Will I Have Bad Scarring From My Breast Augmentation Incisions?

Q:  Dr. Eppley, I am interested in breast augmentation but am concerned about the possibility of bad scarring. As a small child I had chicken pox and developed many of the typical pustules. While they went on to heal, I developed keloid scars scattered across my body. Although I do not feel that I still scar this way, I am concerned that I might and these would look terrible in my breasts! Do you think it will happen from the breast augmentation incisions?

A: Having had a terrible scar situation at an early age, it is understandable why you would be concerned about it occurring again from an entirely elective cosmetic procedure. However, and fortunately, these are not comparable scar circumstances. Chicken pox scars are the result of secondary healing of open wounds. They have a high propensity of resulting in hypertrophic scars which appears as wide as the original wound and are heaped up higher than the surrounding skin. This is not a keloid scar (whose growth goes beyond the boundaries of the original wound edges and often keeps growing) with which hypertrophic scars are often confused. The incision from breast augmentation ,whether it is around the nipple, along the inframammary fold, or in the armpit, is a controlled narrow skin injury which heals by primary healing. Primary healing almost always results in much better scars than from secondary healing. I have never seen a wide hypertrophic scars from any breast augmentation incision. Therefore, I would have no fear about developing the type of scars from any breast augmentation incision that would remotely be close to your existing chicken pox scars.    

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana