Those considering breast reduction surgery should start here, with essential information about the procedure.
Then, once you’ve familiarized yourself with breast reduction surgery, you’ll probably have some questions — one of which will likely be about breast reduction scars.
In the following article, we’ll attempt to outline all of the critical things you’ll want to know about scarring after breast reduction surgery, including:
- How many scars you may have
- How long the incisions will take to heal and become scars
- What your scars will probably look like
- How you can further reduce their appearance after surgery
Before we dive in, though, let’s look at a brief overview of the procedure.
What Happens During Breast Reduction Surgery?
Reduction mammaplasty (or breast reduction) reduces the overall size of a patient’s breasts by removing excess breast tissue, skin, and fat. The patient is able to decide how large they would like their breasts to be after surgery, and the surgeon will, in turn, do their best to accommodate the desired result through various surgical techniques. Depending on how much tissue, skin, and fat will be removed, different incision patterns may be used.
For example, when only a small amount is being removed from each breast, the only incisions made will usually be right around the edge of the areolas. Therefore, this “circular” incision pattern will only result in one incision per breast.
If slightly more tissue, fat, and skin needs to be removed, a “keyhole” incision pattern will be used. With this pattern, you’ll have the same incision right around the edge of the areola as well as a vertical incision from the very bottom of the areola down to the breast crease. This incision pattern will result in two incisions per breast.
Lastly, if a large amount of tissue, fat, and skin needs to be removed to achieve the desired results, an “anchor” incision pattern will be used. This pattern will require three incisions per breast. One incision will be made around the edge of the areola. Another incision will be made vertically from the bottom of the areola down to the breast crease. And a final incision will be made horizontally along the breast crease on the underside of the breast. With this incision technique, the areola and nipple will be relocated to a higher point on the breast. Six total incisions will result.
Appearance of Breast Reduction Scars
Your surgeon will talk to you about what incision pattern will be best for you based on your anatomy and what your goals for surgery are.
In terms of how apparent your scars will be after breast reduction surgery, the scars around the edges of the areolas will be fairly well hidden. They will blend into the pigment of the areola and will hardly be noticeable.
Vertical scars that go from the bottom of the areolas down to the breast crease — if needed — will be more noticeable. In fact, these vertical scars will be the most noticeable. Breast crease scars will be well hidden beneath the breasts and in the folded creases of the skin.
Right after the initial healing period, breast reduction scars tend to appear pink or red. With time, they will fade. Ideally, you want to keep these scars from becoming raised. Taking good care of yourself and not stressing your incision sites (by lifting heavy objects, for example) during your recovery can help maintain flat, unobtrusive scars.
Many patients want to know: Are breast reduction scars permanent?
Yes and no. You will always have breast reduction scars, certainly. However, they will definitely fade with time – especially if you are diligent about following your post-op care instructions. This means not exerting yourself too much, taking good care of the bandages and dressings over your incision sites, not exposing your incision sites to UV rays, and using scar massage and hydration when recommended by your surgeon.
Lastly, it’s important to note that when wearing regular clothes, no one will see your scars. Even if you are wearing a bra or a bathing suit, your scars should not be visible.
How Long Does It Take for Breast Reduction Incisions to Heal?
All patients heal differently. However, most patients have healed over scars by the fourth week of their recovery. Of course, your incision sites will continue healing internally in the weeks and months to come. You won’t see your full breast reduction results until around four to six months, on average.
How Do You Get Rid of Breast Reduction Scars?
You can’t ever fully get rid of breast reduction scars, but you can do a few things on your own to take good care of your incision sites and reduce the appearance of scarring:
- Pay close attention to your postoperative care instructions, and follow all directions given to you by your surgeon
- Don’t expose your incision sites to UV rays
- Try using silicone sheets (after scars have healed)
- Try scar massage (after scars have healed)
- Wear your compression garment as directed
- Always wear a supportive bra thereafter
Book a Breast Reduction Consultation Appointment
Thinking about breast reduction surgery but aren’t sure it’s right for you? Start by booking a consultation appointment with Dr. Nicholas Lahar.
Consultation appointments are meant to help you get familiar with the surgery and your surgeon. You can ask Dr. Lahar questions, voice your concerns, and tell him about your goals for surgery.
If you’ve been considering a breast reduction, please contact Lahar Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills, CA today to book your own one-on-one consultation appointment with Dr. Lahar. We look forward to hearing from you.