Does Plastic Surgery Leave Scars?

Bloomfield Hills, MI – Does the thought of plastic surgery scars keep you from saying “Yes!” to life-improving surgery? It shouldn’t. While other surgical procedures may leave scars, cosmetic surgery scarring is almost unheard of – sort of.

Think about it. Celebrities engage in plastic surgery all the time. These stars and starlets even go so far as to keep their procedures a secret, even when they look nothing like their former selves.

If cosmetic surgery left glaring scars, these A-list celebs wouldn’t be so successful at keeping their procedures under wraps.

So how come regular surgery procedures, such as those used to repair the heart, lungs or other organs, leave scars, but plastic surgeons are able to avoid them (almost) completely?
Here are the answers you seek. Hopefully after reading them, you’ll finally schedule those procedures that could immeasurably improve your life.

All Surgeries Leave Scars

First, let’s face facts: Cosmetic surgery does involve cutting into the skin, so it does leave scars. Anytime you are performing surgery on the skin, a scar is going to result.

Don’t let that fact cause you to avoid bettering your life through a life changing operation, however.

While scars are unavoidable, they may not be as bad as you imagine.

Cosmetic surgeons are using very precise instruments, so they are able to place incisions strategically so that any scars left behind aren’t very noticeable.

Your doctor can also use techniques like layered closures, which involve deeply-embedded, dissolving stitches that are placed in regions of the body with greater tension and thicker skin. The increased pressure prevents the scar from widening during the body’s natural healing process.

Your surgeon can also use techniques like following natural skin creases to hide scars. Natural skin creases are parallel to wrinkle lines and act as camouflage to make the scar nearly invisible.

Common Surgeries and the Resulting Scars

Now let’s look at some examples using one or more procedures you may be considering.

If you are thinking about a breast augmentation, you’ll be happy to know that scars are a non-issue. During this type of procedure, your surgeon will place the implant through a tiny incision around the areola border or in the fold below the breast.

Considering a facelift? Here’s another procedure with minimal scars. These small lines can also be hidden behind the ear, along the junction between the cheek and ear, or around the posterior hairline.

For a chin implant, the incision is made inside the mouth or within the natural crease of the chin fold, leaving no visible scarring behind.

Unavoidable Visible Scars

There are some procedures, such as those involving the back, where unsightly scars are inevitable. But a skilled plastic surgeon can help to minimize these scars so that they aren’t so obvious.

What do the Scars Look Like?

Immediately after surgery and possibly for a few months afterward, the scars left behind from surgery will appear red and raised. Given enough time, they will eventually fade to minuscule white lines.

Keloid Scars

If you have darker skin, you may be prone to keloid scars, which are thicker and appear raised outside of the circumference of a standard scar. This doesn’t mean that you are destined to live with them, however. Your surgeon will just have to be more aggressive at treating them.

Post-Surgery Scar Care

Even if a scar is unavoidable, plastic surgeons are trained body artists. Using their skill and years of training, they are often able to diminish visible scars using a variety of techniques.

Your surgeon may avoid your skin from scarring by removing stitches at certain times post-procedure. For example, removing facelift sutures 6 days after the procedure lowers the risk of developing permanent marks, also referred as “track marks”, along the line of incision.
Scars can also be treated post-surgery using a Vitamin E solution, silicone spray or steroid injections.

How You Can Help to Minimize Scarring

To help your scars heal properly, your surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to care for the body part that has been operated on. If you don’t want scars to last, you should follow those instructions exactly as described.

You may have to change out silicone pads, which are designed to shrink plastic surgery scars. Your surgeon may even suggest that you take Vitamin C and Zinc orally, which can help to reduce the appearance of scars.

You should also use a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 for a year post-surgery as the scars mature. That’s because scars may become darker or lighter than the adjacent skin (hypopigmentation) if they are immature and exposed to significant UV rays. This is true even on otherwise cloudy days.

With a skilled surgeon and the right treatment after surgery, even scars left behind post-surgery can be faded to appear next to nothing. What you’re left with is the ideal nose, tummy or pair of breasts without a single scar to show for it.

With your fears abated, it’s now time to schedule those procedures you’ve been putting off for so long. Call Dr. Ali for a consultation.

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