While the vast majority of women who have breast implants are pleased with the results, there is one aspect of surgery that all women would happily do without: scarring.
Follow these tips for minimal scarring.
Choose your surgeon carefully
Everyone performing cosmetic surgery in the UK has the qualifications to operate, but the most experienced surgeons are registered with BAAPS or BAPRAS. These surgeons have had years of specialist training, not to mention experience operating on hundreds of women, and this experience can be seen (or not seen) on your body.
Make the most of your consultation
Your surgeon may be able to make the incision around the nipple, under the breast fold or in the armpit. Each area has its pros and cons, including the visibility of the scarring, so make sure to discuss each option thoroughly before making a decision.
Be wary of surgeons showing patient photographs – everybody’s personal scarring is different, and no number of photos can predict how your skin will respond to surgery.
Quit smoking and cover up
Most surgeons will recommend you don’t smoke for 6 weeks before surgery and at least 3 months after surgery, as smoking delays the healing process (it also increases the risk of infections and bleeding). Smoking is bad for your skin and health anyway, so why not try and give up for good.
You should also avoid sun exposure for 12 months to ensure your scars are completely healed. Needless to say, tanning beds or booths are also out of bounds.
Use creams or gels
There are a whole host of gels and creams designed specifically to minimise scarring after an operation. Ask your surgeon which would be best for you and follow instructions on when and how often to use them.
If you’re at all concerned about the state of your scar after surgery don’t stay silent. See your GP or contact your cosmetic surgery clinic for expert advice – if you ignore the problem it could just make matters worse.
Mr Paul Tulley is a Consultant Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgeon and one of London’s most eminent surgeons. He specialises in all aspects of cosmetic surgery, breast reconstruction and surgery for facial palsy. He’s also featured on MyBreast.org, the UK’s premier plastic surgery group.