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What boob job scars can I expect?

Breast augmentation surgery is the most popular cosmetic procedure carried out in the UK today.

For women who are considering breast augmentation surgery, inevitably there are questions about what boob job scars to expect.

Tagged: Recovery & Aftercare

Author: Mr. Bryan Mayou, MB ChB FRCS

Date: 12th May 2021

Medically Reviewed by:  Mr. Bryan Mayou (GMC: 1414396)

Last reviewed: 1st February 2024

Why are there breast augmentation scars following breast surgery?

Boob job scars are a natural outcome of the surgical incisions made to insert the breast implants that augment the size of small breasts, or to accommodate any fat transferred to increase the size of the breasts. 

Whilst the precise location and size of these incisions might vary depending on the exact technique employed by the surgeon, these are an inevitable part of any breast surgery that seeks to enhance the size of the breast, and scars will form at the site of the incisions in the post operative phase. 

The good news is that these can be well hidden by a skilled surgeon, and patient preference can be accommodated at the planning phase.  

What breast augmentation scars can I expect?

Whilst you can expect breast augmentation scars, most patients find that with proper care and healing, the scars gradually fade over time. A skilled surgeon can also minimise these, as well as plan them in discrete locations under the breast that specifically take your anatomy into account, not visible to the eye.   

Whilst the scars may start out red and pink in the immediate post operative phase, these should fade away with the passage of time and result in a highly discrete outcome.  

Your surgeon will provide comprehensive postoperative care instructions to help you minimize scarring, and you may even be recommended additional scar management activities during recovery.  

With the right surgeon, proper planning and the correct recovery protocol you should not be left with significant boob job scars.  

How do breast augmentation scars relate to the technique used?

You should expect your boob job scars to relate to the specific surgical technique employed by your surgeon. This is because scars appear at the sites of any incision, and each technique employs a slightly different incision approach. 

Some common approaches include. 

  • Inframammary Technique: the incision is made in the natural crease under the breast known as the inframammary fold. The breast implant is then placed directly into the breast tissue (either above or below the pectoral muscle) before being sutured back up along this single straight horizontal line. This is often preferred given the discretion of the resulting scar  
  • Periareolar Technique: the incision is made around the edge of the areola in a circular shape where the pigmented skin meets the lighter breast skin. The surgeon then lifts the skin and tissue through the periareolar incision to create a pocket for the breast implant. The areola stays intact and is resutured around its circumference once the implant has been inserted. Scarring is in a circular line around the areola, and may be reduced if it fades successfully into the colouration transition of the areola area
  • Transaxillary Incision: incisions are made under the arm, leaving any scarring well away from the breast area and hidden under the armpit. Preferred by those who do not want any scarring on the breast area, but less common  
  • Transumbilical Incision (TUBA): a much rarer technique where the incision is made in the navel area and the implants are inserted through a tunnel to the breast. This is more complex surgery, and ultimately leaves a scar in the navel area which many patients prefer to avoid. This is a far less common patient choice 

Will they look obvious?

In the early stages following breast augmentation, yes your scars will be obvious and certainly more noticeable than later on in the healing process. 

During the preliminary healing phase you should expect inflammation and redness due to increased blood flow to the area, a slight thickness and raised bumpy texture to the scar, a degree of tenderness to the touch and some swelling around the scar area. You will also have stitches over the top of the scar site where the incisions have been sutured.  

The good news is that whilst there is strong variation between individuals based on key factors such as skin type, genetic and incision type, these scars will eventually fade.   

Do boob job scars go away?

Boob job scars do not completely disappear, but with time, good care, and realistic expectations, they can fade and become less apparent.  

The healing process for breast augmentation scars can take several months to a year or more, but by following post-operative instructions, avoiding sun exposure, and considering scar treatments, you can help minimise the presence of scars and obtain a subtle outcome.  

After six months you should find that the scar fading from red and pink to a lighter colour that more closely resembles the surrounding skin area, as well as a flattening out and softening of the scar. The tenderness should disappear and the scar area should start to feel the same as the rest of the surrounding area of the skin.  

After one year you should have full breast augmentation scar maturation.  

Regular follow-up meetings with your surgeon are also recommended to ensure proper monitoring and guidance during the healing process. 


How can I prevent boob job scars?

As the incisions made during breast surgery are minimal and are particularly thin, there should not be any excessive scarring. However, given that a boob job is a surgical procedure, a degree of scarring should be expected.  

To a degree, the extent of any breast augmentation scars is down to the surgeon carrying out the surgery. This is why you should only have this procedure carried out in a reputable clinic with expert surgeons.  

There are a few actions that you can take following the surgery to reduce the appearance of scars.  

These include: 

Follow all post-operative instructions  

It is critical to carefully follow your surgeon's precise post-operative care instructions. These recommendations may include wound care measures such as keeping the incision site clean and dry, changing dressings as instructed, and using any prescribed ointments or lotions. Your Cadogan Clinic surgeon will discuss all of these with you following your procedure. 

Gently massage the area after surgeon approval  

Once your surgeon has given you the go-ahead, you can gently massage the incision area with a moderate, hypoallergenic moisturiser. Massage can assist increase blood circulation, break down scar tissue, and improve scar appearance over time. Talk with your surgeon before beginning scar massage to ensure that it is appropriate for your individual circumstance. 

