Everything You Need to Know About Plastic Surgery and Scarring



Everything You Need to Know About Plastic Surgery and Scarring

Plastic surgery scars are a top concern for many clients contemplating going through this cosmetic enhancement procedure. In reality, scarring is an inevitable part of any kind of surgery due to the incisions involved. Nevertheless, plastic surgery scars can be barely visible when done by an expert plastic surgeon. 

 Portrait shot of a woman’s face with outlines for plastic surgery

Dr. Hugh McLean is certified as a specialist in plastic surgery by the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada and the American Board of Plastic Surgeons, Inc. He boasts decades of experience and expertise in achieving flawless results for countless patients over the years. 

In this article, we’ll talk about the different surgical techniques and after-care tips done to minimize the risks of plastic surgery scars and how the procedure can dramatically improve the appearance of existing scars.

Let’s delve right in!

Does Plastic Surgery Leave Scars?

Yes, plastic surgery leaves scars; all types of surgery do. However, they are often so small and strategically located in hidden places that even you will hardly notice.

Here are some examples of surgical procedures that promise amazing results but leave very minimal scarring.


The facelift (rhytidectomy) is a popular surgical cosmetic treatment commonly used to address facial aging and achieve a younger-looking appearance. The way facelifts work is it reduces the appearance of wrinkles, jowls, and sagging on the neck area. Plastic surgery scars from a facelift is a total non-issue. Small incision lines are expertly concealed in the face’s natural contours, like behind the ear and the cheek, in front of the ear, under the chin, or posterior hairline.

Eyelid Surgery

Also known as blepharoplasty, eyelid surgery corrects droopy eyelids and involves surgically removing excess skin, muscle, and fat. It’s a cosmetic enhancement that can make your eyes appear bigger and make your face look visibly younger. When done by a board-certified plastic surgeon, none will be the wiser that you’ve gotten an eyelid surgery. The incision is made along the natural folds of the eyelids, making the blepharoplasty scars practically invisible.

Woman marked for eyelid surgery

Brow Lift

Also known as a forehead lift or forehead rejuvenation, the brow lift is an in-demand surgical cosmetic treatment that restores the youthful arch of the brows and addresses the skin sagging in the surrounding areas, including the forehead and eyelids. One could get away with a brow lift because there won’t be apparent scars to give away your secret. The incisions are small, thin, cleverly hidden, and quickly fades over time.


Have you ever seen plastic surgery scars in someone who has undergone nose reconstruction? Probably not. Technically, rhinoplasty can also leave scars, but because the incision is made inside the nose, so you can’t see them.

Breast Augmentation

If you are thinking of increasing your breast size with a breast augmentation procedure but are holding back due to concerns of plastic surgery scars, don’t fret. Your surgeon will insert the breast implants by only making a tiny incision around the areola or fold below the breast. Once the scar has healed completely, no one will have a clue.

How Does Your Surgeon Reduce Your Risk of Plastic Surgery Scars?

The success of any surgical procedure lies heavily on the skill and expertise of the surgeon. Plastic surgery is no exception. If you want to reduce your risk of developing plastic surgery scars, ensure that you work only with a qualified and top-notch plastic surgeon who is knowledgeable in the latest advancements in technology and techniques in the field of aesthetic medicine. 

A reliable plastic surgeon should implement sophisticated surgical techniques to lessen the risk of plastic surgery scarring and encourage the skin’s natural healing process. 

Precise Surgical Movements

Your plastic surgeon’s expert precision will minimize the skin’s trauma. Part of the reason why plastic surgery scars have a greater chance of healing faster and fading away than scarring from traumatic injuries is that they produce less damage to the skin’s soft tissues. With proper wound care, they also have a significantly lower risk of becoming infected. 

Strategic Placement of Incisions

Besides selecting a less inconspicuous spot to hide the scar, your plastic surgeon will also design the incision along the skin’s natural creases that are always relaxed, like wrinkles. Natural junctions between different parts of the body are also taken advantage of when concealing plastic surgery scars. 

