Breast reduction surgery, also known as mammoplasty reduction, is a surgical procedure that reduces the size of the breasts by removing excess fat, glandular tissue, and skin. While the procedure can alleviate physical discomfort and improve self-esteem, it may also leave visible scars.
Types of Breast Reduction Scars
There are three types of scars from breast reduction that may result from breast reduction surgery:
- Periareolar Scar: This type of scar runs around the edge of the areola and is typically used for mild to moderate breast reductions. It tends to be the least noticeable type of scar.
- Vertical Scar: This type of scar runs from the bottom of the areola to the crease underneath the breast. It is typically used for moderate to significant breast reductions.
- Anchor Scar: This type of scar runs around the areola, vertically down from the areola to the breast crease, and horizontally along the crease. It is typically used for significant breast reductions.
Recovery: How to Minimize Breast Reduction Scars
One of the major concerns of most patients who decide to undergo breast reduction surgery is the prospect of scarring. These scars may be more noticeable for the first year after surgery but will typically fade to thin, flat lines that are well-concealed under a bra or bikini top.
The type of scars you develop following your surgery depends on a variety of factors, including your skin tone and genetics. Women with darker skin tend to have larger, more noticeable raised scars that darken as they heal.
Fortunately, many techniques exist that can significantly minimize the appearance of scars after breast reduction surgery. Some of these include the use of silicone sheets that gently hold both sides of your incisions together and help to protect the area from irritants and infections.
Avoid sun exposure
Keeping the incision site and scars away from direct sunlight will help minimize hyperpigmentation and post-surgical scarring. This is especially important after plastic surgery.
Newly formed scars, which are still pink and healing, are very vulnerable to the sun’s UV rays. This can cause them to darken in color, and it is also possible that they can burn.
Tanning or other forms of sun exposure should be avoided for at least a year after your breast surgery to minimize the appearance of your scars.
In addition to sunburn, ultraviolet rays can cause skin spots, wrinkles and “leathery” skin. They can also damage your eyes and increase your risk of developing skin cancer.
Massage the scar
If you’ve had breast reduction surgery, you’ll have scars on your chest. These can vary in size and shape.
Some clinics recommend that you massage the scar. This can help with scar development, pain reduction and mobility.
A gentle massage involves moving your fingertips in a vertical and horizontal motion over the scar. It also helps to increase collagen and skin elasticity in the area.
Start massaging your scar about two weeks after the surgery. The best results are seen when you massage it daily for ten minutes.
Apply scar gels
As your breast reduction incisions heal, you’ll be able to apply scar gels to minimize the appearance of your scars. These topical treatments are silicone-based and can help minimize the appearance of scars, allowing them to fade in color and shrink in size.
The key to using these creams effectively is to follow their instructions closely. Generally, they can be applied to your incision area about two weeks after surgery, but you should always check with your doctor before starting.
Keeping your incision area dry is also important to help it heal faster. Getting it wet can promote infection and make the wound more likely to break down, so try to keep your baths and showers lukewarm.
Talk to your surgeon
While it is inevitable that breast reduction scars will occur, they can be minimized if you are willing to follow your surgeon’s advice. This advice will be based on your health, body type and the surgical technique that your surgeon uses.
Breast reduction surgery can be a life-changing procedure for women who experience physical discomfort or self-esteem issues due to overly large breasts. While scars are an inevitable part of the procedure, proper care and follow-up can help minimize their appearance and promote healing. If you’re considering breast reduction surgery, it’s important to consult with a qualified plastic surgeon to discuss your options and potential risks.