Do Breast Implants Cause Stretch Marks?

Do breast implants cause stretch marks because of the skin stretching?  Is there any way to tell ahead of time if you are likely to have stretch marks from getting breast implants?

Doctor Answers (44)

Do implants casuse streach marks? It depends

+6
Dear ...,
Usually breast implant do not cause stretch marks.
However, they can do that occasionally.
It depends how big the implants were and how resilient your tissues were to accommodate the quick expansion of the volume.
Typically those pink stretch marks become invisible after a period of time and are well-tolerated.
Hope this was helpful,
Dr Sajjadian


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 133 reviews

Breast implants can cause stretch marks in some women

+6

Stretch marks can be caused by implants. I published an article about this. We looked at the numbers of women who got stretch marks and what some of the causes were.

Out of about 2000 patients, I have seen 27 women get stretch marks. Only a handful were severe, and most were mild to moderate with just some faint redness for 3 months and then fading to white, and hardly noticeable.

The factors that were involved were:

1. Placement of the implant (on top of the muscle seems to be higher than under the muscle).

2. Size of the implant (the larger the implant, the more chance of stretch marks).

3. Age (only two of the patients were older than 26, and no one over 32 years of age).

4. If they had stretch marks previously (no one had stretch marks that had not had them previously.

Dan Mills, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Stretch marks after breast augmentation

+6

I've actually seen fine, pink stretch marks develop after breast augmentation.

The patient was a very light complected woman who had never had pregnancy or weight fluctuations. We agreed upon a saline, moderate profile 375cc implant and the surgery went uneventfully.

She first noticed the pink stretch marks about a month post-op and asked me whether I'd ever seen them, which I hadn't.

After talking with some colleagues across the country, it seems that other patients who had similar historical factors (skin type, implant size, etc) occasionally experience stretch marks.

Fortunately, my patient's pink stretch marks eventually became white and inobtrusive.

Lavinia Chong, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

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Breast Implants and Sagging

+4

Stretch marks are caused by a loss of balance between skin resiliency and skin stretch. Breast implants may make stretch marks appear more visible in some cases if the skin is stretched far beyond is resilient capacity.

If you are concerned about stretch marks, you may consider moisturizing your skin consistently before surgery and in the immediate postoperative period. Our office recommends an Omega Intensive Cream that we routinely prescribe in our office. This complements the natural ability of the skin to moisturize and stretch with a newly implanted prosthesis.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Breast Augmentation Rarely Cause Stretch Marks

+3

Although it would make sense that stretching the skin would cause stretch marks (striae), in fact I have not seen this in my more than 25 yrs of practice and experience with  thousands of breast augmentation patients. This however has been reported so is a very uncommon to rare occurrence. What I have seen however is existing white stretch marks become pink for several months afterwards and then fade. 

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Stretch marks with augmentation

+3

 

Sadly, I have seen it.  The good news is that it is rare.  I perform hundreds of breast augmentations per year and in 8 years practice have only seen it twice.  Both times it occurred  in younger women who have not had children or breast fed.  The implants were not very large- between 300-400 cc.  They started several weeks after surgery and seem to be improving with time and retin-A cream.  The vast majority of my patients do not get them.  If fact, many of my patients with pre-existing stretch marks notice that they look better when the skin is filled back out.  In sum, a rare complication but very real. 

Tiffany McCormack, MD
Reno Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Breast Implants and Stretch Marks

+3

It is extremely unusual to get stretch marks from breast augmentation.

I remains possible, however.

Things that would raise your risk factors would include:

an exceptionally large augmentation.
A history of stretch marks

Stretch marks (striae) are actually tears within the dermis (a deeper layer of your skin). They can occur when tissue elasticity cannot keep up with the physical stretch on the skin. They are problematic because there are not good ways to fix them once they occur.

I hope you find this helpful.

Steven H. Williams, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Despite the sudden change in breast volume, stretch marks are uncommon following breast augmentation

+3

Stretch marks (known medically as striae) are visible scars within the skin heighted by an alteration in the skin's pigment creating a color change. Stretch marks are caused by a tearing of the dermis and are the result of rapid stretching of the skin seen with rapid growth. This occurs most commonly during puberty, pregnancy or weight gain. Despite the sudden change in breast volume, intuitively you would think that this would be a common problem following breast augmentation. However, I have been in practice for 23 years and have only seen one woman experience stretch marks immediately following breast augmentation.

Thanks for your question. I hope this helps!

Stephen A. Goldstein, MD
Englewood Plastic Surgeon

Breast Implants and Stretch Marks

+3
When a young woman has very little natural breast tissue, and very tight skin the risk is increased for stretch marks following breast augmentation surgery. In my North Carolina plastic surgery practice I use breast implants of a conservative size to provide a natural looking result from breast augmentation.
There is a much higher likelihood that a woman with very large implants rather than implants of a conservative size will experience stretch marks. Additionally, large breast implants in women with tight skin can result in breasts that look very tight, shiny and sometimes waxy. This is generally a dead giveaway that the patient has had breast implants.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Implants, especially large implants can cause stretch marks

+3

The formation of stretch marks is not totally predictable.

Large weight gains, especially over a short period of time, can cause extensive stretch marks (think pregnancy).

Large breast implants are more prone to causing stretch marks than smaller implants.

There is no guarantee what size of implants will cause stretch marks, since there are many variables such as genetics that factor in.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.