Is Hypertrophic Scarring Possible After Plastic Surgery?

I've read that hypertrophic scars develop after surgery. But I believed hypertrophic scars would not develop after plastic surgery. I had an inverted-t mastopexy six months ago and I developed hypertrophic scarring in two areas. They are not pretty. Each measure 1" in length.

Doctor Answers (3)

Treatment and prevention of hypertrophic scars

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Hypertrophic scars are seen as a ridge within the confines of the original suture line or wound. They usually develop within 4 weeks of surgery, usually subside as they mature over time, are confined in size/growth and usually occur across moving areas of skin (abdomen, palm, front of the elbow, in the fold under the breasts) where there is skin compression with movement. They can also arise from a prolongation of the healing process. More tissue is produced than is required  to close/cover the wound. They can be a single raised line along the scar (linear) or a raised areas of variable shape (widespread). Hypertrophic scars can occur after surgery by any surgeon even a plastic surgeon. Their appearance however can be minimized by scar control measures after surgery such as scar taping, scar injections and the application of pressure to the scar line. It is better to take these measures before the scar hypertrophies because they do not work as well once the hypertrophy as occurred i.e. they work better as preventive measures than as treatment measures.


Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Hypertrophic scars after surgery

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Any injury to the skin can result in hypertrophic scars. Plastic surgical procedures are no exception.  Your surgical permits would have indicated that to you before you had the breast surgery.  

I recall when I used to work at Seattle Children's Hospital, mothers coming in after a scar revision saying that now they wanted the "plastic surgery to remove the scar."  I learned that there is a misconception that plastic surgery can be done with no scars or that scars can be removed for good.  These are just not possible.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Hypertrophic Scarring can happen after ANY Injury

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Exaggerated "speed bump like" hypertrophic scarring can be seen after any injury and any surgery. It is related to your ethnicity, the area of the injury / surgery, the scar orientation and the way the wound was closed.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 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.