Can scars be prevented?
Both breast enlargement and reduction need skin incisions.
Any operation, including breast reduction, will leave scars.
However, this does not imply that you will always have noticeable scars.
The visibility of scars both during and after surgery can be minimized.
Finding a qualified, board-certified plastic surgeon with experience in breast reduction and minimal scarring is your first task.
Following surgery, you can experiment with several methods to lessen breast-reduction scars.
Read on to discover more.
✅ Scars from breast reduction are unavoidable, but only to a certain extent.
✅ If you choose the correct surgeon, your scarring after reduction can be minor.
✅ Ask the plastic surgeon you are considering for a portfolio of their breast reduction work so you can see before and after shots.
✅ This can assist you to gain some understanding of both the caliber of their job and the degree of post-operative scarring.
✅ Your plastic surgeon can also provide you with advice on how to care for the incision sites to speed up the healing process.
Different methods produce various scars.
Scarring follows any operation, including breast reduction. However, the types of procedures employed have some bearing on how severe the scarring is. The key distinction here is between shorter-scar and larger-scar approaches.
When you review your surgeon’s body of work, be sure to enquire about these procedures to learn more about how they differ from one another. You can find out what to anticipate following surgery with this.
The shorter-scar method
Smaller incisions are used in the breast reduction surgery approach with lesser scars. People who have sagging breasts and desire a slight to moderate reduction in breast size employ this technique. This group typically gets a smaller cup size.
The extent of short-scar reductions is a drawback. Larger breast reductions don’t respond as well to shorter-scar procedures. This method, often known as a “lollipop” or vertical breast reduction, involves two incisions. The areola is the focus of the first incision, which is created around it.
The second incision is done from the areola’s base downward toward the underlying breast crease.
Your surgeon will make the incisions, take off any excess skin, fat, and tissue, and then reshape the breast to a smaller size. The scarring is concentrated in a limited area of the breast because of the tiny incisions.
Most scars are found on the breast’s lower half (below the nipple). These scars can be hidden by a swimsuit because they are not visible above your garments.
Bigger-scar procedures, as their name implies, entail more incisions and, as a result, larger areas of scarring.
Three incisions are required for this technique, one cut under the breast, between the areola and crease, a second one near the areola, or one last horizontal incision beneath the breast along the crease.
A breast reduction with an inverted-T (“anchor”) is performed using the larger-scar technique. If you have major asymmetries or sagging, you might be a candidate for this surgery. If you want to reduce your breast size by one or more cup sizes, your surgeon might also advise an anchor reduction.
The larger-scar approach only requires one additional incision underneath the breasts, despite the fact that it seems more involved.
How will the scars appear?
Surgical scarring appears as a fine, raised line on top of your skin. Scar tissue is what this is. The region first has a crimson or pink tint. The scar will become darker and flatter as it heals. Your scars might not fade for several months to a year.
Darker skin may put you at more risk for hyperpigmentation as well as bigger raised scars like hypertrophic scars or keloids.
Between smaller and larger-scar procedures, the appearance will differ. You will have three scars instead of just two with the latter. Because they are horizontal and tucked inside the bra line, incisions made along the breast crease might not be as obvious.
In a bikini top or bra, breast reduction scars shouldn’t be seen. When wearing very little clothing after an anchor breast reduction, some scarring may be visible along the breast crease.
Will the scars deteriorate with time?
Breast reduction scars may progressively stand out over time if not addressed. Scarring could possibly become worse due to things like excessive tanning, rubbing, smoking, itching, or scratching.
The best source of information on aftercare and scar-reduction methods is your doctor. They can explain your alternatives to you and offer suggestions for your course of action.
Without first seeing your doctor, you shouldn’t utilize over-the-counter (OTC) scar removal products. Some products may make you more prone to rashes and irritation, which could make the scarring more obvious.
Furthermore, there is little proof that these products, particularly those containing vitamin E, can treat scars caused by surgery.
How to treat scars to reduce their visibility
You should adhere to your surgeon’s post-care instructions so that your incisions from a breast reduction don’t leave scars. For the first few days following surgery, be sure to continue wearing your surgical bra and chest bandages. After this, you’ll most likely have a follow-up appointment with your surgeon. They’ll give you tips on how to look after your skin as it recovers.
There are scar-minimizing procedures you might think about using during the healing process once the incisions are closed (but consult your physician first!). Your doctor might suggest a number of different strategies.
Massage of scars
A technique called a scar massage involves making small, circular motions with your fingertips. You gently rub your scar from vertical to horizontal. Additionally, give the scar a gentle circular massage. This procedure is claimed to lessen discomfort while also increasing collagen and flexibility.
Following surgery, the Moffitt Cancer Center advises beginning scar massages two weeks later. It’s best to get daily 10-minute massages. Up to three times, each day can be spent repeating the procedure.
Scar gels or silicone sheets
Scar OTC remedies include silicone sheeting and scar gels. Bandages with silicone in them are used as a form of silicone sheets. The goal is to moisturize the scarred area to help the skin become more flexible.
Using silicone sheets soon after surgery may be beneficial because they also lessen pain, itching, and other discomforts.
For both new and existing scars, scar gels like Mederma can help lessen their appearance. Scars may change hue and even get smaller with time.
As soon as the wound heals, your doctor might advise using a scar gel. Use scar gels consistently until you see the desired outcomes for them to work. This process could take several months.
Embrace dressings are bandages that have received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and are used right away after surgical incisions are stitched shut. These are intended to bring the skin’s edges together and hasten the healing process. Silicone is also present in embrace dressings, which can be worn every day for up to a year.
A 2015 study examined 36 patients who had just undergone abdominoplasties to see how Embrace dressings affected them. Researchers discovered a considerable scar decrease after a year. There isn’t any comparable research on Embrace for breast reduction, though.
If your scars are excessively dark or thick after they have healed, a fractionated laser may be an option. This procedure uses microscopic lasers to treat huge sections of the skin simultaneously. To ensure deeper scar eradication, they additionally focus on the middle (dermis) and upper (epidermis) layers of skin.
Following treatment, the scar temporarily turns bronze before healing.
You might require a series of treatments spread out every two months. DermNet New Zealand reports that it can take four to five sessions to see the desired results. Once the scars from your breast reduction have healed, fractional lasers may be employed.
By doing this, potential side effects including post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation are avoided.
Even if the sun isn’t directly shining on your breast scars, it’s still advisable to wear sunscreen every day. After surgery, UV rays may discolor the freshly formed scar tissue. The scars will get darker than the rest of your skin as a result, standing out more.
Can the scars be removed?
Scars can only be removed through specific surgical treatments. Your dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon might carry out these. Usually, after a scar removal operation, a new scar appears where the old one once did. However, it’s possible that the new scars will be more refined, smaller, and ideally less obvious.
Punch grafting is one technique for getting rid of scars. This method is mostly employed for exceedingly deep scars that are smaller in size, but may be numerous and cover a substantial region.
Punch grafting involves inserting skin from another part of the body, such as the ears, into the scar that has been excised. The scar is shallower and smoother as a result. Punch grafting might take up to a week to recover from.
Other scar removal techniques can include chemical exfoliation, laser therapy, tissue growth, and topical bleaching drugs.