Do I Have To Worry About Scarring If I Get Plastic Surgery?

“Is this going to leave a scar?” … It’s a refrain heard from anyone preparing to undergo any type of surgical procedure, whether for a medical or cosmetic reason. Scars following surgical procedures have always been a main concern of patients.

There are many post-surgical treatments that can minimize and diminish the appearance and visibility of scars—and in some cases eliminate them entirely—but the truth is, yes. After plastic surgery, you will very likely have a scar(s). So the best course of action is not worrying about scarring, but learning about the kinds of scarring that can occur with certain procedures, and how to treat them!

Let’s take a look at some popular New York plastic surgeries and the kind of scarring that can occur.

Liposuction

Scarring that can occur with liposuction, in most cases, is minimal. That’s because the incisions made with liposuction procedures are typically small, and therefore so are the scars that form. Factors that can play into the degree of scarring will depend on the skill and technique of your New York board-certified expert plastic surgeon, and your own genetic makeup and inherited scarring tendencies.

Almost nonexistent scarring from modern liposuction procedures is not unusual, mainly because of small cannulas (microcannulas) that are used in the removal of fat that’s inserted into very small incisions. Most of the scars associated with liposuction fade and disappear over time. The scars that are more visible tend to result from large liposuction cannulas used in a procedure and in patients that have more darkly pigmented skin.

Two kinds of scars can stay present on the skin following liposuction. One is a “true” scar, raised, firm tissue that a liposuction procedure leaves behind. The other is a “dyschromia” scar, which isn’t raised tissue but is discolored with either a light or dark spot on the skin.

The good news is that most scarring associated with liposuction surgeries is small enough to heal almost completely, becoming virtually invisible. And incisions are often strategically located on areas of the body where they’re difficult to see.

Mommy Makeovers

The typical mommy makeover involves plastic surgery across different areas of the body. They can include a breast lift or augmentation, a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty, and liposuction. All of these surgeries are performed through incisions made in localized areas. Scarring is an expected byproduct of these procedures, although, like any scars, they ultimately fade with time. Exposing your skin to the sun, abrasive contact, excessive force, or even motion can play a part in how and where scar tissue forms.

In some cases, such as with women who’ve had cesareans, incision scars from the tummy tuck could be incorporated into the existing cesarean scar. There are two incisions that are part of the tummy tuck procedure: one that’s placed near the belly button and another one from one hip to the other, that runs across the abdomen. Plastic surgeons try to place incisions for tummy tucks as low as they can along the waistline, where eventual scars can be hidden from view by underwear or jeans. And what’s more, the insertion scars from the liposuction cannula are often so minimal that they end up indiscernible anyway.

Breast Augmentations

Before making the decision to get a breast augmentation procedure, most women raise the question of scarring and ask what they can expect the scarring to look like. Again, breast augmentations are surgical procedures, and as with any surgery, scars are inevitable.

The placement of said scars depends on where your board-certified plastic surgeon makes the incisions to place implants, which are traditionally inserted inside the breast pocket. A common incision technique is called the inframammary incision, which creates incisions that mirror the natural curvature underneath the breasts. Therefore, scars will not be as easily visible and can even be covered up by the top of a bikini.

Periareolar incisions are semicircular incisions that are traced along the lower half of the breast nipple areolas. Incisions made in this region cover scarring even more. Yet another technique is called the trans axillary incision, which is made in the underarm area. This will clearly bypass any scarring on the breasts. The technique is one that calls upon the highly skilled capabilities of a board-certified New York plastic surgeon, and still, there might be less accurate placement of the breast implants.

The breast augmentation recovery process can last over 18 months to show full healing and results, and during that time, you might look at your scars and think that they’re getting worse instead of better. But this is just evidence of the skin repairing itself; most scars will have a red or pink and slightly raised appearance while they’re healing. The appearance will become less noticeable over time. Age, genetics, skin tone, and sun exposure also play a part in the time it takes scars to heal.

How Does Your Body Heal Scars?

When you have a better understanding of how the human body heals itself, you’ll begin to understand why there are specific instructions that accompany any plastic surgery. It’s to help you navigate your way through the healing process and produce the best results. And while your own red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets work beneath the surface to create new tissue through scarring, modern medicine can help things to proceed even faster.

Some plastic surgeons will recommend Fibroblasts or vitamin C in large 500 mg doses, along with the wholesome benefits of proteins. Your part is to follow an eating plan that’s substantial and nutritious while you heal. It’s important not to put up any roadblocks that could derail your progress, even if you’re still trying to lose a few pounds. Eating enough (if not more) is pivotal in ensuring your body heals to the best of its ability.

You may also have vitamin supplements or probiotics prescribed to help you heal better. And don’t forget citrus, lean meats, chicken, vegetables, and fish are all rich in vitamins, minerals, and other vital nutrients. Your plastic surgeon will have a complete plan specifically designed for the healing your procedure requires and your physical characteristics.

The primary thing to remember is that everybody heals differently, and some conditions that can affect scarring are unpredictable.

Preventive Measures

There are things that you can do that can help minimize how your scars form and heal both before and after your plastic surgery procedure. They can include:

  • Refraining from smoking of any kind for several weeks before and after your plastic surgery
  • Avoiding prolonged exposure to sun and applying protective sunscreen any time you’re outside
  • Maintaining a nutritious diet and drinking plenty of water
  • Adherence to your plastic surgeon’s instructions for resuming any physical activity following your surgery.

