According to the latest plastic surgery statistics, breast reduction remains one of the top cosmetic procedures in the UK. Like any cosmetic surgery, breast reduction surgery involves making incisions on the skin. Scars are, therefore, inevitable after the surgery. However, it doesn’t mean you will be left with prominent scars. There are various ways you can reduce the appearance breast reduction scars.
The first step is finding an expert plastic surgeon to perform the procedure; someone experienced in breast reduction.
What Do Breast Reduction Scars Look Like?
Breast reduction surgery scars will appear as thin, raised lines on the skin. As the incision heals, the lines will darken and flatten. It may take a few months to a year for the scar to fade to unnoticeable levels. Darker-skinned people are more likely to develop hyperpigmentation or thick raised scars.
Where are Breast Reduction Scars Located?
The location of breast reduction scars depends on the technique used, the patient in question, and the size of the breasts. In general, you can expect scarring around the nipple, across your bottom breast fold, or a vertical scar that takes the shape of an inverted “T’ starting from the nipple to the breast fold.
There are several breast incision techniques involved. Your plastic surgeon will select a method based on your breast shape and size, areola position and size, skin quality, degree of breast sagging, skin elasticity, and excess skin available. The surgeon will make any of the three types of incisions:
- Around your areolas
- Horizontally along the breast folds
- Downward scar starting from the areolas to the breast creases
The most common technique is the anchor incision, which involves making three incisions. The first is made around the perimeter of the areola, vertically down from the areola to the breast fold, and horizontally along your breast crease. This approach is used when the goal is to significantly reduce the size of the breasts or when you have severe sagging. The technique helps you achieve the most dramatic results but with the most scarring.
The second technique, commonly known as the “keyhole” incision, involves making only two distinct cuts. The first is made around the perimeter of your areola, and the second vertically down from the areola to the breast fold. This technique is recommended in case of moderate breast reduction or moderate sagging. It results in minimal scarring.
The final technique is the “doughnut” incision, involving making one incision around the borders of the areolas. It’s an ideal technique for minor breast reduction. This technique results in the least amount of scarring.
In the case of extremely large breasts, the surgeon might completely detach the nipples and areolas shifting them higher up the breast after removing excess fat and tissue. The technique is rare, but when done, you may lose nipple sensation, and you may be unable to breastfeed after.
Do Breast Reduction Scars Fade, and How Long Does it Take?
Like any invasive cosmetic surgery, breast reduction scars may never go away completely. However, if the procedure is done by an expert plastic surgeon and with proper aftercare, scarring may be minimal. You must follow all your surgeon’s post-surgical instructions to keep scarring to a minimum. Your breast reduction scar one year later should have significantly faded to a thin, flat line.
If you don’t follow your surgeon’s instructions, scars may become more noticeable. Scarring after breast reduction surgery may be worsened by:
- Scratching the scar
- Excessive rubbing of the area
Is there a Way to Minimise Breast Reduction Scarring?
Although you can’t prevent scars from occurring after breast reduction, there are ways to help minimise their appearance, such as:
- Maintain an ideal weight after recovery, so you don’t gain much weight. Weight gain can cause the scars to widen, making them more prominent.
- Quit or refrain from smoking and other tobacco products while recovering from breast reduction surgery.
- Find ways to reduce stress since stress can harm your recovery.
- Avoid exposing your incisions to direct sunlight or UV rays from tanning beds since this may lead to the darkening of the scars.
- Follow your surgeon’s post-surgical instructions on wound care to minimise the risk of infection.
- If the scarring is significant, you might also want to try scar massage, scar gel or silicone strips, scar injections, or scar revision surgery.
Before and After Breast Reductions at The Harley Clinic, London
If you are considering breast reduction surgery, consider speaking to an expert plastic surgeon. Your doctor will discuss the procedure, outcomes, and techniques they will use to reduce scarring.
Book a consultation today at the Harley Clinic.