Avoid sun exposure 

It is critical to protect your incision areas from direct sunlight during the healing process. Scars can deepen and become more visible as a result of sun exposure. When going outside, wear clothing that covers the incision or use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF. 

Avoid heavy lifting  

You should avoid any heavy lifting in line with the timescales given by your surgeon. Ignoring this could lead to wounds reopening and this could cause worse scarring. 

Avoid exfoliating your skin  

While exfoliating your skin is usually considered good for its overall condition it is important not to do this near your scars. Likewise, excessive scrubbing in the area of the scars should be avoided. 

Avoid tanning

It is critical to protect your incision areas from direct sunlight during the healing process. Scars can deepen and become more visible as a result of sun exposure. When going outside, wear clothes. This doesn’t mean that you can never have a suntan again, but certainly, while you are healing tanning will make the appearance of any scars more obvious to the eye. It could also hinder the healing of your new skin cells over the scar tissue that covers the incision, or use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF. 

Can I have a boob job without scars?

While it's normal to want a breast augmentation with no visible scars, it's crucial to recognise that any surgical surgery that involves incisions will result in some scarring. Breast surgery scars are an inevitable outcome from any type of breast surgery. 

Skilled surgeons strive to minimise boob job scarring by making small incisions in discrete locations, and scars can be greatly reduced in appearance over time with realistic expectations and adequate post-operative care. Choosing a reputable clinic with competent surgeons, such as Cadogan Clinic, is critical for attaining the best outcomes with minimal scarring. 

How long does it take for breast augmentation scars to heal?

The healing time for breast augmentation scars can vary from person to person and may be affected by lifestyle choices such as aftercare or sun exposure. The initial healing process can take up to 6-8 weeks, at which points the scars are likely to be red or pink and still a little raised. Eventually, the scars may fade to smoother lines and look similar to your regular breast tissue. In some cases, they may appear to be thin, pale, or silvery lines on the skin, but many agree they are not noticable. Complete scar maturation can take up to 12-18 months, depending on the individual. 

It is critical to follow your surgeon's post-operative care recommendations and attend any follow-up consultations to ensure proper healing and to monitor the progression of your augmentation scars.  

What do breast enlargement scars look like?

When breast enlargement surgery is carried out it involves thin incisions being made in the skin. The incisions are kept as small as possible and tend to be made underneath the breast or, in some instances, near the areola. As the incisions begin to heal they will appear red and will be raised above the surrounding skin. 

 As the healing process continues the colour of these scars will change to pink. In time, breast augmentation scars should turn white and the texture should also change. They should no longer be raised and instead should be flat against the skin.  

Given the location of the incisions, any boob job scars are not in prominent places that are easily visible.  
Scarring near the areola is easily concealed simply by wearing a bra and scars underneath the breast are generally hidden by clothing.   

How can I help my boob job scars fade?

Your surgeon will ensure that you are aware of actions that you can take to help your breast implant scars fade. However, If you are concerned about the appearance of your scars, you can explore further scar treatments which may aid in softening and flattening the scars, diminishing their visibility. 

Some of our most popular breast implant scar management treatments include: 

Intense pulsed light (IPL) 

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy can be used to improve the appearance of certain types of scars. Light energy is used to target pigmentation irregularities on the scar and break down excess melanin to encourage them to fade 

ICON Fractional laser treatment 

The ICON Fractional laser is a cutting-edge laser treatment that addresses scar maturation. It is especially good at reducing redness, shrinking scars, and addressing surrounding hyperpigmentation around the breast. This powerful laser treatment is frequently favoured by scar management professionals because it can promote optimal scar healing and improve the cosmetic appearance of breast augmentation scars. 

Silicone gel or sheets 

Silicone gel or sheets are commonly used in breast augmentation scar management and have been demonstrated to be effective in reducing scar visibility. These topical medicines were originally developed for burn management but have now been shown to be beneficial in aiding scar healing. They form a protective barrier over the scar, moisturise the area, and provide sun protection with their SPF, all of which contribute to the scar's overall appearance improving over time. 

LED light therapy 

LED light therapy, specifically blue light therapy, has been demonstrated to improve scar treatment. When blue light is applied to the skin, it interacts with cells, stimulating them to make new collagen and elastin. These two components are necessary for skin repair and can help to reduce scarring. LED light treatment can be a beneficial addition to scar care regimes, assisting in the enhancement of the skin's natural healing process and improving the appearance of boob job scarring. 

Scar revision surgery 

This is a procedure that aims to reduce the appearance of scars and is an effective option for scars anywhere on the face or body. 


Words From Our Founder

Mr. Bryan Mayou

When performing Breast Augmentation surgery, our priority is to minimise visible scarring while achieving optimal results. Whenever possible, incisions are strategically placed in the natural crease underneath the breasts, where scarring can be discreetly concealed. Over time, these scars typically fade and blend with the surrounding skin, becoming less noticeable. Our approach to Breast Augmentation prioritises patient satisfaction and confidence, ensuring that individuals achieve natural-looking results with minimal visible scarring.
Mr. Bryan Mayou

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