Breast reduction scars are an unavoidable part of undergoing breast reduction surgery simply because the procedure requires incisions.
But the good news is their appearance can be reduced with some simple techniques on the patient’s part. It’s important to find a highly qualified breast reduction surgeon in Houston who will use their knowledge and skill to reduce the appearance of your scars after surgery.
Below, we’ll take a look at everything you need to know about breast reduction surgery scarring, including how to prevent and treat scarring when possible.
Will I Have Breast reduction scars from surgery?
Your first question is probably: “Will I have breast reduction scars?” And the answer is yes.
Any time a surgery necessitates incisions (as breast reduction surgery does), you’re going to have scarring.
Will the Scarring Be Severe?
Breast reduction scars usually end up quite faint, which is good news for patients.
The severity of the scarring depends on multiple factors. Most importantly, it depends on the type of surgery being used.
Breast reduction surgery scars generally fall into one of two categories, based on the technique that was used during surgery. The two main surgical techniques are:
- Smaller-scar technique
- Larger-scar technique
Smaller-Scar Breast Reduction Technique
The smaller-scar breast reduction technique uses two small incisions. One is made around the edge of the areola. The other is made straight down the lower portion of the breast, from the bottom of the areola to the breast crease.
The resulting breast reduction scar resembles a lollipop or a keyhole, which is why this method is often referred to as the lollipop technique or the keyhole technique. It is also called the vertical incision method.
Larger-Scar Breast Reduction Technique
The larger-scar breast reduction technique utilizes somewhat larger incisions and more of them. Like the vertical incision method (above), this method also employs one incision made around the edge of the areola and another one made straight down the lower portion of the breast, from the bottom of the areola to the breast crease.
A third incision is also used with the larger-scar breast reduction technique. This one is placed horizontally along the bottom of each breast in the breast crease.
The resulting breast scar pattern often resembles an anchor, which is why this method is commonly called the anchor technique. It may also be called the inverted-T breast reduction method.
Factors Affecting Breast Reduction Scars
Here are the main factors affecting how severe your scarring will be after breast reduction surgery:
See above. Surgeries that use the larger-scar technique will have slightly more scarring.
Patient’s Healing Process
Every individual heals at a different rate and may or may not be prone to more scarring. Breast reduction scars on black skin is also different. Normal breast reduction recovery time takes about 2 to 6 weeks.
Contrary to popular belief, older skin may actually scar better (less severely) than younger skin. The patient’s skin pigmentation can also impact how apparent scars become over time.
At-Home Care After Surgery
With proper post-surgical care, scars from breast reduction surgery can lighten up considerably. We’ll go over more of what you can do at home below.
Lastly, a highly-skilled breast reduction surgeon in Houston will have the experience necessary to place their incisions discreetly and make them as small as possible. They will also be able to close the scars in a specific manner, which minimizes scarring.
Breast Reduction Scars Before and After: How to Minimize Scarring
Can You Prevent Breast Reduction Surgery Scarring?
Yes and no. You cannot entirely prevent breast reduction scars from appearing at all. However, you can certainly lighten the appearance of your scars.
In fact, in some cases, patients report that their breast reduction scars are hardly noticeable after several years.
Moreover, it’s important to note that any scars you have from breast reduction surgery will be well-hidden beneath your clothing and under most undergarments as well.
You would not be able to see your breast surgery scars if you were wearing a typical bra, for example. Nearly all bathing suits will cover the scars as well.
Tips for Treating Breast Reduction Scars at Home
Dr. Steinberg will provide you with postsurgical instructions to care for your scars at home. Follow these closely to help your incision sites heal. Below are some additional tips that can also help. As always, double check what you are doing with Dr. Steinberg before proceeding. Every patient’s surgery and healing process is different.
- Keep your incision sites clean
Preventing infection should be one of your primary concerns after surgery. Not only will this keep you healthy and preserve optimal surgical results, but it will also promote better scar healing.
- Stay out of the sun
Breast reduction scars may grow darker in color when exposed to sunlight. Wear protective clothing, or use sunscreen when necessary.
- Consider silicone scar sheets
Silicone sheets can be worn throughout the day to reduce their appearance. Silicone gel hydrates the skin and helps make scars appear flatter and softer. Petroleum jelly can also sometimes be used.
The goal is to keep the area moist. Dry skin promotes the formation of a scab, which will worsen the scar appearance in most cases.
- Avoid smoking
Smoking after breast reduction surgery can limit the body’s natural healing process.
- Avoid excessive physical activity
It’s important to avoid exercise and any significant physical movements after surgery. Lifting heavy objects or exerting yourself too much could cause your incision sites to become stressed or could even reopen them. This would inevitably lead to more severe scarring.
How to Treat Healed Breast Reduction Scars
If you are unhappy with the appearance of already-healed breast reduction scars, reach out to Dr. Steinberg about your options. In some cases, silicone scar sheets can promote an improved appearance.
There may be other dermatological interventions that can be utilized to reduce the appearance of scarring as well.
Have More Questions About Breast Reduction Scars?
There’s a lot to learn before and after breast reduction surgery. This is especially true as a patient concerned with breast reduction surgery scarring.
The best way to get the answers to your questions is by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Ashley Steinberg. Contact us today to make your appointment and speak with Dr. Steinberg about your breast reduction, breast augmentation, or breast lift.