Scarring in Cosmetic Surgery – Orange County
Scarring Concerns in Cosmetic Surgery
One of the most important questions many patients have when considering cosmetic surgeries such as breast augmentation or breast lift, tummy tuck, or liposuction is “Where and how long will the scars be, and how will they look?” Although there is not a single answer to this question for all types of surgery and all patients, there are several factors to consider that may be helpful to most prospective patients.
Scars take a long time to mature fully, and can actually keep changing (usually for the better) for up to one or two years after surgery! New or immature scars are often red, and frequently feel firm and sensitve or tender. With passage of time, the scars usually soften and fade in col0r. Many patients that are concerned about their scars a few months after surgery are later very satisfied when the scars improve with maturation.
Different areas of the body, and different surgical procedures, also tend to produce scars of different quality. Eyelid lift scars, for example, tend to heal extremely well, with scars that become almost imperceptible in many patients. Scars along the lower border of the areola, as used for a breast augmentation, also heal beautifully in most cases. Scars from breast lifts and tummy tucks tend to be somewhat more visible, partly due to different healing in those parts of the body, and partly to additional tension placed on the scars by the surgery. Even so, the vast majority of my breast lift and tummy tuck patients are ultimately very satisfied with the scar appearance. I make a point of placing the scars in areas where they can be easily covered by most types of clothing, underwear and bathing suits in case they do remain visible. For example, I place my tummy tuck scars very low on the abdomen, so they are covered even by very low-riding jeans or a bikini bottom. Liposuction or liposculpture scars are usually very short, around 1/4 inch, and can generally be placed in very inconspicuous areas, such as in natural creases.
It is imporant to recognize that there are some patients who may form a thicker or more visible scar no matter what is done. Patients with darker skin pigmentation are at greater risk of poor scar formation, although even my darker-skinned patients usually form acceptable scars, and are glad they chose to have surgery.
If it looks like a patient might be forming a poorer scar, or is at risk for that given a history of prior poor scarring, there are some measures that can be taken. These include topical agents such as silicone gel, cortisone, Vitamin E and others, or cortisone injections. If a scar in a “tight” area becomes to wide or raised, it is often possible to improve the scar appearance with a minor “scar revision” procedure performed many months later, when the skin has relaxed.
In order to maximize your chances for good scars and a nice outcome from your surgery, it’s important to find a plastic surgeon who is certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery. I treat patients from all over Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County and Los Angeles County, as well as other states, and would be happy to meet with you to discuss your cosmetic surgery goals and expectations. Please call my office at 714-835-6500, and visit my informative website, ataleisnikmd.com.
Dr. Andres Taleisnik