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What Will My Breast Reduction Scars Look Like?

Posted January 22, 2024 By: The Office of Birmingham Specialists

Breast Reduction

4 Min Read

In a perfect world, cosmetic surgery would never leave scars. While scarring is a natural part of the healing process of any surgical procedure, many patients hold back on the procedure of their dreams for fear of unsightly scarring. 

woman covering her breasts with her hands, looking down at her chest

Breast reduction surgery is a transformative procedure that has the power to improve a woman’s physical and aesthetic concerns–yet so many women are wary due to the possibility of scarring. Below, we will discuss the benefits of breast reduction surgery as well as give a better idea as to what you can expect from your scars–and how to best avoid them.

What Are the Benefits of Breast Reduction Surgery?

Breast reduction surgery is pretty unique in the world of cosmetic surgery, as it offers some of the most physical benefits in addition to aesthetics. Patients who are interested in breast reduction surgery most likely have physical challenges that their large, heavy breasts place upon them. 

Many women with weighty, bulky breasts have increased back pain, neck pain, and even chest pain. Some patients have difficulty breathing or sleeping comfortably due to the weight of their breasts; others cannot comfortably participate in physical exercise as their breasts are a hindrance. 

Aesthetically, large breasts can more quickly become droopy as the skin stretches to accommodate the weight of a large amount of tissue and fat. Many patients who are looking into breast reduction surgery are much younger, as their breast ptosis is accelerated. Additionally, pregnancy and breastfeeding with large breasts can cause even more changes, resulting in more skin laxity, enlarged nipples, and breast ptosis. 

Breast reduction surgery alleviates physical and aesthetic concerns by removing excess fat and tissue, as well as removing excess skin for a more lifted, lighted appearance. Breast reduction patients are usually ecstatic that they no longer have back, neck and chest pain paired with more perky, manageable breasts. 

Despite these benefits, some women are unsure if the inevitable scarring is worth undergoing this procedure. Scarring after a breast reduction will vary on the type of incision and aftercare, so we’ll break down what that looks like below.

What Are the Incision Types for Breast Reduction?

Whenever an incision is made, there is a possibility of scarring. So, if visible scars are an issue for you, it’s important to understand the various techniques and incisions for breast reduction surgery. 

Short-Scar Vertical Technique

The incision encircles the areolas and down vertically towards the breast line (where your breast meets the chest wall), looking similar to a lollipop shape. This option is ideal if you have small to medium volume reductions.

Anchor T-Scar Technique (“Wise Pattern”)

Like the vertical technique, the anchor T-scar incision encircles the areola and descends towards the breast line, but there is an additional horizontal incision along the breast line. Thus, the “anchor” shape. This technique is suitable for women with more necessary revision.

No Vertical Scar (Horizontal) Technique

This technique utilizes two incisions per breast: a horizontal that runs along the breast line and a second incision that encircles the nipple. This technique is best for patients with longer, more narrow breasts as it allows for a better lift. 

How to Reduce the Risk of Scarring from Breast Reduction

Although these incision types do have some variation in the visible scars they create, when it comes down to it, any time a surgical incision is made, there is some level of scar remaining. 

Some patients dislike the idea of the vertical scars that some of these incision types create. However, the choice of incision type really depends on your anatomy, your goals, and the advice of your surgeon. For instance, if visible scarring is definitely not an option for you, you may have to consider discussing undergoing a technique that can provide less revision. 

Your board-certified plastic surgeon can help guide you in the right direction when it comes to your surgical plan. At the end of the day, the result and safety of the procedure should be a high priority. 

Lastly, most patients will experience that their surgical scars fade over time with proper care. Avoiding excess sun exposure, keeping the scars moisturized, and even applying a topical scar cream are all ways to help fade your surgical scars. 

Interested in Breast Reduction Surgery in Birmingham, AL?

Dr. Oliver and Dr. Jack are experienced and conscientious plastic surgeons serving Birmingham and the surrounding areas. If you are interested in breast reduction surgery and would like to learn more or schedule a consultation, call Plastic Surgery Specialists today at (205) 298-8660 or fill out our online contact form. We look forward to hearing from you!