Reducing Scars After Breast Surgery

lollipop incision breast surgery

Scars are part of the breast surgery package– or any plastic surgery for that matter. It’s your bodies natural response to an incision. Some women worry about surgery scars after breast surgery.  But breast surgery scars are usually managed well and hidden under the breast. This is because the scar location is in the breast crease area (for breast augmentation). Each procedure creates a different scar as it requires a different technique. This blog outlines all breast surgery procedures and the scars left after each. It also discusses options to reduce scars after breast surgery.

Living with Breast Surgery Scars

Unfortunately, there is NO surgery that doesn’t create some form of scarring.  Yet, with the right treatment, scars can turn white and pale in colour. This is the goal of all scar treatments – to help them appear unnoticeable. It is impossible to completely remove scars after breast surgery.

Scars After Breast Surgery

Breast surgery has many aims. It can help to lift, reshape, increase or reduce the breast. The type of breast surgery you undergo depends on your aesthetic goals. All these procedures need an incision (yes, even fat transfer). So, all patients will get a scar.

Scars after breast surgery can be a concern for some. So, it is important to take steps to reduce their appearance. Below you will find some treatments that you can do at home. These help breast scars heal faster, become less noticeable and prevent infection.

Surgery Scars and Smoking

Smokers have an increased risk of poor wound healing. This is because of decreased skin circulation. It’s recommended that you stop smoking 4 weeks before and 4 weeks after your surgery.

Reducing Scars after Breast Surgery

Scars treatments such as silicone gel sheeting and steroids can treat scars. As well as this, LED light therapy and other topical treatments have proven useful.

** Make sure your scars have completely healed before doing any self scar treatments. Your nurse will tell you when it’s ok to start scar treatments at your 6-week check-up appointment.

Options To Reduce Scars After Breast Surgery

strataderm gel
  • Apply a silicone-based scar gel such as Strataderm or Stratamed gel. Apply to scars on a daily basis or as often as needed for your scars to become less visible.
  • Treat scars with bio-oil to reduce redness and improve the appearance of scars.
  • Apply Vitamin E oil onto scars twice a day for better-looking scars after breast surgery.

Dr Doyle recommends Strataderm products for plastic surgery scars.

Strataderm gel is a topical gel that can help improve the appearance of surgery scars. It contains two active ingredients, silicone and glycerin. These help to give you a more even skin tone and an improved scar texture.

The clinical efficacy of Strataderm has earned Dr Doyle’s trust. He’s seen some great results early into this breast surgery scar treatment. Because of this, we now stock 20g tubes of Strataderm at Gold Coast Plastic Surgery.

General Care Tips

Scars can be raised, red, rough, thickened and irregular in shape. It’s more difficult to remove a scar the older it is. If your scar is older than 12 months old, it’s harder to reduce its visibility than if it is a few weeks old. Our general tips for reducing scars after breast surgery include:

  • Start treatment as early as possible! Ensure that your wounds have healed and you have permission from your nurse or Doctor.
  • Don’t wear tight clothing that rubs against the scar
  • Avoid any activity that could cause friction on the wound site
  • Don’t scratch your scar – even if it is itchy!
  • Use a sunscreen (SPF 30 +) or zinc cream when outdoors.

A scar results from the biological process of wound repair in the skin and other tissues. For this reason, you should eat a nutritious, post-surgery diet. This will help wound healing and improve the appearance of your scars.

Where Will my Scars Be After Breast Surgery?

Scars can be in various places after breast surgery. They may be below the breast, on the breast and sometimes under the armpit. The location of your scar will depend on many factors. This includes the type of procedure you have, and how much skin has to be removed from that area. Dr Doyle will discuss where your scar might be during your initial consultation.

Breast Augmentation Scars

types of breast augmentation techniques boob job plastic surgery

Breast augmentation scars are under the breast tissue. This is in the breast crease or the inframammary fold underneath the breast. They will not be as visible because they are in a hidden location. Yet, scars from breast surgery can show if you are wearing clothing that does not cover your entire chest.

Breast Reduction Scars

breast reduction procedure

Breast reduction scars are along the inframammary fold and down the centre of the breast. These scars tend to be visible since they are on top of the breast. They can also show if your clothing does not cover your entire chest area.

