Scarring after breast surgery
Post-surgery scarring is a common concern that shouldn’t be overlooked, regardless of whether you have undergone breast surgery or are considering breast surgery. Learning about how you can minimise potential scarring is something worth considering.
While experienced Doctors strive to reduce the appearance of scarring through strategic placement and various surgical techniques, it is essential to acknowledge that the severity of scarring is largely influenced by factors beyond both yours and their control, such as genetics, age, and lifestyle.
Fortunately, there are both at-home and in-clinic treatments available to help achieve the best possible outcome for your scar. We had the opportunity to sit down with Dr Ian Chinsee, cosmetic doctor and co-owner of Inigo Cosmetic to discuss surgical scarring and explore the most effective treatments and products to reduce the appearance of post-surgery scarring.
Dr Ian Chinsee interview Q & A
What are your top tips to minimise scarring after breast surgery?
“Poor scarring generally results from increased tension on the skin. Everything that is done surgically is done with a view to reducing the amount of tension that is placed on the scar. For instance, wounds are closed in multiple layers to reduce the direct stress on the skin. They are also reinforced with inelastic dressings or tapes to further reduce the pressure on the wound. But wound healing also depends on other factors, like overall nutrition, tissue quality, and blood supply. That’s why it is so important to stop smoking as it can severely impair your microcirculation. Some things you can do to actively assist in the healing process are:
- Prepare your skin for surgery with Healite LED light therapy in clinic. We recommend using Healite LED light therapy two weeks in the lead up to your breast surgery, as well as immediately post surgery 2-3 times per week for four to eight weeks following your breast surgery procedure, as LED light therapy assists with stimulating tissue regeneration, collagen production, wound healing and reducing inflammation, bruising and pain.
- Follow all post operative instructions as well as your dressing change letter.
- Keep well hydrated and ensure optimum nutrition. I recommend incorporating ingestible collagen in the weeks leading up to your breast surgery as well as the weeks following your breast surgery.
- Use appropriate serums/ointments on scars once you have approval from your treating doctor. We recommended iS Clinical Super to help revise and model breast surgery scars as well as Tissue repair, Strataderm & Silicone tape
- Depending on your scars and your concerns with appearance of your breast scars, you might consider Microneedling RF (Morpheus8 or Exion), Dermapen or Lumecca IPL
Is there anything a patient can do in the lead up to their breast surgery that can help to minimise scarring?
“Ensure you are having a balanced, healthy diet, high in nutrients for optimising healing, you can incorporate ingestible collagen, keep well hydrated, come into the clinic and have a healite within 3 days prior to surgery and stop smoking 6-12 weeks prior”
Why do some people scar worse than others?
“Everyone is different when it comes to wound healing. Generally darker skin tones are more prone to hypertrophic or keloid scarring. Diet and overall health contribute as well. Regardless, most surgical scars will heal well due to the way the skin is closed, the types of dressings used and the amount of post care you do.”
What are your favourite in clinic scar therapy treatments?
“Healite is used pre and post-surgery and works by reducing inflammation, accelerating wound healing, decreasing swelling, bruising and pain and stimulating an even deposition of collagen.”
“Morpheus8 and Exion are skin rejuvenation devices that utilises microneedling with radio-frequency technology. It is designed to create a controlled wound healing process to stimulate collagen production, revise and remodel scar tissue. RF microneedling is our gold standard treatment for surgical scarring on the breast and body, especially those who have under gone a breast procedure involving a lift.”
“Dermapen is a skin rejuvenation device that utilises microneedling technology to create a controlled wound healing process to stimulate collagen production to help minimise the appearance of breast surgery scarring. Dermapen microneedling is one of our treatment options for straight forward breast augmentation.”
“Lumecca IPL utilises intense pulses light to target pigment and vascular lesions. Lumecca IPL aims to improve the appearance of scarring by stimulating collagen production and addressing capillary and pigment activity. Lumecca IPL is best for the vascular (red) scarring.”
Can all scar therapy treatments be used on all skin types?
“Yes, Healite, Exion and Morpheus8 can be used on all skin types. With Morpheus8 or Exion you may need to be prepped on a Vitamin A , B and/or C prior. Lumecca IPL can only be used on light Fitzpatricks and may need to be prepped with a tyrosinase inhibitor. “
What at home scar therapy products do you recommend?
“The iS Clinical Super Serum is one of our favourites for scarring on the face or body. The Super Serum Advance+ is a scientifically advanced, clinically proven formula that combines a 15% concentration of next generation L-Ascorbic Acid with a bioidentical Copper Tripeptide growth factor to safely improve the look of hypertrophic (raised) scar tissue and even out the hyperpigmentation in your scars.”
“We also recommend the use of Medisil silicone tape or Strataderm scar therapy gel. Our Inigo Cosmetic Scar essentials kit is inclusive of everything you need to improve the healing and appearance of your scarring at home. The pack includes Super Serum, silicone gel or tape and a home roller. These items can be purchased in a pack or separately.”
Read our complete surgical scarring guide.