Breast Reduction Surgery:  What Will My Scars Look Like?

Breast reduction surgery is big beauty business, contrary to popular belief.  While it may seem like most women want to go bigger in the breast department, there are an increasing number of women looking to downsize their best assets.  As with any cosmetic procedure, comes concerns about what the body (or in this case, the new feminine silhouette) will look like post-op, including scarring.

As with any invasive surgery, scarring is inevitable. But, the amount, intensity, and appearance of the scarring will ultimately depend on several factors, such as a patient’s unique skin health, elasticity, tone, how well incisions and skin are cared for post-op, and how much breast tissue and fat were removed to yield desired results.  The surgeon’s surgical technique will also determine how subsequent scarring will look. For most patients undergoing breast reduction surgery, a standardized incision pattern will begin around the nipple/areola area and continue vertically down the underside of the breast to the inframammary fold.  In the event a significantly more amount of tissue is to be removed, the incision most likely will extend horizontally along the inframammary crease.  As with most surgeries, each patient is a unique case, and no two treatment trajectories will be the same.  Glancing a prospective surgeon’s before/after gallery and patient portfolio will help give you some insight into their surgical techniques and depth of scarring.  

Damage Control:  Points to Consider When It Comes to Post-surgery Scarring
When contemplating what your scars will look like post breast reduction surgery, there are a few things to consider when doing damage control:     

Practice Patience
With proper care, cleaning, and staying clear of infection, most scars will diminish to a barely perceptible mark overtime. Religiously applying creams, ointment, salves, oils, and other prescribed skincare can help dramatically reduce any scarring overtime, including avoiding sun exposure.

Consider Aesthetic Procedures
If years have passed since your procedure and the aftermath has left you less than satisfied, there are always innovative, in-office, aesthetic procedures that can help boost the diminishment of stubborn scarring.  One such procedure is laser resurfacing, which has worked wonders on patients left with scarring that had failed to fade in a way that was aesthetically pleasing.  IPL (Intense Pulsed Light), a skin-brightening treatment that uses state-of-the-art light therapy, may be another option that requires little to no downtime with greater results.  

Other Options
If you’ve recently underwent breast reduction surgery and waiting for your incisions to fully heal, there are plenty of budget-friendly options like bras, bikini tops, and blouses that can easily conceal breast reduction scarring until it’s reached a level of fading you’re comfortable revealing.  Full-coverage body cosmetics, such as revolutionary body makeup brand Dermablend®, are also available to help conceal and cover scarring effortlessly, giving skin an airbrushed appearance patients love.

Breast Reduction Surgery Scarring:  The Bottom Line on What to Expect
Some level of scarring will be the result following ANY surgical incision.  However, it’s important to be aware of the different stages of your scar’s ever-evolving appearance following your procedure.  Initially following surgery, the incision scar will resemble a thin, raised line on top of the skin that you can easily feel with your finger.  This is called scar tissue.  At first, the area will appear pink or red (depending on skin tone) and will eventually darken and flatten as the scar begins to heal.  The healing to fading process can take months or even years to visibly and dramatically diminish, depending on the factors mentioned earlier.  Those with darker skin tones, however, risk hyperpigmentation, so it’s imperative to keep the area away from sunlight, while sticking to a rigorous skincare regimen based on your surgeon’s suggestions.  Irrespective of skin tone, always consult and adhere to your surgeon’s post-surgery skincare to-dos and tips to help minimize scarring long-term.  Wearing chest bandages, as well as your prescribed surgical bra for the first week following your procedure, including the application of prescribed ointments and/or scar tape, are highly recommended.

Patience, time, and proper care will ensure most scarring will fade and blend imperceptibly into surrounding skin over time, leaving a barely-there blemish most patients can live with.  Implementing sound skincare strategies to your daily routine, such as slathering cocoa butter, coconut and/or almond seed oil, and vitamin E to affected areas have demonstrated desirable results in the healing and fading of scarring following breast reduction surgery and can help boost overall and skin tone

               

Dr. Johnson Lee Plastic Surgeon

CALL US AT : 310.550.2200

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