the best way to reduce your scarring and improve your self-image, you should understand that it will require you to go under yet another procedure, will require you to take time to heal, and brings with it its own risks.

It is crucial to have realistic expectations when it comes to breast implant scars; understand that some scarring is inevitable, even with the most skilled surgeon and diligent postoperative care. Balance the desire for larger implants with potential scarring - larger implants may require larger incisions, leading to more noticeable scarring.

Finally, be prepared for the possibility of visible scars and consider how this may affect your self-esteem and body image, and understand what your options will be to alleviate this after your surgery.

By researching the various implant types, surgical techniques, and postoperative care options, you can make an informed decision about whether or not to pursue surgery. Ultimately, the goal is to have a successful and satisfying breast augmentation experience that enhances your self-confidence and body image, and preparing properly and following the correct healing process will help you to achieve this.

If you are concerned that your surgeon has acted negligently which has caused you unnecessary or excessive scarring, consider speaking to a legal expert. The specialist team at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors can help you to claim compensation for your suffering and cover any associated costs you have incurred due to your surgeon's negligence, including medical fees, therapy fees and financial losses due to being unable to work.

For more information on how we can help you, call us today on 0808 271 9083, or fill out an online contact form and we will call you back at a time convenient for you.

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Mike Saul


Michael Saul is a partner at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors, where he brings his extensive specialist legal expertise and passion for helping people to the forefront of his work. With a proven track record of success in cosmetic surgery negligence cases, Michael has dedicated his career to providing clients with the highest level of representation and achieving favourable outcomes.

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