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What Does a Breast Lift Scar Look Like?

Typically, what does a breast lift scar look like? I've heard they're pretty bad but I've seen some photos where I can't even see the scars.

Doctor Answers 14

Every patient is different...

Unfortunately, breast lift surgery can’t be performed without scarring. How much scarring occurs with this procedure is dependent upon the patients anatomy and wound healing characteristics.

When breast sag occurs, there’s an excess of breast skin relative to breast volume. A breast lift removes the excess skin and lifts the breast into normal position.Failure to address excess skin can have significant consequences.This can result in distortion of the breasts and poor scar quality because of excess tension on the wound closure.

Each patient is unique with specific anatomic findings and personal aesthetic goals. Based on these considerations, a variety of treatment options are available.

In some cases, where mild breast sag is present, shorter incisions can be utilized with good results.This commonly includes incisions placed around the areola.In more severe cases, a vertical incision and possibly a transverse incision in the inframammary fold may be necessary to correct this problem.

It’s important that each patient’s procedure be individualized to address their specific anatomic findings.The length of the scar is far less important than the contour of the breast and the quality of the scars.

Scarring is a part of any surgical procedure but occasionally scarring is excessive.This may be related to surgical considerations, but is more often related to wound healing biology.If adverse scarring occurs, scar revision may be necessary.

If you’re considering breast lift surgery, it’s important to meet with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss which option is best for you.This surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan that addresses your anatomic findings and hopefully achieves your aesthetic goals.

Breast Lift Scar Placement

The scar from a breast lift will depend on the type of breast lift performed, the surgeon performing the procedure, the individual healing characteristics of the patient, and any complications that may occur during the healing process.

There are varying degrees of breast lift procedures.The least extensive procedure would be the removal of skin around the areola.In this case, the only scar will be around the outside of the areola.If a more extensive breast lift is required, then another incision from the areola down to the fold of the breast may be necessary.Some patients also require an incision along the crease of the breast. Typically, the incision around the areola and the incision from the areola down to the crease of the breast heal with the least visibility.

The quality of the scar is also dependent on the surgical technique.You should make sure you select a surgeon who has had extensive experience in all types of breast surgery and ask to see photographs.

Some patients scar worse than others no matter what technique is performed.Unfortunately, there is not a lot that can be done to influence this tendency.

If there is any complication such as wound separation or infection, then the scar will usually be more visible.

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Breast Lift Scar?

Thank you for the question.

Breast lift scars will vary  greatly from patient to patient.  Both the location of the scars and the appearance of the scars will depend on many factors including the exact type of breast lift performed,  genetics, ethnicity, technical expertise, postoperative complications etc.

For more precise information,  it would be in your best interest to seek consultation with well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons.

Best wishes.

The quality of breast lift scars can be good

The pattern of scars has been well explored by the other consultants. However, as you observed, some scars are almost imperceptible. The scar around the nipple-areolar complex generally becomes inconspicous first, as it blends with the pigmented skin. At the other end of the lift, the horizontal limb of the lift is usually the second to appear fine lined, narrow and white. It's the vertical portion of the mastopexy which stays more visible for a longer time. The scar will usually be narrow, flat and white, however a "halo" of blood vessels, tends to make the scar appear pink for anywhere from 6-12 months.

Patients ofteny ask how to minimize the appearance of the breast lift scars; there are at least two ways. If the patient observes the activity restrictions recommended by the surgeon, there is less tension on the suture lines, which usually translates to better scar quality. Fastidious wound care can also assist wound healing. Alternatively, the surgeon's ability to repair the flaps well, without undue tension, will also be influential. Two factors which are out of the mix include the patient's age and race. Generally speaking, older individuals produce finer scars, although their wound healing may be impaired by their other health issues. Darker complected patients are always concerned about the potential for hypertrophic or keloid scars.

Lavinia K. Chong, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Breast lift scars

There are several different types of incisions used to perform breast lifts (mastopexy). These can range from a semi-circle around the upper portion of the areola (crescent lift), to a circle around the entire areola (circumareolar mastopexy), to a "lolli-pop" like incision (vertical) to an anchor scar (wise-pattern).

The lightness or darkness of the final scar depends on your skin quality, ethnicity, genetics, nutrition and tension on the wound closure, to name a few. Usually breast tissue heals quite well due to the thin nature of the skin; however no scar is invisible. Most will improve over time and can take up to one year to soften and lighten in color.

Please consult with a board certifield plastic surgeon prior to scheduling any type of breast lift procedure.

Best wishes,

Dr. Bruno

William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 239 reviews

Breast Lift and Scarring

If a breast needs a lift, implants are simply not going to replace the architectural rearrangement of a well executed lift. There are many types of lifts; periareolar (around the areola), vertical (lollipop) and standard (anchor incision). Each is selected for the type of ptosis or droopiness. The scars are permanent and so many times they depend on the genetics of the individual. In general the shape wins over the scar. A well shaped breast with a scar is better accepted by the patient than a poor shaped droopy breast with out scars. There are many different post operative tricks that we use to minimize the scar, however they are permanent.

Sepehr Egrari, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Breast lift scars

 All breast lift operations leave a permanent scar.  Most patient do heal well. This can br something as simple as a scar around the border of the areola, a lollipop type incision or an anchor type incision.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Breast Lift Scars

The appearance of breast lift scars are quite variable, and are dependent on a number of factors, including skin color, genetics, smoking, history of poor wound healing, surgical technique, and type of operation performed. Usually there is a scar around the areola which heals well. There may also be a vertical scar from the areola to the crease beneath the breast ('lollipop' technique). These scars will always be visible if you closely inspect the area, and may take over 6 months to fade. Occasionally the surgeon may also elect to place a scar in crease beneath the breast, which more frequently thickens or widens. This scar may occasionally be painful or uncomfortable. You may want to ask your surgeon to show you photos of patients that he/ she has done previously, so that you can get a better idea of the scars.

Only you can decide whether the scars are worth the improvement in shape of your breasts, and you should not allow anyone to talk you into the operation if you have serious concerns about scarring.

Wilfred Brown, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Women accept breast lift scars if they are happy with the shape.


We do most breast lifts with the internal vertical Lejour technique, which produces good long term shape, and a lollipop scar.  The scars usually fade a lot but they do not disappear.

You can see breast lift scars on our web site (and a lot of other sites).

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Breast Lift Scars

Breast lift scars avry quite a bit depending on the type of lift, the degree of tightness and the way a patient heals. The least scarring is with the doughnut mastopexy-around the areola. The next is the lolly pop scar and the third is the anchor scar.

On many pictures it is difficult to see the scars wither because they are hidden by the breast(which is why they are placed where they are), they are really great scars(which sometimes is the case) or because of photografic technique.

The best way to evaluate the scars is to find a real person who will show you their scars.

John P. Stratis, MD
Harrisburg Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.