Scars from Plastic Surgery: What to Expect

Any type of surgical procedure that involves an incision will result in a scar. Concern over scarring can be one of the top reasons why some individuals shy away from plastic surgery procedures. By knowing what to expect and how to minimize the effects of scarring, you can alleviate your own concerns and head into your plastic surgery with greater confidence.

What is a Scar?

A scar is visible evidence of the body’s own healing process. It occurs when collagen is produced to fill in the tear or incision in the skin. At the same time, the body produces an enzyme known as collagenase, which eliminates excess collagen. Despite the body’s best efforts, a degree of excess collagen may be left after the body completes the healing process, which leaves the residual scar.

Scars usually follow a basic progression. Fresh scars are typically red and raised after the surgery. Over time, the scar will soften and flatten out, making it less visible. Scars can be red for as long as 18 months. As the redness diminishes, the scar will become even less detectable.

Although scars are an inevitable reminder of your plastic surgery procedure, they are not usually as visible or bothersome as you fear. In most cases, incisions are strategically placed to ensure scarring is hidden in natural folds of the skin or clothing. A skilled surgeon also knows how to suture an incision to minimize visible scarring after the incision fully heals.

Common Plastic Surgery Scars

Common concerns over scarring occur with the following procedures:

Tummy Tuck – Patients worry about scarring after a tummy tuck because the incision used for this procedure is often quite long. However, the incision is typically placed inside the bikini line, so it will not be seen in most situations.

Breast Augmentation – Incisions for breast augmentation may be placed around the areola, in the breast crease or under the arm in the axilla. These incisions are generally much smaller than patients expect and usually heal quite well.

Liposuction – Because liposuction can be performed on nearly any area of the body, scarring is often a concern. However, because the cannula used to perform liposuction is usually quite small, the incisions are also minimal. Once they heal completely, liposuction scarring can be nearly invisible.

Although patients often begin the plastic surgery process with concerns about scarring, most agree the scar they have after the procedure is an acceptable trade-off for the new look they receive from their procedure. To learn more about plastic surgery scars, or steps you can take to minimize their appearance after your procedure, contact Dr. Andrews Plastic Surgery at 319-800-6877.

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