Breast Lift Scars after Surgery – What to Expect
Before undergoing a plastic surgery procedure it’s natural to have questions related to the whole process, including what happens after the intervention. Most patients undergoing a mastopexy want to know “what will my scars will look like after breast lift surgery?”
What Is Mastopexy?
Breast lift surgery, medically known as mastopexy, is a procedure designed to raise and reshape sagging breasts. As time goes on, factors like age, genetics, pregnancy, weight changes, and gravity can cause the breasts to lose their shape and firmness. The procedure is performed for different purposes such as:
- Restoring Shape: Over time, the skin around the breasts can stretch, leading to a drooping appearance. A breast lift aims to tighten this skin, giving the breasts a more elevated look
- Repositioning the Nipple: Sometimes, the nipple can point downwards or sit too low on the breast. This surgery can reposition the nipple to a more central location on the breast
- Improving Symmetry: No two breasts are exactly the same. Some people might notice one breast sags more than the other. A breast lift can help even out these differences, making the breasts look more alike
- Enhancing Contour: For some, the goal is not just to lift the breasts but also to improve their overall shape and contour, making them look more rounded and fuller
Scars after Breast Lift Surgery
When you’re considering any surgical procedure, it’s natural to think about the potential scars that might result. After all, a surgical incision is essentially a controlled injury to the skin, and like all injuries, it heals by forming scar tissue. Here are some points to consider:
- Nature of Scarring: Scars are a part of the body’s natural healing process. When the skin is injured, the body works quickly to repair the damage. As a result, a scar forms at the site of the wound
- Visibility: While Dr Bish does his best to make incisions in less noticeable areas, there will always be some form of scarring after surgery. The visibility of these scars can vary based on factors like skin type, age, and how well you follow post-operative care instructions
- Types of Scars: Depending on the technique used during the breast lift, the scars might be around the areola, down the front of the breast to the breast crease, or horizontally along the breast crease. Some scars are more discreet than others
- Long-Term Appearance: It’s important to remember that while scars might appear red and raised initially, they often fade and flatten over time. With proper care, many scars become less noticeable a year or more after the surgery
- Addressing Concerns: If you’re worried about scarring, it’s essential to discuss these concerns with Dr Soliman. He can provide insights into what you can expect and offer tips on minimising the appearance of scars
Types of Breast Lift Incisions and Resulting Scars
How your scar will look like after breast lift surgery depends on the type of incision used for the surgery.
- The crescent lift, as the name suggests, involves an incision that’s shaped like a small crescent or a half-moon. This incision is made along the top half of the areola
- It’s a less invasive technique compared to other breast lift methods
- This type of lift is ideal for individuals who have a minor degree of sagging and need only a slight lift. It’s often used when someone is also getting breast augmentation
Expected scar appearance
- The scar from a crescent lift is relatively discreet since it follows the natural curve of the areola
- Over time, with proper care, the scar can fade considerably and blend with the natural colour transition between the areola and the breast skin
Peri-Areolar or “Donut” Lift
- The peri-areolar or “donut” lift involves an incision that goes all the way around the areola
- This method is suitable for individuals with mild to moderate breast sagging
- It’s often chosen by those who need a more noticeable lift than the crescent method but don’t have severe sagging that requires more extensive incisions
Expected scar appearance
- The resulting scar encircles the areola, but because it aligns with the edge of the areola, it’s typically less noticeable
- As with the crescent lift, the scar can fade over time and become less prominent, especially if you follow your Dr Bish Soliman’s care recommendations
Vertical or “Lollipop” Lift
- The vertical or “lollipop” lift involves two incisions: one around the edge of the areola and another running vertically from the bottom of the areola to the inframammary fold (the crease beneath the breast)
- This method is chosen for moderate sagging and offers a more significant lift than the previous two methods
- It’s a good option for reshaping the breast
Expected scar appearance:
- The scar looks like a lollipop, with a circle around the areola and a straight line down to the breast crease
- While this scar is more visible than those from the crescent and donut lifts, it’s positioned in a way that’s typically hidden when wearing most types of clothing, including swimwear
Inverted T or “Anchor” Lift
- The inverted T or “anchor” lift is the most extensive breast lift technique. It involves three incisions: one around the areola, one vertically from the areola’s bottom to the breast crease, and another along the inframammary fold
- This method is used for individuals with significant sagging or those who have larger breasts and need both lifting and reshaping
- It’s also a good choice for those who’ve experienced major weight loss, leading to excess skin around the breasts
Expected scar appearance:
- The resulting scar looks like an anchor or an upside-down T, with a circle around the areola, a line down to the breast crease, and a horizontal line along the crease
- Given its more extensive nature, the scar is more noticeable than the other methods. However, with time and proper care, the scar can fade and become less prominent
