Breast reduction scars are to be expected after your procedure, but that doesn't make them any easier to look at.
Now, we know what you're thinking: After breast reduction surgery, you expected to feel on top of the world! Finally, you got the body shape of your dreams, but suddenly you’re left with some scarring. All of a sudden, you may find yourself feeling embarrassed, agitated, or uncomfortable for a whole new reason.
Breast reduction scarring is nothing to be ashamed about, but you deserve to feel like your best self every day of the year.
So, we spoke to our experts and have collated their insights as to how to reduce breast reduction scars.
Let’s start from the beginning…
Why do you get scars after a breast reduction?
At your initial consultation, your surgeon should inform you that scarring after breast reduction surgery is to be expected. Scar tissue occurs as it fills the gap created by the incisions required to reduce your breast size.
Your scars may be raised in appearance and the colour of your scars will depend on your skin tone, with most scars usually turning:
- Dark brown
The type of technique your surgeon uses during your procedure will impact the type of scars you should expect.
The different types of breast reduction scars
There are two main types of surgical techniques that are used during a breast reduction procedure. Both procedures create different types of scarring.
- The anchor incision - Also known as the inverted 'T' method, this type of breast reduction surgery sees the surgeon create three distinct cuts.
- The lollipop incision - Sometimes referred to as the vertical method, the surgeon will make just two incisions during this method of breast reduction.
During your procedure, your surgeon will do everything they can to minimise the length of your scars but some scarring is inevitable.
Our expert insights to reduce breast reduction scars
After your surgery, your consultant will give you advice as to how best to care for your scars.
Plus, you get up to 2 years of aftercare with Pall Mall, so you can get expert guidance for months after your original procedure!
If you are hoping to minimise the appearance of your scars, here are some of our expert tips:
There is a reason why it is recommended to take at least a few weeks to rest after your breast reduction surgery. Here, you may need 2-3 weeks off work (though it can take up to six weeks to fully recover).
Overexertion from physical activity can affect the appearance of your scars. This is due to the pressure and agitation exercise can cause, which can increase swelling or delay healing.
So, there's never been a better reason to get someone you’re close and comfortable with (like a friend or your other half) to do all the cleaning, washing up, and wait on you hand and foot!
Once your scars have formed, some people have found that massaging their scars is a great way to reduce breast reduction scars.
This is because massaging the area increases collagen production, which improves the overall softness of the scar tissue.
It's no secret that smoking is bad for you, but did you know that it actually slows down the healing process?
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), if you stop smoking at least 4 weeks prior to your surgery, you can improve the outcome of your health by 19%.
At your initial consultation, if you do smoke, it’s recommended that you quit as soon as possible to give your scars - and body - the best chance at healing.
Don’t worry - if your scars feel itchy during the healing process, it’s completely natural. However tempting it may be, you should avoid itching your breast reduction scars to allow them to heal neatly.
To help reduce breast reduction itchiness, we recommend:
- Cold compress (although this should be wrapped in a clean towel to avoid getting your bandages wet)
- Take an antihistamine
- Drink plenty of water to prevent dry skin which causes the itching
For extra tips, more on this below.
In a similar vein, it can be tempting to scrub at your scars when in the shower. Scrubbing or itching can actually affect the overall healing process of your breast reduction scars.
Therefore, you should avoid scrubbing at your skin, and instead gently wash over the area to promote healthy healing.
If you do find you are struggling with itching during your breast reduction recovery, silicone gel may soon become your best friend!
Silicone has been used by both medical professionals and patients in recovery for years. It has shown to have numerous benefits, such as:
- Reducing the redness of scars
- Flattening scars at a quicker rate
- Relieving symptoms of scars, like itching
We know you've heard it time and time again, but especially after surgery, it is imperative that you stay hydrated to help flush out any anaesthesia and avoid constipation from pain medication.
Eating a balanced, healthy diet alongside an increased water intake will help with a faster overall recovery from your surgery.
When you wake up from your breast reduction surgery at Pall Mall, you will have bandages and each of our patients is provided with a free Macom bra.
This compression bra has been designed specifically for post-surgery and helps promote healing. You will need to wear your bra day and night for at least 6 weeks after your procedure.
It is important to keep your breast reduction scars out of the sun as UV rays can darken scars. Known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, it is caused by overproduction of melatonin from the UV rays.
Therefore, to help minimise the appearance of your scars, it is imperative you at least wear high factor sunscreen and, where possible, stay out of the sun.
Sometimes scars heal in a way that leaves them dark and thick. We understand this can cause distress, and you may want to opt for a more intense treatment to reduce their appearance.
Lasers can work to do this as they target multiple layers of the skin - upper (epidermis) and middle (dermis).
It is worth noting that you may need multiple sessions to get the appearance that you would like.
A breast reduction scars timeline
When you first hear that you will have scars from your surgery, it can be hard to know what they will look like in your recovery journey.
Your breast reduction scarring will continue to change in the weeks, months, and years following your procedure.
Breast reduction scars 6 weeks post-surgery
For the first few weeks after your surgery, your scars will be covered by tape and bandages. Once these are removed, your scars might be red or purple - this is completely normal!
Your scars may also be slightly raised from the rest of your skin, which is to be expected.
Breast reduction scars - after 6 months
We understand that 6 months may seem like a long time to you, but your scars will still be pretty new! You won't be required to wear any tape or bandages, but they are likely to be a different shade to your skin tone - either lighter or darker.
They may not be as angry, but some redness is still expected. Your scars could still be elevated, although some patients notice their scars have flattened by this time marker.
Breast reduction scars - one year later
At this stage of your recovery, your breast reduction surgery scars should be blending in with your skin tone, but could still be a slightly different tone.
Get two years of aftercare after your Breast Reduction Surgery at Pall Mall
We understand that breast reduction surgery is a big decision, especially once you know that you will be left with scars.
However, this surgery offers so many benefits - for example, you could start living your life free of pain for the first time in years with a confidence you've never had before!
Being able to live the life you always dreamed of may just make the scars worth it.
It's normal to feel nervous - especially if this is your first ever surgery. It's essential you find a surgeon you can trust, and with Pall Mall you will get that and more!
Your comfort and safety is paramount to us, and our expert team of respected doctors, nurse practitioners, and qualified health professionals will take care of you from your free consultation all the way to two years after your procedure!
We're with you at every step of your surgery to make sure you get the high-quality treatment you deserve.
Get in touch with Pall Mall today to be one step closer to looking and feeling like your best self! There are various ways to contact us:
- Phone us on 03300 27 26 51.
- Visit one of our clinics across the North West.
- Book an appointment using our contact form and a member of our team will contact you.