Dr Doyle uses the anchor breast lift technique or inverted T incision. This technique involves making three incisions-

  • A vertical incision extending from the base of the areola to the lower breast crease.
  • A concave incision along the lower crease of the breast.
  • A peri-areolar (around the nipple) incision.

Breast Lift Scars

breast lift scars

Breast lift scars are in a similar location to breast reduction. But, scars from a mastopexy do not need an incision under the breast.

Also known as a vertical breast lift technique, it only requires two incisions. One encircles the areola and the other extends from the areola to the lower natural crease of the breast. It gets its name, lollipop breast lift, as the incisions form a lollipop like structure. This technique is suitable for moderately sagging (ptotic) breasts.

Breast Lift With Implants Scars

Breast lift with implants scars requires the same technique as breast reduction. The lollipop technique allows Dr Doyle to lift the breasts. And, an inframammary incision allows Dr Doyle to place the implants. This leaves scars under the breast, around the areola and down the breast to the breast crease.

Breast Implant Removal Scars

Breast implant removal surgery removes breast implants. This can be done for many reasons. Incisions are over the original breast augmentation incisions, so as not to leave a new scar. This allows Dr Doyle enough room to remove the breast implant and capsule in one piece.

Breast Implant Replacement scars

Breast implant replacement replaces old breast implants with new implants. Dr Doyle will make incisions over the original breast augmentation scars. This way, the scars will be hidden and only one scar line may be visible on the breast.

Fat Transfer to Breast Scars

Fat grafting uses a cannula to fill the breasts with fat. The scars are needle-like incisions around the areola to insert the fat. With fat grafting, scars around the areola are short in length. Small cannulas are used to distribute fat outwards towards your upper breast.

You will also have scars from the liposuction in areas you have fat harvested from.

Scars After Breast Surgery FAQs: Commonly Asked Questions About Breast Surgery Scars

where are breast reduction scars

Do breast surgery scars go away?

The short answer is yes, but it takes time and patience. Scars will continue to lighten in colour as they fade over time. There are also products that can be used to help minimise scarring such as Strataderm.

How long does it take for scars to fade after breast surgery?

The scars left behind after breast surgery can be a source of anxiety for many patients. The good news is that these scars will fade and become less noticeable over time.

The answer to this question depends on the type of scarring you experience. Some people have hypertrophic or keloid scarring that takes longer to heal. The good news is that scar treatments can speed up the healing process. You may need to wait until your post-op appointment before you know what would work best for you.

How do you get rid of breast lift scars?

There are many ways that you can do this, but one of the best is by using silicone gels. These can remove the scarring and tighten up the skin in that area. Silicone gels usually result in a smoother appearance.

How long do breast surgery scars last?

Scars can take up to 12 months to fade away. While you can improve their appearance, you will not be able to rid them completely.

What helps to reduce surgical scars?

  • Start treatment as early as possible! Dr Doyle recommends Strataderm silicone scar gel for breast surgery scars.
  • Avoid any activity that could cause friction on the wound site (such as tight clothes).
  • Don’t scratch your scar – even if it is itchy!
  • Use a sunscreen (SPF 30 +) or zinc cream when outdoors

How soon after surgery can I use scar cream?

It’s always a good idea to wait until your wound has closed before starting a topical scar treatment. Your nurse will be able to confirm this with you, although this typically happens in about 2-4 weeks.

Medical References

Strataderm Scar Therapy Gel

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About Dr Mark Doyle FRACS (Plast) – Queensland Plastic Surgeon

Servicing patients in Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Cairns and New South Wales NSW – Northern Rivers, Byron Bay, Ballina, Lismore and more.

Dr Mark Doyle is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon with over thirty years of experience performing BreastBodyFace and Nose surgery. As a highly esteemed plastic surgeon, Dr Mark is driven by an intense passion for helping patients achieve a happier, more beautiful self through advanced cosmetic surgery procedures.

He maintains a strong commitment to achieving the best possible results for all his breast, body, face and nose patients, both men and women.

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*DISCLAIMER: All information on Gold Coast Plastic Surgery website is general in nature and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Results can vary significantly and depend on individual patient circumstances. All images on this website, unless specified as real patient images, are stock images used for illustrative purposes only. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your surgeon. Book a consult for details regarding your cosmetic surgery procedure.