One of the most common concerns that plastic surgery candidates have is having permanent scars after a surgical operation. Most of our patients and candidates don’t have an idea of what they should expect after a plastic surgical operation. The permanence of the scars mostly depend on the type and size of the incision, and the biological build of the patient.

How Do Scars Occur After a Plastic Surgery

Scarring is a natural process that happens to heal the damaged area in the body. Scars form when the thick layer of the skin is damaged. Plastic surgical operations are processes that tear apart the dermis, in order to carry out the surgery. This means scarrings occur after a plastic surgical operation. During the recovery process, there forms a new collagen fiber mass to mend the damage in the area, and this results in a scar. The new scar tissue will have a different texture and quality than normal.

What to Expect After a Plastic Surgery

The occurrence of permanent scars also depends on the type of surgery, and the method that is used during the surgery. Rhinoplasty surgery has different possible outcomes, compared to an abdominal reduction (tummy tuck) for example. Below, we will be examining and comparing the occurrence of permanent scars in different surgeries.

Scarring in Breast-Related Surgeries

In breast-related plastic surgeries such as breast augmentation or breast lift, there are different places that can be used to open incisions. The most popular places for this are armpits and under the breasts. While breast-related plastic surgeries are likely to leave scars varied from slight to very obvious, they can usually be hidden in these spots, protecting the aesthetical look of the body.

Scarring in Abdominal Area-Related Surgeries

Surgeries that are carried out in the abdominal area usually leave obvious permanent scars, and they can not be easily hidden, unlike breast-related plastic surgeries. But the scars can be reduced via various methods, including special massage techniques that help improve the recovery process and reduce the pain and swelling. We will be discussing these techniques later in this article.

Scarring in Rhinoplasty Operations

Rhinoplasty, also known as a nose job, can be done via two different methods. And obviousness of the scar that occurs after the rhinoplasty surgery mostly depends on the method that is used. These methods are open and closed rhinoplasty. Open rhinoplasty is carried out by opening an incision under the tip of the nose, while a closed rhinoplasty operation is carried out by opening small incisions in the nostrils. Closed rhinoplasty doesn’t leave a scar that can be seen by the eye since the incisions are in the nostrils. Open rhinoplasty has the probability of leaving permanent scars under the tip of the nose. However, when the incision is closed perfectly by a professional, there is almost no probability of a permanent scar in open rhinoplasty too.

Scarring in Arm, Thigh, Butt and Breast Lifts

Lifting operations are surgical processes that aim to tighten the area and reach a more natural and aesthetic look. These operations usually include liposuction and skin/tissue trimming. For this reason, the incisions that are opened during these surgical operations can be very wide, even as wide as 16 inches. But scars that are left from these operations can be reduced and corrected via the right treatments and processes.

Types Of Scar-Related Complications

Surgical scarring can result in a number of complications, mainly due to genetic differences and predisposition.

Keloid Scars

Keloid scars are most common among patients with darker skin tones. These scars occur as a result of overly aggressive healing. These scars extend beyond the original injury and by time, they may obscure the patient’s movement. This type of scar can be treated with scar removal operations and silicone sheets. Smaller complications can also be treated by using cryotherapy.

What Can Be Done In Order To Reduce The Scarring

Although scarring is scary for most candidates for surgical operations, there are a number of simple things you can do to significantly reduce the obviousness of your scars. Also, there are various products that can be bought to help reduce the scarrings such as gels.

  • Consume a sufficient amount of water. As in all cases, water is one of the key requirements for a healthy recovery process and additionally a better-healed scar. The minimum consumption of water should be around six glasses of water a day, and ideally, drinking eight to ten glasses of water a day can significantly help reduce the scarring. 
  • Use massage gels and special creams or ointments. There are lots of both medical and herbal products that are efficient in reducing scarring after surgery. The most common products that are used for this purpose are Niacid, Contractubex and Scarex.
  • Prevent infection. Caring for your scars after plastic surgery, cleaning the surgical periodically, and avoiding any damage or impact from the outside to the surgical area is vital for a good recovery process and a smoother scar. 
  • Avoid direct sunlight. For at least a month after plastic surgery, you should avoid direct sunlight to the surgical area to hinder any possible scar-related complications, alongside a good healing process. Sunlight can result in hyper-pigmentation, and this situation can cause your scare to look more obvious and prominent. If you have to go out in the sun, be sure to wear sunscreen and protective clothing in order to obscure direct sunlight to the surgical area. 
  • Lasers. Lasers can be used in order to improve the contour and the color of the scar. The best results can be had via several sessions of laser treatment. Laser treatment is not likely to remove the scar completely, but it definitely helps reduce scarring in the surgical area.

Frequently Asked Questions About Scarrings After Plastic Surgeries

Is it possible to completely remove the scar in all cases? It is possible to make the scar not seen by the bare eye in most cases. But it is not possible to completely remove a scar in surgical operations that require bigger incisions such as a tummy tuck.

  • What is the best gel or cream to reduce my scarring?

Your body type, skin color, and alike specifications are the main determinatives of the ideal gel or cream that is best for you. You can ask your surgeon for advice for the best results. 

  • Can massaging help reduce the scarring?

A special massage technique lymphatic drainage, both helps reduce the drains and swelling, as well as reduce the scarring in the long term.