Proper Aftercare for Scars After a Breast Explant
A breast explant procedure can be used to safely remove a patient’s breast implants and surrounding scar tissue. Typically, this procedure is done through an incision at the bottom of the breast crease (inframammary fold). As a result of this, it will be necessary to practice proper aftercare for post-surgical scars.
The options for aftercare vary from silicone bandages and retinol creams to laser treatments. Here is more info regarding some of the available options you can choose from.
Silicone Sheeting and Bandages
Silicone sheeting and bandages are known for reducing post-surgical scars. The material is very straightforward—it’s a gel-like sheet or bandage made of silicone that is soft and flexible. It works by increasing hydration at the incision site to regulate fibroblast production and reduce collagen.
This may surprise you, but the appearance of post-surgical scars comes from the formation of too many collagen fibers. Silicone sheets or bandages help manage the amount of collagen produced in order to soften and flatten the post-surgical mark.
All you must do is apply it on the healed incision for at least three to four months. The silicone sheet or bandage must be removed when bathing and reapplied after. Results may be different for every patient. Dr. Rai will usually have patients start using the strips once the incision is fully healed (three to four weeks after surgery).
There are many types of scar gels available on the market. Some use ingredients meant to exfoliate the top layer of the skin cells. Others focus on hydrating the skin cells to reduce the appearance of post-surgical marks. The most common ingredients found in these scar cream brands are allantoin, silicone, and panthenol.
New post-surgical scars that are immediately treated with a scar gel can experience improvement at eight weeks. Older post-surgical scars may take at least six months to show significant results.
Post-surgical scars can sometimes have a darker shade. This pigmentation can be corrected with retinol creams.
Retinol creams are safe and effective for skin cell growth. Using retinol on post-surgical scars promotes healthy skin cells that look the same as your natural skin color. Treatment using retinol cream can create visible results in three to four months.
Vitamin E Gel
Vitamin E works similarly to topical silicone in that it moisturizes and hydrates the scars. This can be started two to three weeks after surgery and is applied topically two to three times a day. Typically, Dr. Rai will have the patient massage the scar at the same time as gel application to break down the scar, which will soften and flatten it.
Setting Realistic Expectations
While there are many options for treatment of post-surgical scars, remember that these scars cannot be permanently removed. The recommended treatments can only help reduce their appearance.
Results will also be different for everyone. Each skin type is unique in its tone, texture, and healing process. Breast explant patients who are looking to reduce the appearance of their post-surgical scars must schedule a consultation to receive the best assessment and recommendation.