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Cosmetic Surgery & Scars: Is It Worth the Trade-Off?

By: George Weston, MD


Everyone knows that plastic surgery leaves scars, even when performed by the best plastic surgeons. Scar tissue can be looked upon as mother nature’s  “glue” and is a necessary part of healing.

There is the scar you see on the skin surface, but there is also scar underneath the skin that can also affect the result of surgery. The quality and thickness of your scar are more dependent on your genetics than on your plastic surgeon.

The good news is that cosmetic surgery scars are usually very good. The bad news is that scars are not totally predictable, and it can take them more than a year to mature and fade.

Every cosmetic surgery procedure has tradeoffs – the bad we have to tolerate to get the good. There’s the fear we have to overcome, the discomfort of the procedure, the recovery period before we are back to normal, the cost, and what will my friends say? And what about scars?

Discussion about scars is usually had at the consultation.

Since every cosmetic surgery procedure is custom designed, the scars are not always simply routine – there can be options.

For instance, different breast lift types leave different scars depending on the breast anatomy, what you want to accomplish, and what type scar you are willing to have as a tradeoff. Most commonly it is a tradeoff of shape versus scar. That is, more scarring can give a better shape. The patient has to be willing to have the resulting scar to get the desired result. Some patients are terrified of scarring, but some have no fear at all. And that is why each procedure is custom designed.

Mostly, what you get is a scar you can see from inches away for a better appearance at a conversational distance.

I tend to think that is usually a good tradeoff – almost every time. But not always. We can help advise you, but you are the one that has to be the final judge as to whether the scar will be a reasonable tradeoff for you.

At Austin-Weston, our plastic surgeons are committed to providing patients with the results they desire and the care and safety they deserve. Click on the link below to learn more about your treatment options, or call (703) 893-6168 to schedule a consultation .

George W. Weston, MD, Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery


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