How do plastic surgeons avoid leaving scars?

Dr. John F. Burnett, MD
Plastic Surgeon

Plastic surgeons can’t always avoid leaving scars. There’s always a scar, but the hope is that it fades over time so it’s not overly noticeable. To tell a person that there will be no scar is not a good idea. But if the plastic surgeon is careful and approximates the skin edges or positions the removal of a mole, say, along skin creases, there’s a better chance the scar won’t be very noticeable.

Dr. Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgeon

Scars in plastic surgery are not always unavoidable. In fact, many of our major body sculpting surgeries require very long and unpredictable incisions (mastopexy, abdominoplasty). Breast augmentation, on the other hand, can be performed with a small incision hidden under the areola border. Scars for facelifts are often nicely hidden around the ear and the posterior hairline. Treatment of the scars post-surgically is always important. Scar management can include the use of vitamin E, silicone gel spray, and kenalog steroid injection as necessary.

Dr. Arthur W. Perry, MD
Cosmetic Surgeon

Scars left by plastic surgeons are less visible because, when possible, plastic surgeons orient the scar along a normal wrinkle line or hide it in a natural crease, like the fold between the cheek and the upper lip. Then, the skin is surgically lifted right off of the fat to break the stretch of the skin. Then, the skin is closed in 2 layers: dissolving stitches underneath and fine stitches or glue superficially. And voila! 95% of the time, scars look good. The other 5%? You can't fight your genes...But the chance of having a good quality scar, one that is hard to see, increases if your doc follows these rules.

Continue Learning about Cosmetic Surgery

Skin Removal Surgery After Weight Loss
Skin Removal Surgery After Weight Loss
Congratulations on losing weight! Unfortunately, your battle of the bulge may not be over just yet. That’s because substantial weight loss can leave b...
Read More
When do people look for cosmetic dermatology?
Patricia Farris, MDPatricia Farris, MD
There is lots of pressure on both and men and women to maintain a youthful appearance. People look f...
More Answers
Why should I see an internist before undergoing cosmetic surgery?
Arthur W. Perry, MDArthur W. Perry, MD
Before surgery, you may need to see an internist for medical clearance. Cosmetic surgery is not ...
More Answers
How can I ensure that I have a safe cosmetic surgery?
How can I ensure that I have a safe cosmetic surgery?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.