Should I Worry About Scar On Shoulder Widening with Breast Augmentation? (photo)

I had surgery many years ago to replace bone loss in my arm which resulted in a very wide scar on my arm, as well as in my hip area where some bone graft was taken. I have been considering breast augmentation surgery but have been hesitant as I am worried that an ugly wide scar like this will develop around my breast. Are there options that can help prevent this scar widening from happening?

Doctor Answers 8

Scar after Breast Augmentation

Thank you for your question.

I don't think you have much to worry about as every body part heals differently, depending on location, movement and technique used.

Best Wishes!

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Most likely scar widening will not be a problem for your breast surgery

The scar widening you show is not unusual for shoulder surgery.  Shoulders are high motion areas and invariably almost any scar in this area will get some degree of widening because of the pull and strain of the muscles in this area as well as the motion.  The shoulder is known as one of the "terrible triangles" of plastic surgery for healing this way.  The good news is that the breast typically heals very well.  The most concealed and recommended incision choice I would recommend is the inframammary incision (under the breast).  I have RARELY seen this widen or become a problem and even in an individual with a genetic predisposition for keloid formation this area is not 'seen' and should heal very well.  I hope this helps!


James F. Boynton, M.D., F.A.C.S.

James F. Boynton, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Scar Widening

It is common for scars in this location to widen due to movement and stretching.  Scars on the breast are not as likely to widen due to stretching.  Some women do scar poorly no matter how well the incision is closed.  Proper closure technique is important, but your tissue genetics play a major role in how well you scar.  If you have other scars on your body that have healed well, that is a good sign. 

Don W. Griffin, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Scarring from breast augmentation

The orthopedic surgery scorning was influenced by several factors including, critically, the location of the scar over a mobile joint. Scars in that area tend to spread because of the constant flexion of the arm. Additionally, as the goal of the orthopedic surgery was functional, it is unclear how and with what method the shoulder scar was sutured. Breast augmentation scars placed by a plastic surgeon should be meticulously closed and heal well.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Breast Augmentation scar has little relation to old Orthopedic Surgery Scars

The appearance of your breast augmentation scar will be influenced very little by the appearance of your hip and shoulder Orthopedic surgery scars for several reasons. First, unlike the shoulder which moves all the time and there is constant pulling on the wound edges the breast augmentation scar is relatively static. Secondly, as Plastic surgeons we are significantly more meticulous in the way we handle and close our wounds. As a result our scars appear much nicer. 

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Shoulder scar worries

Well your question allows us to discuss when scars become stable and mature and therefore unchanged. Scars usually are at this point between 1 year and 18 months. Now on a very important note,The tissue dissected to create the pocket where your implant will be placed WILL NOT  widen your scar . I would give you a zero risk of scar widening. 

Charles Virden, MD
Reno Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Breast aug. scarring


In my practice, it is very uncommon for patients who have breast augmentation to experience the type of scarring that is indicated in your photo. You may want to consider having your surgeon use the inframammary fold incision, so if you do scar unfavorably, it would be more inconspicuous.


George John Alexander, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Unlikely that shoulder scar will change as a result of breast augmentation

Hi there-

Because of the location of the scar on your shoulder, I do not think that it would be at risk of widening further as a result of breast augmentation surgery.

Similarly, I do not think that the fact that your shoulder scar spread indicates your breast augmentation scar will as well.

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 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.