Second Breast Reduction - Will It Make Scar / Sensation Worse?

Had a breast reduction 5 years ago. Believe my true cup size was a G cup, and asked to go down to a C cup. Well I ended up with a D cup size and after being pregnant, my cup size is larger. I have quite a bit of scar tissue below the breast (around the U shape incision), My question is, would a second breast reduction make the scar tissue worse? Also would a second surgery effect my nipple sensation? Thank you in advance for taking time to read/reply to my questions.

Doctor Answers 22

Breast Reduction - Second Procedure, Revisions, Scars, Nipple Sensation

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Hi ALgirl in Mobile, AL,

There's no absolute answer to this.  You may benefit from a second surgical procedure, but I would advise the following:

1)  Make sure your weight has stabilized post-pregnancy

2) Go back to your original surgeon or, if you don't, be sure to get the original operative record so that any subsequent surgery can be planned keeping that in mind.  This is particularly important with respect to the blood supply to the nipple and areola, and is therefore critical in addressing your concerns regarding nipple sensation.  A reasonable concern, but doing an ill-advised procedure (such as a completely different pedicle if not otherwise advisable or recommended) may increase the risks of losing sensation.

3) Scars can, of course, be worse afterwards - except that I don't really see any scars on you, or certainly any bad scars.  If all of your scars have healed well then you can conclude a) you heal well and b) they can't be much better; instead, they could only be the same or worse.  So you'll have to decide if that's worth it for the benefit your would gain.

That, of course, is the deal with all surgery - balancing the risks, benefits and alternatives.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

Revision of scars of previous breast reduction.

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The revision of your breast reduction surgery will provide the opportunity to improve the shape of your breasts, improve the symmetry, and improve the scars.  

You skin is very light and therefore, barring any complications like infection or suture reaction, you are likely to have a good scar which over time will become less obvious as the scar matures.

Discuss your concerns with your surgeon who will examine you and advise you accordingly.

Fredrick A. Valauri, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

Secondary (repeat) breast reduction

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ALgirl: your case of apparent breast "regrowth" illustrates the problem that many large breasted women experience.  In counseling breast reduction patients about the possibility of breast "regrowth", it's important to emphasize that breast volume may increase during periods of hormonal fluctuation: puberty, pregnancy/lactation, weight gain and menopause.  I have had some breast reduction patients, similar to yourself, whose breasts literally "regrow" after pregnancy and around menopause, (when women occasionally gain weight). 

Ideally, consult with a Board Certified PS whose practice is focused on breast surgery.  Make your prior medical records available and be explicit with him/her about your expectations (I agree that your symmetry is not optimal). Do realize that any surgery which is intended to reshape your breasts, decrease the scars and improve the symmetry, will not alter your breasts' growth patterns, which are in turn dependent on your hormones.  Accordingly, you may wish to defer surgery, until after you have completed your family. Good luck.

Lavinia K. Chong, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

"Secondary" breast reduction

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It is very important that you are examined  by a competent Plastic Surgeon who will obtain the operation notes  from the "first" Plastic Surgeon (or talks to him).  He will have to have a clear picture what technique  was used the first time. This is important not to jeopardize the blood supply or sensation of your nipple. Properly done your scars should be the same or better.

Good luck !

Guido P. Gutter, MD
Evansville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Secondary breast reduction

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You certainly can get a revision if you think that you are too large. If it is only a small difference liposuctionmay be enough. But if you do not like the scars, sometimes these can be improved especially if less weight and tension is pushing on them.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Breast reduction: second time around.

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For minor reductions that are essentially "scarless" you could consider liposuction. Using traditional techniques the appearance of your scar following second breast reduction is related to several factors including the wound tension, skin vascularity, personal wound healing tendencies, etc. There is an inituitive increased risk of loss of nipples sensation but I am not sure if this has been quantified.  

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Your second breast reduction

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A second breast reduction will not likely make your scars worse and the scar tissue underneath your skin can be removed at the same time so that your breasts have a more natural feel.  There is a chance that you loose sensation to your nipple but not necessarily a higher chance.  There is a higher chance (although still low) that you could loose your nipples and areolas where they turn into a scar and go away completely.  Most likely you will be very happy to have your breasts smaller and more symmetric.  Good luck!

Secondary breast reduction

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Without a complete exam and review of your history, it is not possible to say if you are  or are not a good candidate for secondary reduction mammaplasty. It is certainly possible to do it and there are many techniques that can be applied to your situation. However, it is imperative that whoever operates on your try to determine the technique used in your first reduction since different techniques rely on different blood supply to the nipple and one can jeopardize the nipple without knowing this fact. 

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Scars after breast reduction

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Your breasts are certainly asymmetric as can be seen on your photo.  Having a second breast reduction surgery may actually improve the scars on the breast as they will likely be excised (removed) at the time of surgery, and hopefully you will get better scars.  But of course, this is not guaranteed.  As far as sensation, it depends on the procedure that will be performed, but typically reducing a breast by 1 cup size should not carry a high risk of sensory loss.  Good luck!

Amy T. Bandy, DO, FACS
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Breast reduction the second time around

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A second breast reduction is necessary for only a very few individuals. There is an increased risk of sensory changes in the nipple, and also a greater risk that the circulation to the nipple is compromised. The scar, if the 'T' pattern was used will be the same pattern as before, thought the old scar will be removed and give the healing a fresh start. Make sure you have lost all of the baby fat, and your weight is stable before you are committed to a second reduction.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 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.