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Breast Augmentation - Do Breast Implants Cause Stretch Marks?

Updated on July 9, 2013
An example of stretch marks after breast implant surgery
An example of stretch marks after breast implant surgery

What are stretch marks?

Striae or stretch marks after breast implant surgery or, Augmentation Mammoplasty, are quite rare but it can occur. We have only had one significant Striae in only 1 patient in almost thirty years. It happened to a professional body sculptor who was predisposed to stretch marks and who started lifting heavy weights within just 2 weeks her breast augmentation surgery, against our advice. We have never had any other patients with stretch marks, or if marks have arisen in other patients they have not notified us, in most patients it does not occur.

Many Cosmetic Surgeons agree that Striae can occur after breast augmentation surgery but it is not common. The highest occurrence we have ever read about is one or two patients in 1 hundred but that was not a statistical scientific study. In our experience the problem is much less than one in one hundred. There are also other elements that can increase the likelihoods of stretch marks after surgery.

What causes stretch marks

Some of the issues that increase the likelihood of getting stretch marks after breast augmentation are:

  • You are predisposed to Striae - if you have got this problem in other body areas such as abdomen, thighs and hips especially during rapid teenage growth years then you are more likely to develop this problem after breast implants surgery.
  • Before pregnancy - younger girls who have never given birth, and have therefore never gone through breast enlargement through pregnancy are more liable to have this problem than women who have given birth already.
  • Those with very fair thin skin are more susceptible to injury with expansion as this type of skin is more fragile.
  • Selecting too big an implant- a large implant, more than 400-450 ccs puts substantial extension forces on the breast tissue and can increase the chance of stretch marks. This is exceptionally true in younger women with fair thin skin who have not had children. Women who are prone to Striae are especially at risk with very large Implants.
  • Too much strenuous chest exercises, for example, cross fit, weightlifting, pec crunches, too soon after breast augmentation surgery.

Breast augmentation stretch marks
Breast augmentation stretch marks

How to prevent stretch marks

  • Select a sub muscular breast implant placement rather than sub glandular placement. Below the muscle rather than above the muscle. The muscle can better protect the skin from excessive expansion.
  • Choose a smaller implant or augmentation surgery if you have never been pregnant and have pale thin skin. We would suggest a maximum of 250cc.
  • Avoid strenuous, high impact exercise for a minimum of three weeks after surgery.

If you are predisposed to Striae postpone your breast augmentation until after having children.

Laser Treatments

1540 Fractional Non Ablative Erbium Laser
1540 Fractional Non Ablative Erbium Laser

What to Do If You Develop Striae

  • Creams cannot help. The difficulty is that as the skin is enlarged the Dermis, the lower layer of the skin essentially tears which causes the impression or Striae. New collagen build up is needed for repair. Creams are not able to do that even thou they may promote that they can!
  • Laser Therapy Treatment - there is only one kind of laser that we know of which can improve Striae, the 1540 Fractional Non Ablative Erbium Laser. The earlier you have 1540 Laser treatments the more successful the results, hopefully within a few weeks after they are noticed. The 1540 laser works most effectively on new, Striae that are red to pink. You may need four to six treatments, four – six weeks apart, but you must start quickly while the Striae are pink for best result. The Striae will be diminished, becoming smaller and white but will not totally fade.
  • Combined 1540 laser and infrared skin tightening can help make less visable, not remove, older white Striae. The best results we have noticed are from combining 1540 and LuxIR Deep therapies. Lasers build new collagen and that takes time, so do not expect to see an immediate result. You will get the best results in one to two years after the last of four to six treatments.

How to get rid of stretch marks

After breast augmentation

Did you get stretch marks?

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