Most breast augmentation scars after one year are barely detectable, especially if they remain in discreet areas such as within the submammary fold, around the areola’s perimeter, and inside a skin fold of the armpit.
Most incisions used in breast augmentation measure between 2-4 cm, with saline implants typically resulting in shorter scars than silicone implants because they are implanted into the pocket empty before they are inflated with sterile salt water.
In the first 2-3 weeks postop, there is a risk of wound breakdown that makes it important to avoid excessive tension or force. For this reason, patients are generally advised to avoid rigorous physical activities, heavy lifting, and underwire bra which could dig into their submammary fold incisions without them even knowing it due to temporary numbness.
Wound breakdown must be avoided because it often leads to poor scarring—i.e., raised or reddish scars.
To further protect the wound from excessive force, most Orange County plastic surgery experts recommend steri-strips during the initial healing phase. They work by holding both ends of the incision together and removing unnecessary tension on the skin, leading to fine scars.
At three weeks, most patients can shift to silicone sheets, which some studies have suggested to result in great patient satisfaction. Aside from hydrating the skin, they also prevent excessive collagen formation that is responsible for the appearance of thick, raised scars.
Contrary to popular belief, creams and lotions containing vitamin E have no or very minimal effect on scar appearance. Some people may even develop allergic reaction from these products, which could lead to unfavorable scarring.
Scar massage is another modality that has excellent clinical results. It is often started when the incisions are sealed, which happens at around three weeks.
Scar massage, which is often combined with other modalities such as silicone sheets and creams, typically involves stretching the skin around the scar in a parallel direction or applying direct pressure to the scar tissue.
Meanwhile, reddish scars tend to respond better with certain types of laser treatments, which could also improve keloid or raised scars. Treating a small scar may cost $300-$600 per session, with most patients requiring at least four sessions to see a noticeable improvement.
Most breast augmentation scars after one year are imperceptible, assuming that the patients do not encounter infection and stick to their plastic surgeon’s postop instructions.