What should I do if I develop stretch marks on my breasts?

I have never really had any stretch marks on my breasts that were visible, but a year and a half ago I had a breast augmentation. Now I have stretch marks and I’m pretty disappointed. Is this a normal result of getting breast implants? I don’t know if I would have gone through with surgery knowing if I knew this is how my breasts would look. My doctor never talked to me about this being a possibility.


F, 32, Delaware

Tags:woman age 25-34 breasts stretch marks revision

Unfortunately there is little that can to eliminate stretch marks altogether. Some have achieved improvement with microneedling and the use of a retinol. It is impossible to predict who may get stretch marks. It is not a "normal" result of implants. They aren’t simply the result of skin overstretching, as is often thought.

Common sense may say, the bigger the implant, the more likely the risk of stretch marks. If your skin is highly resilient and elastic, you may be able to go much larger with little risk of stretch marks. Some newer studies seem to indicate that hormones are what cause collagen and elastin fibers to tear when the skin is stretched. In a large study reported by the National Institutes of Health show no relation regarding implant pocket type, size, or profile of the breast implant itself. The biggest culprits seem to be not having had children, use of oral contraceptives, being overweight, a history of stretch marks, and being of younger age. The increased rates in these groups seems to be higher estrogen levels. 

The purpose of your consent forms is to cover risks, and are important to review before any surgery. Physicians typically review risk factors that seem most prevalent in their practice, and those with greatest consequence to patients. If you have concerns about why it was not discussed by your doctor, the best thing is to have an open discussion with him/her. It may not be something they have experienced very often. I have specialized in larger size implants for over 30 years and it is still not a common occurrence in my practice.