Breast lift is surgery to lift breasts higher on the woman’s chest and to improve breast shape to a more youthful, round appearance. Surgeons tighten the breast skin envelope around existing breast tissue, then remove excess breast skin that caused the sagging. Skin removal produces scar on the breast. The more lifting and reshaping the breast needs, the more skin must be removed. The more skin that must be removed, in general, the longer the scar. Visible breast scars are not often sexy, nor are they beautiful. So how does the caring and skilled surgeon conceal breast scars?
If you’re asking before your breast lift surgery, then you’re becoming an educated patient. Educated patients nearly always have the best results. Prevention is the best treatment for scars. What can you do to prevent visible or objectionable breast lift scars?
- Scars are only one aspect of breast lift results. Compare scars among breast lift galleries at plastic surgeons’ sites, but also breast shape, proportion, nipple projection, and other elements of the beautiful breast. If you want minimal breast scars, avoid surgeons who lift breasts with an “anchor” type or “Wise pattern” scar. Such long scars traversing the entire width of the crease along the bottom of female breasts are no longer necessary.
- Stop smoking for at least 30 days prior to your breast lift surgery. Smoking impairs healing, may lead to wound breakdown, delayed recovery, and wider scars. Do not resume smoking after breast lift until your surgeon approves of it.
- Prepare NOT to run long distances or jump repetitively for two months after surgery. Ask your doctor about alternative exercises if you’re a runner or if you often jump as part of your fitness or competitive routine. Excessive motion may widen scars by collagen accommodation to the added stress.
- If you’re a “stomach sleeper,” most comfortable sleeping in the prone position, be sure you can sleep on your back or sides. If you cannot, you may be doomed to wound and scar problems after your breast lift. Your body weight resting on your healing breasts after surgery will widen and deform the scars.
- Disinfect skin by showering with antiseptic such as chlorhexidine gluconate or povidone-iodine for several days before your procedure. Infection may worsen scar, so it should be avoided. Breast lift surgeons often provide a preferred antiseptic in advance.
- If you’re getting implants with breast lift, nasal decolonization before surgery with alcohol, povidone-iodine, mupirocin, and/or other antiseptic may diminish the chance of infection, avoiding the scars resulting from treatment of infection.
- Be sure your surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, which requires all members to operate in accredited facilities and to hold hospital privileges in breast lift and other procedures performed in the office.
- Ask if your surgeon sits you up during the procedure to evaluate the location, length, symmetry, and configuration of breast lift closure, and thus, features of your scar.
- Ask about your surgeon’s post-operative scar management program. What happens if the scar is growing more prominent over time, rather than fading away as it should?
- Disclose any past healing problems to your surgeon, including corticosteroid related, Ehlers-Danlos, Lupus, Scleroderma, Pyoderma Gangrenosum, or others.
Scar minimization is an effort shared by patient AND surgeon. Surgical technique is important, and management of your breasts after surgery is also important.
Post-operative (After Breast Lift Surgery) Scar Reduction
Scarring is a normal part of healing from breast lift surgery, but it’s best if scars aren’t seen, if they’re essentially invisible on your body, if they’re camouflaged within and on the breast skin. You can help your scars disappear after breast lift surgery. Try these techniques for minimizing your breast lift scars.
- Supportive Bra – The weight of your lifted breast should not rest unsupported on your lower breast skin closure. Bras specially designed for post-surgical support are stocked and supplied by many surgeons. Some companies that manufacture such bras are Marena, Design Veronique, Belladeena, and others.
- Avoid running and jumping – After the early period of rest following breast lift surgery, many women are anxious to return to their regular activities and fitness routine. It is recommended that repetitive jumping or distance running be avoided to prevent breast bouncing up and down. Such motion applies lateral force to the lower breast closure, and may widen the scar.
- Taping the lower breast closure – Many surgeons apply surgical tape across the lower breast closure and recommend keeping this tape in place for two to three months after breast lift surgery to stabilize the closure resulting in a fine line, imperceptible scar. The best available skin tape is Hypafix from Smith & Nephew, although other types of tape may be used. This tape should withstand showers, and stay in place for one to two weeks per application. Changing this tape more frequently will cause local skin breakdown from repetitive tape adhesive related trauma.
- Keep all scheduled doctor appointments – Occasionally, even despite your best efforts and your surgeon’s best efforts, healing problems arise. Sutures extrude, leaving marks. Scars become pigmented, lighter or darker than surrounding skin, or remain pink. Wound edges may separate, or areolae change shape. Ripples, folds, or irregularities develop. Breasts settle more than intended. These problems may detract from your final result, but can often be solved by minor additional medical or surgical treatments. Your board-certified plastic surgeon in San Diego is trained and experienced in managing and improving your situation in the circumstance that such issues arise.
Getting rid of breast lift scars
Many factors influence scars after breast lift surgery. Age, genetics, skin color, allergies, excessive activity, inadequate support, wound trauma, infection, intercurrent illness, type of surgical closure, operative technique and materials used, and other elements impact scar formation and development. At Feel Beautiful Plastic Surgery, Dr. Laverson believes a comprehensive program for every woman, and with every woman, minimizes breast scarring. Dr. Laverson performs breast lifts only with areola or lollipop scars, never an anchor scar. Scars are permanent, but their visibility should be reduced so women forget about them and are unaware of them. Obvious breast lift surgery scars may be treated by corticosteroid injection, by bleaching medications, by camouflage tattoo, by laser or intense pulsed light, or by surgical revision, depending on what features are causing scar visibility.
Scar-reduction methods have their own potential complications, including pigment abnormalities and recurrent scarring, so they too must be carefully planned and managed by a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Considering a breast lift? Call Dr. Laverson in San Diego for information and consultation.
If you’re considering breast lift to restore a more youthful breast shape and upper breast fullness, call a San Diego Breast Lift Specialist, Dr. Steve Laverson, at 858-295-4001 today.