A Quick Look at Breast Reduction Scars and How to Manage Them (Video)
- 07 November 2018
- Dr. Nidal (Nick) Masri
As much as we hate it, scarring is inevitable in any cosmetic surgery. Dreaming of firmer and more manageable breasts through breast reduction? Then, prepare yourself to face some breast reduction scars.
How do breast reduction scars look like?
Breast reduction surgery scars can be big or small. It depends on the type and number of incisions made in the procedure.
The breast reduction short scar technique creates small scars on the breasts. In this method, each breast gets two incisions. The first one is a ring-like incision around the nipples, and the second one is a vertical cut from the bottom of the areola down to the breast crease. The resulting scar looks like a lollipop, which is why it's also called the lollipop technique.
For bigger reductions, plastic surgeons use the large-scar technique. It involves three incisions shaped like an inverted T or an anchor. The first incision is made between the areola and crease under the breast. The second one is around the areola, and the third one is a horizontal cut along the crease beneath the breast.
Right after breast reduction surgery, your scars will appear red and lumpy. But as time goes by, you’ll notice that they’ll fade to thin lines on top of the skin.
How can you reduce the appearance of breast reduction scars?
Although scars become less visible over time, some factors can affect the healing process. Examples of these are your age and smoking habits. Also, complications and infections may happen if you are not careful.
So, how can you avoid unnecessary added pain? How can you get rid of scars more quickly?
Here are a few tips:
Use surgical tapes or adhesive dressings.
Most surgeons apply surgical tapes on breast reduction scars on the first weeks post-surgery. Aside from aiding the healing process, these tapes also lessen the risk of infection.
Apply silicone gel and silicone sheets.
Your surgeon may recommend silicone gel, depending on the condition of your wound. It is applied twice daily for three months.
You may also use silicone sheets to keep your surgery wounds hydrated. They also prevent itching and irritation.
To avoid low-quality sheets, ask your surgeon for recommended brands.
Wear a supportive bra.
Your bra puts a certain amount of pressure on your breasts, especially after breast reduction. It can even slow down the healing process.
Use supportive bras instead to limit pressure and help your wounds heal.
Use steroid cream or steroid injections.
Steroids help reduce keloids, which are fibrous tissues that form in big wounds.
Unfortunately, steroid creams seldom produce the desired effect due to low absorption. Most patients prefer steroid injections instead, as they help fill the scar with fresh tissue.
Surgeons recommend more than one injection to achieve desired results.
Refrain from doing any strenuous activity.
Strenuous activities or major workouts can put pressure on your wound and prolong the healing process. It might also raise your blood pressure, which can lead to bleeding.
For the first few weeks after surgery, lifting heavy objects and driving are not advisable.
But exercise is still important. To avoid putting yourself at risk, ask your surgeon which exercises you can do and when.
No smoking and drinking alcohol.
Smoking and alcohol can disrupt healing and worsen scarring. Doctors recommend abstaining from these weeks before and after surgery.
Avoid sun exposure.
Exposure to the sun can lead to several problems, like irritation and hyperpigmentation.
Surgeons recommend staying away from direct sunlight. Wear SPF lotion and protective clothing if exposure cannot be avoided.
Get a breast reduction scar tattoo.
Getting a breast reduction scars tattoo is a trendy and creative way to cover up scars. You can pick or create designs that say something about your personality.
But before getting a tattoo, keep in mind that you should let your breast reduction scars completely heal first. Ask your doctor if it’s already safe for you to get a tattoo.
Undergo further treatment or surgery.
If all else fails, you can choose to undergo a breast reduction scars treatment or surgery. Depending on how your scar looks, your surgeon may advise a laser treatment or a scar revision surgery.
Both procedures help blend the scar with the natural color and texture of the skin. They are especially beneficial for dark-skinned women since surgery scars are more obvious on colored skin.
Remember also that time is a crucial factor in healing. Breast reduction scars after 1 year get much better, so let time pass first to see if you need further treatments done.
Going under the knife is not suitable for everyone. If you’re thinking of getting breast reduction for cosmetic or health reasons, find a board-certified plastic surgeon with a good reputation. A good surgeon should first check if you are a good surgery candidate. He should also orient you on the procedure, techniques, risks, and consequent treatments.
The fact that many women still choose to get breast reduction shows that the benefits outweigh the breast reduction scars. After all, there are many ways to minimize and even creatively cover up the scars.
Still want to learn more about breast reduction scars? Schedule a Free Consultation with one of our double board-certified plastic surgeons here in Face+Body Cosmetic Surgery. We’ll answer any concerns that you may have.