Scars commonly cause distress to patients and unfortunately, many women who have undergone breast augmentation, breast reduction or reconstructive breast surgery are left with the scarring reminder of surgery or their past which can affect self-confidence and intimacy.
“Many patients after having breast augmentation surgery are not made aware that their scars can be safely and effectively treated by lasers”, says Dr Suzan Bekir, GP and cosmetic doctor. “Breast scars, like surgical scars or acne scars, can undergo scar reduction treatments; we see great results with silicon-based gels, sometimes anti-inflammatory injections may help or lasers particularly resurfacing lasers. At the moment I am seeing great results particularly from ablative laser resurfacing of scars from women who have undergone breast augmentation”.
Scars result from a chaotic wound healing response leaving behind fibrotic tissue due to irregular collagen formation. Although there are different types of scars; atrophic, hypertrophic and keloid scars, most breast scars are generally mild and will respond to topical treatments.
If like many women, you’re turning to plastic surgery to make yourself look and feel younger, you may be disappointed to know that your breast augmentation, or tummy tuck surgery will likely leave a scar. Often, this is overlooked says Dr Michael Yunaev of the Breast and Body Clinic, as many patients don’t consider cosmetic surgery as “true” surgery.
While a scar may not be a pleasant reminder of a past surgical procedure, a scar is the body’s response to skin damage that’s occurred. The distinctive appearance of a scar is caused by the leaving behind of fibrotic tissue due to irregular collagen formation.
More skilled plastic surgeons will be more capable of hiding or minimising the surgery scars says Dr Yunaev, but depending on the procedure that is undertaken it may not be possible to remove all traces of scars.
The good news is, in many cases, it’s possible to minimise the scarring yourself after the surgery. Here are some treatments you can try at home post-surgery to reduce scarring:
• Keep your wound clean and change the dressing frequently. Rely on the surgeon’s advice on when to remove the dressing and how to clean the area effectively.
• Don’t fiddle with the wound. Don’t pick or scratch at your scabs or scars. This increases the likelihood of infection and can make scars more visible.
• Use antibiotic and antiseptic creams prescribed by your surgeon, but only use these creams when the wounds have fully closed and use them only as directed by your doctor.
After the wound has healed, there are other things you can do to aid healing:
• Use sunscreen to protect the skin that is healing. Sunscreen will help to protect your skin from hyperpigmentation that makes scars more visible
• Moisturize your skin regularly. Moisturising may help protect your skin from keloid scars forming.
• Use silicone gel sheets. These silicon sheets can be applied to the affected area and often have good results in minimising scarring.
• Massage. Massaging may help to break up scar tissue and can minimise scarring. Massage oils may also be beneficial. Please consult your doctor before you begin massaging a scar.
However, many women who are still embarrassed by their breast scars after surgery should consider seeing a Doctor who specialises in skin, scars as well as laser medicine to see whether a laser reduction treatment for their scars is appropriate.
Taylor clinic lasers
Fractionated laser – Fractionated lasers are able to improve the appearance of scars. They have less downtime and improve skin texture.
Ablative lasers – Resurfacing is a superior procedure however they have significantly more downtime. Carbon dioxide erbium resurfacing lasers are available at Taylor Clinic performed by our surgeons, cosmetic surgeons and doctors.
Costs – Breast scar Fractionated and ablative laser treatments $400/treatment
Want to speak with a skin Doctor who understands Scars and its complications?
Taylor Clinic Doctors are trained in skin conditions and offer consultations and treatments for scarring. Bella Vista, Wollongong, Double Bay. Call 1300 00 3223 for an appointment.