I am considering laser to remove my breast lift scars. How long after surgery should I wait?
Laser Scar Removal After Breast Lift?
Doctor Answers (17)
Lasers to Treat Scars
No laser can remove scars.
There are numerous laser and light technologies purporting to reduce scars, but their use is relatively new and largely unproven by good clinical research studies
I would advise allowing 18 months for normal scar maturation before undertaking any laser treatments; then, do so with the advice and supervision of your plastic surgeon.
Scar removal is not a reality
As plastic surgeons we have many tools to help us improve the appearance of scars and laser and light based therapies is one of them. Laser is particularly helpful for immature scars that are pink or slightly raised. Sun protection is also beneficial as is topical massage and silicone sheeting over breast scars.
Surgery can also be used to revise scars to relieve tension, redirect, or reposition them to help make them less noticeable.
The key word here is improvement, as removal is just not possible. Time and patience can be the best solution for many.
Best of luck,
Intense pulsed light or laser treatment may improve redness of scars.
There is no way to completely remove a scar from any surgery. When the skin is cut full thickness during an operation, there will always be a scar in that site.
We have found that treatment of immature (new) scars with Intense Pulsed Light (IPL or BBL - Broad Band Light) can decrease the redness of these scars more effectively than doing nothing.
These treatments, combined with sun avoidance, wearing SPF 30 sunblock over the exposed area, and scar massage with any of the various available scar creams, may improve scar appearance more quickly than if you were to do nothing.
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Laser treatment of breast lift scars
Lasers have many applications in Aesthetic (Cosmetic) medicine and surgery.
For the treatment of scars, pulse dye lasers and pigment lasers (such as the alexandrite laser) have been shown to be beneficial.
Rest assured that breast scars generally heal well, but may remain red for a prolonged period of time (up to a year). Furthermore, pigmentation of the scar may occur in some cases.
It is unlikely that any laser will completely remove the scar. Instead, the laser will make the scar softer, eliminate the redness and pigmentation, and make the scars less noticable.
Generally, laser treatment can be initiated immediately after the wounds have completely healed.
I hope your found this information useful. Good luck with your treatment.
Laser "scar removal"
There is truthfully no such thing as "laser scar removal". Once you have a cut or incision, you will always have a scar. Scars take quite a while to fully mature, and they go through a normal healing process. Right after surgery (the first few weeks), the skin is touching and the scar might look great. For the first 6-8 weeks after the incision, the body piles up collagen (a building material used to heal scars), and the scars become noticeable and thick. After that, the body starts re-orienting the collagen components in scars, rearranging them along lines of tension, and small muscle cells (myofibroblasts) try to make the scars smaller with contraction. This whole process of scar maturation takes 1 to 2 years (when viewed under a microscope), but for most people looking at scars from the outside, it varies from 6 to 18 months. Scars are considered mature when they are flat and no longer red.
Most of the lasers that are proposed to "remove" scars are really aimed at getting rid of the redness. The laser is tuned at the red pigment, and removing it makes them appear more mature. The problem is that this redness is due to the hypervascularity of healing scars, and the myofibroblasts (muscles are red) that are trying to shrink the scar. So if you are going to use one of these lasers, you are paying money for something that would happen by itself in a few months, and you are short changing yourself by not letting the scar shrink!
There are some resurfacing lasers that can be used on mature raised scars to camouflage and contour them into the surrounding skin, but this is not what people are normally talking about when they ask for "laser scar removal". Be sure it is worth spending money on before you sign up.
Not impressed with the use of lasers for scar improvement
There is no way to 'remove' a breast lift scar or any scar for that matter. There are many techniques that can lessen or camouflage the appearance of a scar. Most scars will mature over time and improve. The trick of plastic surgery is to place the incisions in locations that are know to heal well. In general I would wait at least 6 months and sometimes up to one year until you consider any invasive form of scar revision including laser. I have never been impressed with the use of lasers for improvement of a scar. Better techniques included surgical scar revision and some times the injection of a steroid into the scar. If your scar is relatively new, less than 3 months then vigorous massage is indicated. I generally keep my incisions taped for the first 3 - 4 weeks this has been shown to decrease the degree of tension on the incision and lessen the degree of scarring.
Do not laser the scars on your breast after a breast lift.
There is no indication to laser a remodelling scar. Almost always, breast scars become very inconspicuous after a lift given enough time. This might actually be several years. In the mean time, do not laser the scars.
LASERS and Scars
Scars are permanent....however, I feel that lasers and aggressive scar management after surgery can help minimize their appearance after surgery. Hydroquinone, pulse dye, fractionated CO2, broad band/intense pulse light lasers are all excellent modalities for helping scars vanish.
Seek the advice of your board certified plastic surgeon who I am sure has a protocol for post-operative scar treatments....I usually wait at least 1 year post-op.
Laser scar treatment after breast lift
There are several lasers available to improve the appearance of scars, but none of them will erase the scar. Normal scar healing occurs over 1 year or more, and it is difficult to predict the final appearance of your scar immediately after surgery. If your scars are unsightly, and depending on the specifics of the laser, it may be safe to use as early as several weeks out from your surgery.
Scar revision after a breast lift
Patients have multiple options for a scar revision after breast lift. If this card is wide and involves the lower portion of the breast, your plastic surgeon should evaluate your breast tissue to determine if there is enough laxity in the skin that will allow this scar to be cut out completely and replaced with a much thinner one. I would be very cautious about injecting a great deal of steroids into this area. Although steroids may help make the scar flatter, it is important that this tissue is not damaged by the steroids as this could lead to wound breakdown and a great deal of difficulty with wound healing.
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.