Compared with other types of breast surgery, breast reduction surgery will involve a certain degree of scarring. There are several different types of breast reduction, and the amount of scarring will differ based on the technique chosen. How big the breasts are will also determine the type of breast reduction technique, with very large breast reductions often requiring more substantial incisions and, therefore a greater degree of scarring. The appearance of scars can also be influenced by the skin colour, with dark-skinned patients being slightly more prone to developing hypertrophic and keloid scars.
What are the most common breast reduction scars?
The amount of scarring after a breast reduction procedure will depend on the type of breast reduction carried out and the size of the breasts to be reduced. Women who have very large and heavy breasts may require more extensive surgery to reduce the size of the breasts effectively.
Most breast reduction scars will involve an incision being made around the Ariola, which extends vertically downwards to the inferior breast crease with a horizontal component extending in either direction across the lower breast crease. This type of breast reduction is known as an ‘inverted T’ breast reduction or an ‘anchor’ breast reduction. Modern techniques of breast reduction surgery now allow surgeons to avoid performing the horizontal incision along the inferior breast crease, and this is known as a vertical scar or ‘lollipop’ reduction. The vertical scar breast reduction is not suitable for every patient, especially patients who have very large breasts and will often require the inverted T reduction.
Breast reduction can also be carried out using liposuction, and this is known as liposuction breast reduction. This method of breast reduction is a minimally invasive technique which does not involve the traditional scars of breast reduction and is particularly suitable for older women who are not keen or may not be medically fit enough for a surgical breast reduction. Our patients are fortunate to have access to expert breast surgeons who perform the full range of breast reduction techniques, including the lollipop lift, the anchor lift and ‘scarless’ or scar-free breast reduction using liposuction.
Are breast reduction scars permanent?
Breast reduction scars, as with any type of scar after surgery, do not go away completely, but thanks to meticulous surgical technique, the appearance of breast reduction scars can be minimised so that they become barely noticeable over time. The key to getting the best scars after breast reduction is to follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions in full. It is essential to attend regular wound care appointments with our post-operative nurse. You may also be recommended to apply silicone gel sheets to the incisions after four weeks to optimise the appearance of breast reduction scars.
You should avoid exposing your incisions to direct sunlight in the breast reduction recovery period and avoid traumatising the area with excessive rubbing or scratching.
How long does it take for breast reduction scars to heal?
All surgical incisions result in the formation of a scar. The appearance of the scar often looks thickened and red in the first four weeks after surgery. Over time, the scar will lighten in colour and flatten, and this can take anywhere from 3 to 9 months for optimal scar remodelling. This process can be shortened by applying specialised silicone sheets directly to the breast reduction scars. Patients with darker skin are at an increased risk of developing hyperpigmentation, hypertrophic scars or keloid scars.
How can I reduce scar tissue after breast reduction surgery?
It is vitally important for patients to continuously wear the post-operative support bra for the first four weeks. Your surgeon may recommend wearing it for up to 8 weeks after breast reduction surgery. The post-operative bra functions to support the breasts and facilitate the healing of the incisions. This can help to reduce scar tissue after breast reduction. Other techniques recommended to improve the scar appearance include massaging the scar to break down localised scar tissue. Centre for Surgery has specialised expertise in score management and has the full range of non-invasive and minimally invasive treatments to optimise the appearance of breast reduction scars.
If you would like to learn more about reducing scar tissue after breast reduction, please speak to one of our post-operative nurses at your wound check appointment. Standard techniques used include Morpheus8 micro-needling and laser scar revision.
Some patients may be suitable for vertical scar breast reduction surgery. This type of breast reduction involves a lollipop-type incision and results in less scarring than inverted T breast reduction. These types of scars can be better concealed under many common types of women’s clothing. Vertical scar breast reduction is most suitable for women with moderate degrees of breast sagging and require small to medium decreases in breast size. Women with very large breasts are not ideal candidates for vertical scar breast reduction and will require the full breast reduction, also known as the ‘inverted T’ technique.
If you would like to learn more about breast reduction surgery scars and how to improve their appearance, please contact one of our post-operative nurses to book a face-to-face appointment where the full range of treatment options will be discussed with you.