Experiencing stretch marks after breast augmentation? The good news is that you are not alone, and for most patients stretch marks will disappear completely with time. For those hoping to fast-track the process, there are several treatment options available to help!
So, why do stretch marks occur after breast augmentation in the first place? Read on to find out more.
Why do stretch marks occur in some patients after breast augmentation?
When an implant is placed under the skin, the skin is forced to stretch to accommodate for the size of the breast implant. This natural stretching can sometimes cause patients to experience stretch marks. Some factors that may make you more likely to experience stretch marks after breast augmentation include:
A predisposition to stretch marks
Stretch marks are predominately hereditary and based on your skin type, meaning if your mum or grandmother suffers from stretch marks, you may be more likely to experience stretch marks yourself. Similarly, if you have had stretch marks on other areas of your body before, or if you have experienced stretch marks during puberty or pregnancy, you may be more likely to encounter stretch marks after breast augmentation. Generally, patients that are more susceptible to stretch marks have fair and thin skin.
Patients who look to correct tuberous breasts with breast augmentation may be more likely to suffer from stretch marks. This is because the amount of skin and breast tissue in a tuberous patient is very small compared to the size of the implant needed for the correction.
Implant size does play a role in the likeliness of developing stretch marks. Of course, a larger size implant will place more stress on the skin as it needs to stretch further.
Pregnancy or major weight changes after breast augmentation
When stress is placed on the skin due to rapid weight loss/gain or pregnancy, stretch marks are often a result regardless of whether you have had breast surgery or not. As the skin has already been stretched from the breast augmentation, additional stretching due to weight changes, hormonal changes or pregnancy can increase the risk of stretchmarks further.
How can I minimise the appearance of stretch marks?
There are several treatment options available for patients looking to lessen the appearance of their stretch marks after breast augmentation, including:
A diligent aftercare regime
You can help to reduce the appearance and discomfort associated with stretchmarks by keeping the skin moisturised using Vitamin E enriched products. By gently massaging these products into the breasts after surgery, you will help to keep your skin hydrated and elastic as possible. These products also work well for scar minimisation once advised by your nurse, usually around six weeks after surgery.
Dermapen or skin needling treatments
To fast-track the process of stretch marks fading, you may consider undergoing skin needling treatments such as Dermapen. Skin needling helps to assist with the turnover of skin cells, encouraging the production and distribution of new collagen. Skin needling can help to progressively “fill” or fade stretch marks over time, in some cases banishing them completely! These treatments can be performed after 12 weeks post-op. More information about our Dermapen treatments for scarring and stretchmarks can be found HERE.
At home Dermal Rolling
Many of our patients who experience stretch marks after surgery also opt to use an at home derma-roller over the areas of concern. A derma-roller is a small handheld device with a roller at the top which is covered in lots of tiny needles. Using a derma-roller over the stretch marks works in a similar fashion to skin needling, improving the skin’s ability to absorb nourishing creams and serums. At home derma-roller treatments may also be performed after 12 weeks post-op.
Remember: Stretch marks fade over time!
The best remedy for stretch marks after surgery is time. The skin needs time to adapt after breast augmentation, so keep in mind that stretch marks can take a few years to completely fade.
Here is an example of a patient who underwent breast augmentation with Dr Moncrieff to correct tuberous breasts. Dr Moncrieff used a 345cc implant in her left, and a 430cc implant in her right along with fat grafting to address her asymmetry. This patient was slim, has fair skin and a family history of stretch marks. At five months post-op, she was experiencing bright red stretch marks across both breasts while her skin stretched to accommodate for the implants. At 12 months post-op, the stretch marks have almost completely disappeared! This patient was using an at home derma-roller to help treat the affected area, and with time the skin has relaxed and the stretch marks have vanished.
Have another question about stretch marks following breast augmentation?
Please do not hesitate to give myself or one of our friendly team on 4920 7700 if you have any concerns about stretch marks after surgery or if you are interested in booking a skin needling treatment with our Dermal Therapist.
More blogs you might be interested in:
- What is the ‘drop and fluff’ process after breast implants?
- Dr Moncrieff’s Facebook Live on Breast Augmentation
- Why I won’t do ‘massive’ breast augmentations
- How to get the best long term results from your plastic surgery
- Do I still need to wear a bra after surgery?
Alecia Baker, Practice Nurse, Hunter Plastic Surgery
Alecia joined us as our Practice Nurses in 2018. She is a Registered Nurse with extensive experience in nursing and patient management in some of the busiest hospital settings in the Hunter! She really cares about helping our patients become healthy and happy. Her kind and calm manner help them feel comfortable during their journey with us.