What to know about breast reduction scars

With proper care and treatment, breast reduction scars can be minimised. 

Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammaplasty, is the surgical removal of excess fat, tissue, and skin from the breasts. Breast reduction surgery greatly improves physical comfort, reduces pain and improves appearance.  It makes buying clothes easier and daily activities more manageable.  Of course, as with all surgical procedures, breast reduction is associated with some scarring however, in time, these scars become less visible and are not usually a problem.

Read on to learn more about what breast reduction surgery involves, what to expect from the procedure and how to manage the scars after the surgery.

Who is breast reduction surgery for?

Patients with large breasts may experience physical discomfort caused by the size or weight of their breasts. Most patients experience chronic back, neck and shoulder pain. Some suffer from a chronic rash or skin irritation under the breasts. This is accompanied by restricted activity, limited ability to exercise, and difficulty fitting into bras and clothing.

Breast reduction surgery can be effective in resolving all of these issues. However, breast reduction surgery is a risky procedure for patients who smoke, who are extremely overweight or who suffer from underlying conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.

What are the different kinds of breast reduction scars?

It is a simple fact that breast reduction surgery results in scars. However, the nature and extent of these scars will depend on the kind of breast reduction surgery your doctor recommends, the nature of your tissues and the quality of your healing. In most cases, after a properly executed surgery, the long-term scars are very acceptable and may not even be easily visible.

The most common kind of breast reduction results in an anchor shaped scar. This goes around the areola, then vertically down to the bottom of the breast and horizontally across the fold under the breast.

Shorter scar techniques have been described but are generally not suitable for very large or very droopy breasts since the more skin excess that is present, the longer the scar required to remove it needs to be.

The most common short scar technique is the vertical breast reduction.  There is still a scar around the areola and a vertical scar but no horizontal scar. This is also known as a “Lollipop scar”.  A horizontal breast reduction technique has also been described which avoids the vertical scar but maintains the scar around the areola and under the breast in the groove. 

A circum-areolar (donut) scar technique is generally insufficient for significant breast reductions and is rarely used. Other short scar techniques are variations on these techniques. The anchor scar remains the most common and versatile technique for removing as much skin, fat and gland as possible whilst creating a more aesthetically pleasing and natural looking breast. With appropriate scar management and healthy healing, the anchor scar is usually barely visible in the long term.

What will my breast reduction scars look like?

The scarring process will take some time to complete: breast reduction scars may appear pink and slightly thickened for a few weeks or even months after the surgery, but will become paler and softer by around six months. Their final appearance may take 18 months to achieve, with most patients experiencing minimal scarring in the longer term.

What can I do about breast reduction scars?

It is important to take good care of the surgical site.  Your surgeon will give you instructions on how to manage the scar after the surgery.  Generally, this will either involve taping the scars or applying an ointment such as vitamin-E oil for the first 4-6 weeks. Keeping the wounds clean and dry will help to prevent infection, which can lead to more severe scarring. Later in the healing process your doctor might recommend silicon tapes or gels, which are used to improve all scars and are particularly useful for breast reduction scars.  Dr Mark Hanikeri usually recommends the use of topical silicone from around the 4th week after surgery

How can we help?

Dr Mark Hanikeri is an experienced, compassionate, and highly skilled surgeon who is able to resolve issues associated with large breasts, including alleviating physical discomfort and ensuring your breasts are proportionate to your figure.

If you would like to find out more about his breast reduction procedures, please read more here.

Dr Mark Hanikeri is a fully qualified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, who specialises in producing natural, aesthetically pleasing results. Though Mark specialises in cosmetic surgery, his practice spans all aspects of reconstructive and aesthetic plastic surgery. 

To arrange an appointment to meet Mark and his team, please get in touch here.

Whether you are looking to get breast surgery, tighten your stomach, rejuvenate your facial features, or reduce wrinkles, Dr Mark Hanikeri and his team can help you achieve your desired physical outcome. To find out more about the different procedures we offer, please have a look here.