If you are considering breast lift surgery (mastopexy), you may feel hesitant because you are not sure what the breast lift scars will look like. All surgery leave scars, but the scars from a breast lift are not as scary as you might think. The type of breast lift you have is the main factor in determining scar shape. However, there are steps you can take to reduce breast lift scars. This article contains patient images of breast lift scar fading over 12 months.
What are scars?
Scars are caused whenever there is significant trauma to the skin, including surgical procedures. In plastic surgery, scar tissue occurs where the incision is made. Scars are part of the healing process. It is your body’s way of building and repairing tissue as a wound heals.
Mature scars may feel smoother than normal skin, and they might be slightly raised if you look carefully. Scars do not produce melanin, so once they are healed, the pigment tends to be lighter than the skin around them. A trained specialist surgeon like Dr. Bernard Beldholm uses their surgical skill and artistry to minimize breast lift scars as much as possible.
Book your appointment online now
Different breast lift techniques result in different scars
These are the five main types of breast lifts performed today:
Scarless breast lift
If you do not have a lot of breast sagging, a scarless lift may be an option. This is the least invasive breast lift option available. Instead of an incision, this method uses electrical currents or ultrasound to heat fat cells in the breast. The tissue will firm and tighten as a result of the treatment, which has a lifting effect.
While there is no incision and therefore no scar, this method is suitable for patients who only need a very minor amount of lifting. Most women seeking a breast lift after breastfeeding, post-pregnancy or getting older want more of a “lifted” effect than this technique can offer.
The crescent breast lift is the right choice for patients who only need minimal lifting and, if they desire an implant, small ones. This method involves removing a crescent-shaped section of skin above the areola. When the incision is stitched closed, the nipple will raise by a few centimeters. This helps give the breast a more lifted and youthful appearance. Small implants may be inserted to improve the shape of the breast and restore volume. The scar lies above the areola with this technique.
The donut breast lift uses a peri-areolar incision. That is a circular incision around the nipple. It looks much like a donut, hence the name. As this section of breast tissue is removed, the areola is then sutured to the remaining breast skin, tightening and lifting the breast.
This technique provides more lift than the crescent method, but patients who have significant breast sagging may not see enough improvement to satisfy their goals. A donut lift can be performed alongside a breast augmentation for added fullness. The scar is well hidden around the perimeter of the areola.
The lollipop breast lift is ideal for women with more breast sagging than the aforementioned methods can offer. A keyhole-shaped incision is made, repositioning the nipple and removing a vertical section of skin below it. This leaves the patient with a vertical scar starting at the bottom of the nipple and down onto the skin beneath it, like a seam. You may also choose to add breast implants to increase the size of your breasts.
The anchor breast lift (also known as the inverted T breast lift) is a classic technique used for mastopexy. For women with severe ptosis, it is the gold standard. Women love that it gives the breasts a perky shape, however it does have the largest scar since it is the most invasive method.
In order to raise the nipple, an incision is made below the areola and also in the breast crease. Excess skin below the nipple is removed, and implants can be added if desired. It leaves an anchor-shaped scar, with the bottom of the anchor following the crease of the breast.
How to reduce breast lift scars
Scar reduction is a common concern of women who have had a breast lift. The goal is to heal the scar as much as possible so that it blends in nicely with the surrounding skin when it is done healing. Follow these tips to help reduce breast lift scars:
Choose an experienced surgeon
If you’re concerned about the breast lift scars, make sure to choose a qualified surgeon. While many surgeons offer breast lifts, it may not be their area of expertise. Dr. Beldholm is a Newcastle body contouring provider with years of experience in breast lifts, breast reduction surgery, breast augmentation and more.
Choosing a surgeon who is well versed in the art of breast lifts ensures that scars will be minimized as much as possible. They have seen what works and what doesn’t. Scar placement is second nature to a surgeon who deals with breast lifts on a regular basis.
Scar massage for breast lifts
Massaging the scar starting a few weeks after surgery can improve healing. Scar massage pressure should be gentle. The massage should not pull or tug at the skin. Aggressive scar massage can make things worse.
Instead, just use your fingertips to press into the scar tissue using circular motions. You can massage the scar vertically and horizontally. It can help break up scar tissue, resulting in a flatter scar. Massage also increases circulation, which is good for wound healing.
Silicone strips are great for scar healing. Surgeons have been using them for more than 30 years. This soft dressing helps keep skin moisturized so that it can heal better. They also reduce tension on the incision, which creates a better-looking scar in the long run. Doctor Bernard provides all his patients with silicone strips for breast lift.
Sun exposure makes scars look worse. Luckily, breast lift scars are easily hidden by swim tops. However, light or thin fabrics are not necessarily blocking out the sun as much as you would think. With Australia’s strong sunlight, it is important to apply sunscreen to keep those scars protected. SPF 30+ sunscreen is ideal, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Tanning beds should also be avoided, especially since many women opt to go topless in sun beds.
Eliminating nicotine is important to scar healing and can reduce unwanted side effects after surgery. Nicotine and chemicals found in cigarettes are proven to delay healing. They lower your immune system, which causes poor healing. Smoking affects not only your lungs, but the skin as well. Smokers have their defenses down. Also, collagen and elastin production in the skin (both of which are essential for healing) slow down with nicotine use. It is recommended to quit smoking before surgery, and commit to staying smoke-free as you heal.
If you are not satisfied with the scar outcome or if you wish to speed scar healing, Laser Genesis can help. This is one of the latest skin advancements available. It has many benefits, one of them being scar reduction. It can be done after any cosmetic surgery, including breast lifts. Laser Genesis can reduce redness in breast lift scars dramatically.