Scar Treatments

Although you can’t escape developing scars following plastic surgeries, there are things you can do after your incisions have fully healed to reduce the appearance of your scars. Make sure to get approval from your surgeon before you start any self-treatment. Some of your options are:
  • Vitamin E supplements or applying topical vitamin E to healed incisions
  • Silicone sheeting
  • Topical cortisone cream
  • Laser skin resurfacing

The Good News From Aristocrat!

The hard truth is that scars are unavoidable after any surgery, and all incisions heal by forming scars. On the other hand, with the help and guidance of your board-certified New York plastic surgeon, you can have the confidence of knowing that the worst of your scarring will only be a temporary experience if you follow the pre-and post-op instructions your doctor gives you.

Aristocrat carries a wide selection of premium quality products and outpatient skincare treatments to help treat, heal, and minimize the appearance of scars and other skin conditions including the following:

DIAMONDBUFF™ (Sold by Aristocrat Plastic Surgery for at-home use)

This skincare tool for use at home is great for exfoliating the skin, leaving it feeling soft and smooth. The Diamond Buff tool treats blackheads, small bumps, and ingrown hairs, so it’s an excellent procedure for men and women alike.

Forever Young BBL™ Photofacial (Sold by and performed at Aristocrat Plastic Surgery)

The Forever Young BBL (photofacial) treatment, performed in our offices, is also known as photo rejuvenation, a procedure that uses broad-spectrum light to rejuvenate the skin and restore your skin’s youthful color. In a few quick and painless treatments, the Forever Young BBL (photofacial) will treat Rosacea, hyperpigmentation, sun damage, freckles, wrinkles, broken capillaries, age spots, acne, and other signs of skin damage. It’s also very effective for sun spot removal. Because photo rejuvenation works without disrupting the skin’s surface, there is little discomfort and little to no downtime. Photo-rejuvenation can treat areas such as the face, hands, neck, shoulders, and décolletage. The Forever Young BBL (photofacial) treatment uses broadband light therapy (BBL therapy), an advanced version of Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) technology.

Fractora™ Fractional Resurfacing (Sold by and performed at Aristocrat Plastic Surgery)

Fractora Fractional Technology is one of our outpatient treatments that uses radio wave (RF) energy to remove dead and damaged skin cells and stimulate the production of collagen and elastin. This process reduces surface imperfections in the epidermis and causes the skin to gradually become firmer, tighter, smoother, and more voluminous. It functions similarly to BBL Laser Skin Tightening, but it uses RF energy in place of light energy. RF energy is extremely gentle; this treatment is not associated with any risk of burning, significant skin irritation, swelling, or pain.

During a Fractora treatment, a special applicator containing several tiny probes is applied to the skin. These probes create microlesions in the skin, which permits the RF energy to penetrate deeply into the dermis. Fractora strengthens the connective tissues below the skin, rather than just tightening the epidermis. The microlesions created by the applicator also stimulate the body’s healing response. Collagen is used during wound healing, so the presence of even a very small wound results in increased collagen production. Fractora is therefore capable of producing more pronounced changes in skin firmness and overall condition than many other nonsurgical RF-based therapies. Fractora Fractional Technology treats:

  • Loose skin
  • Wrinkles
  • Fine lines
  • Skin texture problems
  • Age spots
  • Visible capillaries
  • Acne scars
As well as being ideal for use on the face and neck, Fractora can be applied to other areas of the body, like the chest and arms.

Fraxel Re:Store Laser Resurfacing (Sold by and performed at Aristocrat Plastic Surgery)

For the last ten years, Fraxel Laser treatments have been considered to be one of the most advanced laser skin resurfacing techniques in the cosmetic industry. Their newest innovation, Fraxel Re:Store, combines the dual power of two types of lasers, erbium lasers and thulium lasers, for an effective but gentle skin resurfacing treatment that targets scarring, hyperpigmentation, and hard to treat wrinkles. The Fraxel Re:Store Dual Laser treats:

  • Hard to treat wrinkles around the eyes
  • Acne scars
  • Surgical scars
  • Age spots and sunspots
  • Melasma
  • Actinic Keratoses (precancerous lesions)
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Brown spots
While most patients require 3-5 treatments every 3-8 weeks, the treatment is quick, gentle, and has minimal side effects. The Fraxel Re:Store is also adjustable enough to use any kind of skin type, from dark to light, and can be used in other parts of the body that have dark spots, like the chest, back, legs, and arms.

Micro-Needling Collagen Inducing Therapy (Sold by and performed at Aristocrat Plastic Surgery)

Micro-needling is one of the most effective, natural methods of skin rejuvenation. It stimulates the body’s natural ability to repair and renew the skin. By creating micro-injuries in the skin using incredibly fine needles, our body begins a process of healing and renewal that leads to younger, healthier skin. The treatment works in three phases that result in tissue remodeling, skin tightening, and significant improvement in the appearance of the skin. Because micro-needling essentially utilizes a natural process, it is a holistic approach to skin therapy. Micro-needling offers solutions for all skin types, and can effectively improve the appearance of acne scars, surgical scars, burn scars or keloid scars, and even tattoo removal.

If You Have Worries About Scars after Plastic Surgery…

Call us to schedule a private consultation. At Aristocrat Plastic Surgery & MedAesthetics, we see our craft as the ultimate expression of art in surgery. This is where age-appropriate procedures and effective beauty therapy can make you look younger and feel more confident. We offer the most advanced techniques in plastic surgery on our premises, created with an eye for beauty, and the specific post-surgical care and treatment programs to give you stunning results!
male surgeon in scrubs in the operating room preparing to operatewoman laying on an operating table with pre-surgery marks on her face