Incision Care After Breast Reduction? (photo)

I'm a few days post op after a breast reduction. I see a couple of schools of thought on antibacterial ointment, should I use it or not? I've been cleared to shower and was told to just keep incisions dry and change dressing daily.

Doctor Answers 7

Incision care after breast reduction

Hi Eva.  The appearance of your scars will be determined by how your surgeon closes your incisions, how well you follow your postoperative instructions, and how your body heals. The final soft, thin, flat scar may take up to a year or longer of patience. It is easy to make scars worse, but hard to make them better. Sun avoidance is important, as is proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. While there are many products on the market which claim to reduce scarring, in my opinion, it is difficult to identify one that is clearly superior.  Many patients ask about vitamin E and cocoa butter.  These are inexpensive, and will not make anything worse.  Whether or not they make a difference is hard to say.  Few of my patients have had much luck with mederma or silicone sheeting.   These products may be expensive.  In my opinion, things that sound too good to be true usually are, so be careful about products that make extravagant claims about scar improvement.  My advice is to ask your doctor.


Richmond Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Incision Care After Breast Reduction?

Congratulations on having undergone the breast reduction procedure; this operation tends to be one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform. Your plastic surgeon will be your best resource when it comes to advice regarding incision line care. You may find that every surgeon has his/her preferences. Generally speaking, the use of silicone-based products ( gel or sheeting) may be helpful. Massage and or the use of tape  may also be helpful. 
Best wishes; hopefully you will be very pleased with the outcome of the procedure performed.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Wound care after a breast reduction

Thanks for your question about wound management after a breast reduction.  This will certainly vary from one plastic surgeon to another.  I personally do not like patients to use antibacterial ointment.  It tends to keep the skin macerated and wet.  Lightly cleaning with soap and water and patting down is all you need to do at this point.  Of course, definitive management of your wound care should be left up to your plastic surgeon.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

No evidence antibiotic ointment has any effect in wound healing after breast reduction.

There's no evidence that antibiotic ointment helps wound healing after breast reduction. The occasional patient can actually develop an allergy to it.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Incision care after breast reduction

Most patients don't need antibacterial ointments for breast reduction incisions, unless there is skin breakdown or a small wound. I typically have my patients simply keep the incisions covered with paper tape or steri strips for about 2 weeks. 

Wm. Todd Stoeckel, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Incision care after breast reduction

I usually have patients keep it clean and leave steri-strips on for several weeks.  Best to follow your doctor's instructions.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Scar care post breast reduction

I would pat the wounds dry and definitely redress with simple tape. Such as Micropore.

Around 2-4 weeks post op, provided the wounds are clean and dry, I would then commence silicone taping as part of your scar management protocol.


Pouria Moradi, MBBS, FRACS
Sydney Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 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.