Breast Striae (stretch marks) after Cosmetic Breast Augmentation

Abstract Background:

Breast augmentation is the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure in the United States. Postoperative striae is a known but incompletely understood complication of breast augmentation.


The authors investigated their own patient population to discern risk factors for new-onset striae after cosmetic breast augmentation.


A retrospective chart review was performed for patients who underwent primary breast augmentation from 2005 to 2012 in a single-surgeon practice. Initial chart review revealed that only patients aged ≤25 years exhibited new striae; therefore, only patients from this age group were included. Potential risk factors examined included age, body mass index (BMI), oral contraceptive use, time of last menstrual period (LMP), parity, smoking and alcohol status, diabetes mellitus, and personal history of striae. Implant and surgical factors examined included implant material (silicone vs saline), volume, and location (submuscular vs subglandular placement) and the site of incision.


Of the 549 patients included in the study, 17 (3.10%) had new-onset striae, observed at a mean of 58 days postoperatively. The risk of striae was statistically significantly higher (P < .05) among patients who were younger (3.3 times), were nulliparous (14.38 times), began their LMP >14 days before surgery (9.24 times), and had a history of striae (6.11 times). There was a strong correlation between new-onset breast striae and implant size, as well as BMI (P = .07).


There is a strong correlation between new-onset striae and hormone levels, genetic factors, and tissue stretch components in patients who undergo cosmetic breast augmentation. This information can be utilized to better educate patients about this potential complication

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