Ask a doctor

Does Scarring Ever Fade Completely After a Breast Lift? (photo)

I'm in my young 20's and would like a lift. It has been noted to me that I have breast ptosis (genetic I children). I also feel I have large nipples. What type of lift would be best for me from what you can see in the picture and with the least scarring? I see all these pictures with a scar around the nipple and under the breasts...does this ever go away, if so, how long does it take to 100% disappear (if ever 100%)? My goal picture is also below...looks natural and even.

Doctor Answers 14

Breast Lift Scars

Scar healing is what I call a 50/50 rule. 50 percent of scar healing is dependent upon how the surgeon closes your incisions. The other 50 percent is how well the patient heals. The healing is dependent upon your skin type and color as well. Most patients however will notice there scars fading more and more with time, like 1-2yrs and may become so fare you will have a hard time finding them. Good luck to you.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Breast scar management

Thank you for your question. While you will always have a scar from the surgery, the incisions usually heal in a subtle fashion.  There are approaches that can make the incisions even more subtle.  A multimodal approach can include:
1) Scar massage - starting as soon as the surgical dressings come off and the incisions are sealed
2) Silicone sheets or scar gels for about six months to year
3) Embrace - a tension reducing dressing for the first 2 months
4) Fractionated lasers to help blend the scar into the background - done as a series, starting about 4 weeks after surgery and repeated every four weeks for six months.
5) Sunscreen to prevent the scars from darkening


For most significant fading but not completely. Best Scar Management is important to minimize or completely hide from view, the telltale signs of your surgery—namely, scars. Both you and your surgeon want you to have the most minimal scarring possible. There are many possible causes for scars that are enlarged or not healing well. Unsightly scars are most commonly due to genetics, underlying medical conditions, or improper scar/wound care. The last part is very important and patients can make a noticeable difference in their scars’ appearance by following best scar management practices. Here are some simple tips in the below link:

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Do scars disappear?

Scars fade over the course of a year or two for most patients, but they will always be visible to some extent.  For that reason it is important to place the scars in discrete locations if possible, such as around the areolas and in the creases below the breasts.

David Stoker, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Breast Lift Scars

I see what we call a vertical breast lift for you. This means the final scar is like a lollipop.  There will always be surgical scars but they will fade over time.  If you really would like your breast reshaped, lifted, and the areolas reduced, then this is the way to go.  If the looks of the faded scars still bother you, then consider tattooing them flesh colored to help blend with the surrounding skin.  

Justin Yovino, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Scarring after breast lift? (photos)

The scar is a necessary trade off to reduce surface to volume ratio of the ptotic breast, restoring a more robust, attractive, feminine shape.  There are well established measures to minimize the scar burden, and to conceal the resulting scars.  Scars fade significantly with the passage of time.

From your photos, my choice would be standard "vertical" mastopexy, producing scar along your areolar margin and from the bottom of your areola straight down to your inframammary crease, or perhaps slightly curved down to the crease.

The reason you see scars on most before &after photos on the web is... when do you believe most surgeons shoot those "after" photos?  RIGHT YOU ARE, usually 1-3 or 4 months after surgery, which is the last office follow up many breast lift patients show up for.  Scars mature and fade considerably for several YEARS after breast lift, but at 3-4 months, scars are still fresh, actively metabolizing, still red and/or dark, and quite visible in photos.  Honest plastic surgeons like posting these early results so prospective patients will know where to expect scars, and will therefore not be surprised.  One to three year post surgical results would confirm that many scars that are visible from a distance at 3 months essentially disappear by three years.  Upon close examination, the scars are there, but not usually from a distance.  If scars do become problematic, they can always be revised to diminish their visibility.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Breast lift

You have a bit of an unusual situation in that you have disproportionately large areola diameter even though your breast are not that large volume-wise. In addition, the areola are not centralized and so the typical vertical scar technique has to be customized to your specific anatomical landmarks. This might mean a slight different location of the scar from the straight vertical location.

Robin T.W. Yuan, M.D.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Breast lifts and scars

There are two issues here. Your picture suggests the need for a lift but the other picture looks like a lift and an augmentation. 

The best procedure to lift, centralize the nipple-areola, and reduce the areola size would be a true lift of the glandular breast rather than some sort of periareolar or skin dependent lift. This can be done with a "vertical" approach and a lollipop scar, but requires experience on the part of the surgeon. The scar would be around the areola and from the areola down to the inframammary crease and does not need an implant for volume. 

The best a plastic surgeon can do is tell you where the scar will be and why and that he or she will do everything they know of to make the scar end up as minimal as possible. Ultimately scar formation and looks is up to how you heal and mature scars. There is no guarantee of outcome. You have to feel comfortable with the improvement and the tradeoff of the scar. 

Scott L. Replogle, MD
Boulder Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Scars are permanent but can be done right

Scars are an inevitable part of nearly all plastic surgical procedures.  The appearance of those scars and their ability to fade are based on numerous factors including delayed wound healing, infection, diabetes, genetic tendency, inadvertent postop trauma, or sun exposure.  This is only a short list of factors.  Typically, experienced plastic surgeons are most qualified to give you the best scars and to deliver the best possible results with a procedure such as a breast lift.  With that said, most mastopexy (breast lift) procedures do produce the type of scars you describe, especially the one around the arreola.  There are certain measures to take postoperatively that will increase your chances of having a good scar that will fade over time.  Scars typically take 12-18 months to fully mature and soften.  I routinely follow my patients over the entire course of scar maturation and beyond, so that I can ensure the best result possible.  

Every plastic surgeon will have his/her own regimen for producing good scars.  Just make sure that whoever does your breast lift also has a long-term scar management plan in place to ensure the best outcome.

Andre Panossian, MD, FACS
Pasadena Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Scars are permanent

All scars are permanent but in some patients they will fade to being almost invisible.  In others, they may remain more visible.  The lighter your skin tone the more invisible they generally become.  This cannot be predicted or guaranteed for any patient but are just general guidelines.

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.