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How to Avoid Scarring After Breast Reduction

| July 21, 2017 August 2, 2023 | |

scarring after breast reductionBreast Reduction is one of the most popular procedures we offer here at Midwest Breast & Aesthetic Surgery in Columbus, OH. Clinically known as Reduction Mammaplasty, this procedure reduces the number of weight women carry on their chests and significantly alleviates large breast size conditions. These conditions often include:

  • Back and shoulder pain;
  • Skin irritation on the breast crease; and
  • Grooving in their shoulders.

Before undergoing breast reduction, it is essential to have a basic understanding of this plastic surgery procedure, its expected recovery, and the factors that determine your scar pattern. This procedure aims to reduce the size and weight of the breasts to improve symptomatology and produce a more youthful shape while maintaining enough breast tissues to support the nipple.

Want to know more about Breast Reduction?

Watch our video about breast reduction or visit our landing page to know more. You may also schedule a consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeons.
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Determining the Scar Pattern

The primary determinant of scar pattern in breast reduction surgery is the breast size before surgery. Generally, as the size of the reduction increases, so does the incision. Great care is taken to conceal scars around the areola and within the crease beneath the breast.

Scarring takes place when the body needs to recover from trauma of any kind. Scar tissue works as an adhesive that naturally repairs tissue. What makes it such a problem for many people is its less-than-pleasing aesthetic qualities.

Three Surgical Techniques of Breast Reduction

Now, there are three options for breast reduction:

  1. Traditional (Anchor)
  2. Scarless (Liposuction)
  3. Vertical

It is important to note that whatever option is used during surgery often depends on several factors. For example:

standard anchor incision

An Anchor may not benefit a woman seeking substantially intermediate results from a breast reduction. So it is crucial to keep this in mind.We often work using this incision for patients with larger breasts.

liposuction scarless incision
Liposuction often benefits women who are looking to reduce a small amount of fat from their breasts.
vertical incision
Vertical incision is more conducive to women looking to reduce a moderate amount of tissue from their breasts.

How to Minimize Breast Reduction Scars

While getting a scar is unavoidable, some steps can be taken to ensure an aesthetically pleasing final result. It starts with you and your cosmetic surgeon. Scarring is mostly dependent on the technical proficiency of your surgeon.

Patterns and plans are designed during the initial consultation to ensure that the final result minimizes scarring. Also, incisions are often made in areas that are easily concealed under low-cut clothing.

There are also several steps to take post-operatively that will aid the healing process, such as:

  1. Ensure that the breasts are no form of stress.
  2. Avoid excessive heat such as prolonged exposure to the sun and hot showers. Doing so will help with the natural healing of the scars.
  3. Avoid any strenuous activities for the first few weeks.
  4. Maintain a healthy diet.
  5. Apply prescribed ointments to keep the wound clean.

In the weeks to months following surgery, additional scar massage and commercially available scar therapy are beneficial. Please talk with your plastic surgeon about what might be best for you.
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Scars Heal in Due Time

Generally, most patients have very little pain two weeks after breast reduction surgery and can return to work. However, the healing process is ongoing, and swelling will continue to decrease, and the appearance of your scars will significantly improve with time. It can take up to a full year before the breasts fully recover and scars settle and fade, so it’s essential to take things slowly during this time.

Scarring is a natural part of the healing process, and under the hands of a board-certified plastic surgeon and the right post-operative care, they’ll be barely noticeable before you know it.


About the Author

Dr. Ergun Kocak, MD, is a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in plastic and reconstructive surgery of the breast using DIEP, SIEA GAP, TUG, PAP, and direct-to-implant, in Columbus and Cincinnati, OH.
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*Our blog entries are written in order to further educate our patients and raise awareness towards topics related to plastic surgery. Any solutions offered on this blog are intended to help possible patients develop educated decisions before undergoing a consultation with our doctors.

One thought on “How to Avoid Scarring After Breast Reduction”

  • Ellen Hughes

    You got my attention when you talked about how you should consider avoiding excessive exposure to sun and hot showers if you’re looking for your cars to heal a lot more naturally after a breast reduction surgery. My sister is interested in reducing the size of her breasts. She wanted to make sure that her scar due to the operation is going to fade in the fastest way possible because she wanted to be able to wear bikinis confidently. Thanks!