How can I improve the healing of breast lift scars?

I have wanted to get a breast lift (no implants) for a very long time but I'm worried because I don'thave the most forgiving skin. By which I mean it scars very easily and takes a long time to heal. I may even be prone to keloid scars. I'd like to go through with the surgery but what can I do to before and after the surgery to prevent bad scarring?

Doctor Answers 6

How can you improve the healing of breast lift scars

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. Scar Management tips:
  1. Minimize tension on the scar. Steri-Strips and/or surgical tape are often placed in non-hair bearing areas at the time of surgery to minimize tension and keep pressure over the scar.  This minimizes the  stress that  can pull the scar apart (dehiscence) creating a wound and  delaying healing time, and can make the scar wider, or more “ropy”. In the first few weeks after surgery, I recommend the use of Embrace Scar Therapy which is an adherent silicone sheeting pre-stretched when applied so as to offload tension on the scar.
  2. Keep your incision site/scar clean to prevent infection. Follow your surgeon’s wound care instructions to the letter with out modification. Never apply different products then recommended without first discussing them with your surgeon. This is especially important during the first few weeks. If there are any signs of infection, contact your surgeon’s office right away and/or see your doctor or his nurse immediately. Typical signs of infection may include redness outside the immediate incision site, asymmetric swelling, and drainage, of pus, fever, chills, and “feeling sick”.
  3. Protect your scars from the sun. Staying out of the sun is the best advice. Minimal exposure to sunlight is prevents hyperpigmentation (permanently turning brown) and other problems that can make the scar more noticeable. Sunscreen, at least 30 SPF and an overlying make camouflage make up additionally protects the scar from the suns harmful rays. This advice is especially important the first year following your surgery.
  4. Use specific scar maturation products recommended by your surgeon. Patients seem to have their own opinions on this touting everything from Pure Vit E, Coco butter, to Aloe Vera, etc but most have minimal benefit other than keeping the scar hydrated. Although hydration is important there are better, scientifically studied products with greater efficacy. Most of the scientific articles written about this subject indicate that topical silicone gel or silicone sheets work the best. The best product available in my opinion is the Embrace Scar Therapy System by Neodyne BioSciences, Inc. available in many surgeons’ offices. Essentially this is an adherent silicone sheeting pre-stretched when applied so as to offload tension on the scar. For areas that are not applicable for this product (e.g. smaller areas or on the face), I prefer BioCorneum or Kelo-Cote products There are a lot of products to choose from, but silicone should be one of the key ingredients. Although Mederma, an onion extract derivative active ingredient rather than mainly silicone based may help, primarily silicone based products are better and many also contain other ingredients that may be synergistic (hydrocortisone or other steroid, Vitamin E, Sunscreen, etc).. If the reader has problems obtaining these they can call my office. Patient compliance is also critical – use often and according to directions or it will not work optimally. NEVER apply products without first discussing them with your surgeon.
  5. Monitor to make sure your scar is progressing optimally. Keep your scheduled follow-up appointments with your surgeon to verify that your scars are maturing as expected.  Occasionally if indicated you may need a topical steroid preparation or even a series of  injections (5-FU and/or Steroids) or laser treatments  to treat or  prevent scar hypertrophy or keloid formation (red raised scars), or other topical medicines to treat post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (brown scars) with prescription creams and possible laser treatments.

Scars after Surgery

Concerns about the scars after breast lift surgery are very common and in some cases patients refuse to have the surgery done for that reason alone. Scars can vary from individual due to their genetic makeup. However, some scars are more severe due to tension and the body's response to it. It is the body's response to support the wound. So, avoiding undue tension on the breast wound with the surgery can help prevent thick scar formation. There are a number of scar reduction treatments that can be used after surgery and I would recommend talking to your surgeon beforehand on what they recommend. Good luck.

Jeffrey W. Hall, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Breast lift with little scarring

You have a common goal of most women who wish to have breast lift surgery, known as a mastopexy.  There are a variety of surgical procedures to create a more beautiful lifted breast.  The most obvious way to avoid visible scarring is to minimize the number and length of surgical incisions.  If you are a candidate, a "lollipop" lift is designed to minimize incisions and therefore possible scars.  A type of surgical closure, known as a layered closure, can help minimize scarring by avoiding sutures placed in the skin and multiple layers of self dissolving sutures can minimize the width and therefore the visibility of the scars.  Postoperatively, wearing supportive bras to minimize tension accross incisions, use of topical anti-scarring products, and laser treatments to the incisions are all helpful tools to minimize visible scarring.Discussing your concerns with a board certified Plastic Surgeon can help you decide on the ideal procedure and surgeon for you.Good luck with your surgery! 

Daniel M. Calloway, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

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During your consultation, please discuss any scar issues you have. After surgery, your surgeon will probably recommend scar products that can be used up to 6 months. Should you show any signs of keloid formation, your surgeon can do other treatments.

Connie Hiers, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Breast scars

There are a lot of ways that are recommended for patients to try to keep scars narrow and flat. Since I use all inside sutures on breasts, I try to keep the original steristrips on for at least 3 weeks. After that I follow with more tape or Scarguard for several more weeks. This promotes constant pressure to the scar helping to make the flattest scar. The tapes also keep minimize tension to help keep them narrow. That is my way. Good luck.

How can I improve the healing of breast lift scars?

Hello dear, thanks for your question and provided information as well.. The breasts may lose their elasticity and firmness which can be caused by different factors such as pregnancy, massive weight loss, lactation and aging. To reaffirm the breasts and restore the natural look your surgeon can perform a mastopexy or breast lift. A breast lift restores a firmer, perkier, and more aesthetically pleasing shape to sagging breasts. This not only can improve a patient’s appearance by restoring her youthful, feminine proportions, but  also help bras and swimsuits fit more comfortably and attractively. By removing excess, stretched out skin, reshaping the breast tissue, and raising the nipple & areola into a more forward position, a cosmetic surgeon can create a more youthful breast contour. Stretched, large areolae can also be reduced during breast lift surgery, creating an overall better proportioned, natural looking breast, Actually the perkiness on a person or another, depends on patients skin and breast tissue… Breast augmentation surgery increases or restores breast size using silicone gel implants, saline implants or in some cases, fat transfer. One of the most popular and frequently performed aesthetic surgery procedures, breast augmentation has a long and successful track record in satisfying women who wish to enhance, regain or restore balance to their figures. At the first 3 to 5 months, it is too soon to determine how your results are going to be, per now, they look very nice and beautiful, you can have one bigger than the other, feel swollen and also have bruises and open wounds, it is normal and that can happen for the first 3 to 4 months until your implants have settle in. I recommend you to wait and keep using your post surgical bra, that will help you with the shape and support…

Tania Medina de Garcia, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 328 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.