Tips to Minimise Scarring after Breast Lift Surgery
Taking care of your surgical wounds is the first step in ensuring minimal scarring:
- Cleanliness: Keep the incision area clean to prevent infections. Dr Bish and his nurse will provide specific instructions on how and when to clean the area
- Follow Instructions: Always adhere to the post-operative care guidelines provided by your medical team. This might include how to shower, when to change dressings, and what products to use or avoid on the wound
- Avoid Scratching: As the incision heals, it might become itchy. Resist the urge to scratch as this can disrupt the healing process and worsen scarring
- Monitor for Infections: Signs of infection include increased redness, warmth, swelling, or discharge from the incision site. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact Dr Bish or his nurse immediately
Protecting your scars from the sun is vital for their appearance:
- Limit Exposure: Especially in the early stages of healing, try to keep the scar area covered and away from direct sunlight
- Use Sunscreen: If the scarred area is exposed, apply a high SPF sunscreen (30-50 SPF). This helps prevent the scar from darkening or discolouring due to UV rays
- Wear Protective Clothing: Consider wearing clothing that covers the scar area when out in the sun. Hats and scarves can also be useful for scars in visible areas
Silicone gel sheets and scar creams
These products can be beneficial in reducing the appearance of scars:
- Silicone Gel Sheets: These are adhesive sheets that you place over the scar. They help to hydrate the scar tissue, reducing its size and improving its texture
- Scar Creams: There are various creams available that can help improve the appearance of scars. Look for products with ingredients known to support skin healing and scar reduction
- Consistency is Key: For both gel sheets and creams, it’s essential to use them consistently as directed for the best results
Massaging a scar can help improve its appearance and flexibility:
- Start Gently: Once the wound has fully healed, you can begin gentle massages. Use your fingers to apply light pressure and move in circular motions
- Benefits: Massaging helps to break down scar tissue, improve circulation to the area, and promote flexibility in the skin
- Frequency: Aim to massage the scar for a few minutes each day. Over time, you can increase the pressure as the scar matures and becomes less sensitive
Avoiding smoking and maintaining a healthy lifestyle
Your overall health plays an important role in how well your scars heal:
- No Smoking: Smoking restricts blood flow, which can delay healing and lead to more noticeable scars. If you’re a smoker, Dr Bish will recommend quitting before surgery and during the healing process
- Balanced Diet: Eating a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins supports skin repair and overall health
- Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water helps keep the skin hydrated and elastic, promoting better healing
- Limit Alcohol: Excessive alcohol can dehydrate the skin and impair the body’s healing process. It’s a good idea to limit your intake while your scars are healing
FAQs about Scars after Breast Lift Surgery
How long will it take for my scars to fade?
- While scars start to fade and become less noticeable over time, the exact duration can vary. Typically, scars will lighten and flatten over several months to a year. Some scars might take longer to mature and fade, even up to two years.
Are there treatments available to improve the appearance of my scars?
- Yes, there are several treatments available, both surgical and non-surgical, to improve scar appearance. These include laser therapy and silicone gel sheets, among others. It’s essential to consult with Dr Bish to determine the best treatment for your specific scars.
How can I reduce the risk of prominent scarring after my surgery?
- Following Dr Bish‘s post-operative care instructions is vital. This includes keeping the area clean, avoiding sun exposure, refraining from smoking, and possibly using recommended scar creams or gels. Proper nutrition and hydration also play a role in skin healing.
Can I undergo another surgery to fix or improve my scars?
- Yes, in some cases, scar revision surgery might be considered to improve the appearance of scars. However, this decision should be made in consultation with Dr Bish, weighing the potential benefits against the risks of another surgery.
Is it normal for my scars to be red and raised initially?
- Yes, it’s typical for fresh scars to appear red and slightly raised. Over time, with proper care, they should become flatter and fade in colour.
Can I use makeup to cover my scars?
- Once the incision has fully healed, you can use makeup to conceal the scar. However, ensure the products you use are non-irritating and hypoallergenic to avoid any skin reactions.
Further Reading about Breast Surgery with Dr Bish Soliman
- Read Dr Soliman’s Breast Reduction Surgery Page
- Read Dr Soliman’s Breast Augmentation Surgery Page
- Read Dr Soliman’s Breast Implant Removal Surgery Page
- Read Dr Soliman’s Blog about Scars after Breast Reduction for Best Results
- Read Dr Soliman’s Breast Lift (Mastopexy) Surgery Page
- Read Dr Soliman’s Blog about Breast Lift Surgery Consultation: 5 Things To Know Before Meeting With Your Surgeon
- Read Dr Soliman’s Blog about Why Stop Smoking Before and After Plastic Surgery
Medical References about Scars after Breast Lift Surgery
- Mastopexy (Breast Lift Surgery) – WebMD
- Breast Lift – American Society of Plastic Surgeons
- Breast Reduction Scars – Cleveland Clinic
- What To Know About Scars After Breast Reduction Surgery – Medical News Today
- What Sort of Scarring Could You See From Breast Augmentation? – American Society of Plastic Surgeons