Types and Style of Stitches

The types and styles of sutures that your surgeon will choose to use will all have an impact on how well your skin is going to heal naturally or how bad it’s going to scar. Traditional incisions most often follow relaxed skin tension lines. Deep dissolving stitches may be used in treatment areas with thicker skin that experience a lot of movement and tension. 

On the other hand, your surgeon may prefer non-dissolving sutures that will be removed within a week post-operation to mitigate the risks of permanent marking, widening the incision wound, and skin inflammation, which all potentially exacerbate one’s risk for plastic surgery scars.

Plastic surgeon discussing treatment details to a patient

Tips to Prevent Scarring After Cosmetic Surgery

In addition to trusting only the best cosmetic surgeon to do your procedure, patients can also implement several strategies to put their minds at ease about potential scarring.

Here are some tips that you can do at home:

Follow Your Surgeon’s Advice Exactly As Prescribed

Your surgeon will provide you with post-operative care instructions before you are given the clearance to go home, covering everything you need to know from wound care to pain management. Take these instructions to heart and follow every single step to eliminate complications and ensure your swift recovery. If you are concerned or confused about any item on the list, do not hesitate to give the clinic a call to advise you accordingly. 

Take Things Slowly and Be Patient With Your Healing Process

Take time off work. Block a week or two off your social calendar and devote the time to focus on your recovery. Stop yourself from moving too much or performing rigorous physical activities that can place unnecessary pressure or strain on your incisions, which can result in broader and darker plastic surgery scars. Listen to your surgeon’s advice on the safest time to resume your usual activities.

Leave the Surgical Tape as Advised by Your Surgeon

The post-surgical tape protects the incisions and supports the skin, preventing strain and stretching, which can result in scarring.

Step up on Sun Protection

Healing skin is extra sensitive and, therefore, more vulnerable to sun damage. Avoid unprotected sun exposure at all costs as it can result in darker plastic surgery scars. Keep the treatment area covered with clothes or a wide-brimmed hat if you’ve had cosmetic enhancements on your face. 

More importantly, do not forget to wear a full-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 50, even when you are only staying indoors or driving around in your car. Harmful ultraviolet light from the sun can penetrate uncoated windows and damage the skin. The regular use of sunscreen not only protects your skin from the damaging effects of the sun but also lowers your risk of skin cancer. 

Double-Check With Your Doctor Before Massaging Your Scars

Scar massage is effective in thinning out the scar tissue and reducing skin sensitivity around the area. Despite its potential benefits on your plastic surgery scars, do not attempt to do this on your own without your doctor’s approval, especially during the first two weeks post-surgery when the skin tissues are still extremely vulnerable.

Ask Your Surgeon About Topical Creams for Plastic Surgery Scars

If you want to take proactive steps, your surgeon can recommend topical creams that contain vitamin E, medical-grade silicone, or corticosteroid injections to expedite the healing process of your plastic surgery scars. However, it’s important to note that no over-the-counter topical treatment will work on old scars.

Woman applying cream on her face in front of the mirror

Scar Revision Surgery

Plastic surgery is also useful in addressing severe scarring that non-surgical cosmetic scar treatments like chemical peels and laser rejuvenation treatment failed to fix. Scar revision surgery is done to correct and conceal scarring or discolouration and surface irregularities on the skin due to severe wounds from accidents or post-surgery incisions. Plastic surgery scar revision can be performed anywhere on the body and for different types of scars, including:

  • Hypertrophic scars
  • Keloids
  • Contractures

Discover the Beauty of Plastic Surgery

McLean Clinic is a private medical facility specializing in surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures accredited by the CAAASF and the Ministry of Health. For concerns about plastic surgery scars, send us an email or schedule an appointment with us.
Dr. Hugh McLean and our friendly medical staff would be more than happy to discuss the wonders of aesthetic medicine and the measures we take to achieve the impressive results we are best known for consistently. Book your free consultation today!

October 8, 2020

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