Breast reduction like breast enhancement, involve incision in the skin. Your first job is to find high-quality and board-certified surgeon who is experienced with breast reduction and minimal scarring. The location of your scars will ultimately depend on the surgical technique used during your breast reduction procedure. In a vertical breast reduction, your scars will resemble a lollipop shape, following the round outline of your areola and extending downward in a single line. The wise pattern technique is similar but with the addition of a line hidden in a crease underneath the breast.
The appearance of breast reduction scars varies based on each patient’s ability to heal, as well as factor like their skin tone, the technique used, and their dedication to post-op wound care. Fortunately, your scars should gradually fade with time. Over the first year, they should become less noticeable, reducing to thin, flat lines that can typically be well-concealed beneath a bra or bikini top.
Different Techniques leaves different Scars:
Like any surgery, breast reduction leads to scarring. However, the extent of the scarring partly depends on the types of techniques used. This boils down to shorter scars verses larger scars.
The shorter-scar technique in breast reduction surgery consists of smaller incisions. This method is used for people who experience sagging and want a minimal-to-moderate reduction in breast size. People in this category will usually go down a cup size.
Shorter scar techniques are not as effective for larger breast reductions. This is also called as “lollipop” breast reduction technique, which include 2 incisions. The first incision is around the areola and the other is made from the bottom of areola down towards the underlying breast crease. Once the incisions made, your surgeon will remove tissues, fat and excess skin before reshaping the breast. Because the incisions are small so scars are also small.
Larger Scar technique:
As their name suggests, large scar techniques involve more incisions and subsequent large areas of scarring. Technique involves three incisions;
- One incision between areola and crease under the breast.
- Another one around the areola.
- One final incision horizontally beneath the breast.
This procedure seems more extensive, the large-scar technique only involves one additional incision underneath the breast.
Permanent Breast Reduction Scars:
Any procedure that involves surgical incisions will lead to some degree of scar tissue, which does not completely disappear. However, the appearance of breast reduction scars should gradually lighten in color and become flatter and softer. With the passage of time you can expect your scars to become less noticeable, especially if you practice good wound care after your reduction surgery.
How to minimize Breast Reduction Scars?
You cannot prevent scars from occurring after breast reduction surgery, there are some best practices you can adopt to minimize their appearance, such as;
- Try to limit weight gain after recovery, which can lead to scar widening.
- Refrain from smoking and other tobacco products, since these can impede healing.
- Reduce stress as much as possible, as this can negatively impact your ability to heal.
- Avoid direct sunlight or UV rays from tanning beds, which can cause scars to darken.
- Follow proper wound care instructions to minimize the risk of infection.
Most importantly, you should follow all post-operative instructions from your surgeon to ensure you are taking optimal care of your incision. This includes attending follow-up appointments that allow your surgeon to monitor your healing.
Minimization of scar appearance:
If your injury requires stitches, follow your doctor’s advice on how to care for the wound and when to gets the stitches remove. Scars whether caused by injury, acne, surgery or disease, scars can serve as unwanted reminders of past trauma. Most scars do fade with the passage of time, but some scars are more stubborn, while they don’t cause pain and any health problem. They can contribute to significant emotional stress depending on their location.
1. Silicone sheets:
Silicon sheets come in the form of bandages that have silicone in them. The idea is to hydrate the area of scarring to help make the skin more flexible. It may be helpful in reducing pain, itching and other discomfort.
2. Scar gels:
A scar gel Mederma may be used for fresh or old scars to help reduce scar appearance. Over the time, scar may fade in color and shrinks in size. Doctors may recommend that use scar gel as soon as the incision heals.
3. Act early after an injury:
Earlier you act and the better you treat a wound, the less likely you will be to experience severe scarring. Dermatologists recommend that keep the wound clean (with mild soap and water) and hydrated (petroleum jelly can help here), cover it with adhesive bandage to maintain cleanliness and moisture. Change the bandage and clean the wound at least once a day and protect it with direct sunlight. Following these steps leads to;
- Wound protection from infection
- Aid in body’s natural healing process
- Minimize scar tissues
4. Fractionated laser:
Long after your scars have healed, if they are overly dark or thick, fractionated laser may be an option. This treatment consists of microscopic laser that can treat large areas of skin at once. They also target the both upper and middle layer of skin, that ensure deeper scar removal. You may need multiple treatments spaced out every other month. 4-5 treatments are necessary to achieve the desired results.
It is important to wear sunscreen every day. UV rays can darken the newly scars that are created after surgery. This will make the scars darker than the rest of your skin. Try out;
- Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen
- Vanicream Sunscreen
6. Scar Massage:
After breast reduction surgery, you may want to try gentle massage. By lightly massaging the scar with your fingertips, going horizontally, vertically and in circles, you can help to prevent collagen buildup that leads to a raised scar, as well as keep the tissue flexible and soft. Scar massage after reduction surgery should only be performed after the initial healing period; it is typically recommended after 2 weeks of surgery.
If you are not happy with the appearance of your breast reduction scars after they have had a chance to fully heal, Dr Zemmel may recommend non-surgical treatments, such as laser scar removal, to lighten them and minimize their overall appearance.
7. Vitamin E oil:
Vitamin E oil and alpha tocopherol is a fats soluble vitamin available in foods and supplements. Vitamin E has antioxidant properties and protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. It supports immune health. Make sure you diet is rich in good food sources of vitamin E to ensure proper healing of scars.
8. Other methods of scar removal:
The other ways of scar removal are through certain surgical procedures. These may be performed by cosmetic surgeons. One method of scar removal is Punch Grafting. This procedure is primarily used for extremely deep scars that are small in size, but may be numerous and cover a large area. In this method, plugging in skin from another area of the body into the removed scar. The result is smoother and shallower scar. Punch grafting require 1 week for healing. Other methods include;
- Chemical peels
- Laser therapy
- Tissue expansion
- Topical bleaching medications
Untreated breast reduction scars may become more noticeable over time. Scarring may also worsen by;
- Excessive scrubbing
Possible breast reduction surgery include;
- Anesthesia risk
- Blood clots
- Breast asymmetry
- Breast contour and shape irregularities
- Changes in nipple or breast sensation, may be temporary or permanent
- Damage to deeper structure such as nerves, blood vessels and muscles etc.
- Excessive firmness of breast
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
- Fat necrosis
- Fluid accumulation
- Pain (persistent)
- Poor wound healing
- Inability to breastfeed
- Potential loss of skin/tissue of breast
- Skin discoloration
- Unfavorable scarring