Excessive itching post-op 6 months mastoplexy?

I had abdominoplasty/lipo/ mastoplexy on May 31. No complications, normal recovery. Lately my incision scars on my breasts are itching like crazy. It's driving me insane. It's both breasts and every part of the incisions, including the nipple area. Is there anything I can do? Will it go away? Does this sound normal? I don't even want to wear a bra because it's makes the itching worse.

Doctor Answers 5

Excessive Itching at 6 Months Post-Op


1.    pain is variable

2.    it takes 2-3 months for implants to settle and muscles to relax

3.    celebrex, motrin, and muscle relaxers can help

4.    massage and stretching may help

5.    everyone heals differently

6.    4-7 days off from work is common

HEALING OF SENSORY NERVES: Tingling, burning or shooting pains, which will disappear with time and should not alarm you, indicate regeneration of the sensory nerves. If these sensations cause pain, repeated, local self-massage helps.

ASYMMETRY: The two breasts commonly heal quite differently. One breast may swell more, feel more uncomfortable, or have a different initial shape. After complete healing, they will be more similar and natural. You must have patience, but if this causes concern, ask questions of the doctor or the nursing staff.

SHAPE AND CONTOUR: The final shape of your breasts will start to look its best approximately three (3) months after surgery. It takes time for the skin and muscle to stretch and relax around the new implant. The breast will often look higher, firmer, and “less natural” in the first three (3) months. It can take up to a year to see your final result.

FOLLOW-UP EXAMS: These are generally done in 1 week, 2 to 3 weeks, 3 to 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months to 1 year, and 1-2 year intervals. In our office we include all of your follow up appointments in the initial surgical fee.

Having been six months, if you are concerned about the itching that you feel it would be good to have another follow-up with your surgeon to have the area examined and make sure that healing is going as it should or if something needs to be done to help resolve the issue. Good luck.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Mastopexy - severe itching six months later

Thank you for asking about your mastopexy itching.

  • This sounds miserable! I am so sorry.
  • There are several possibly explanations -
  • One is that your nerves are going through a period of recovery
  • Second, is that you are having a reaction to a new bra or other clothing over your breasts.
  • Third, is that internal sutures are dissolving causing this reaction but it usually happens earlier.
  • The best thing to do is to see your surgeon - and if no cause can be determined, trying topical anesthetic cream or topical anti-inflammatory cream to see if this helps.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Excessive Itching 6 Months Post Mastopexy - Is This Normal?

Thank you for your question.  It's a definite "who done it"

1.  The only itching that you are having is on the breasts, not on the abdominoplasty or the liposuction areas, yet all areas have scars.  This makes me think that this problem is related to your breasts and not to the other areas that were operated on the same day with the same instruments and more than likely the same sutures.  Since it has also been 6 months, this makes the problem very unlikely to have originated in the operating room.

2.  You have itching not only on the suture line but the entire breast.  For me, this eliminates a chance of nerve endings being trapped in scars on the breast.  Also, it is unlikely that the scars on the breasts are much different than scars on the abdomen.  

3.  At 6 months, it's possible that you look so good that you might go to a topless beach, but post op scars can be taken into the sun after 90 days with minimal side effects, therefore I doubt sun exposure as the causative agent.  

Therefore, I must conclude that it is a garment worn on the breasts that is the culprit or the vector that's carrying the culprit.  Either you are wearing a new bra that you haven't worn before because your breasts are now settled and look great or you are using a new laundry detergent to which you are allergic.  

Of course, all the above is just an assumption and we know where assumptions lead to.  If I were you, I would seek an in person meeting with your plastic surgeon and get his or her opinion as to what the problem may be.

Excessive itching postop 6 months mastopexy?

Thank you for sharing your question. Without photographs it is difficult to offer you definite recommendations as itching this far out from surgery is unusual. I would be concerned of either the development of hypertrophic/keloid scars or a contact irritant.  See your surgeon for an in-person examination.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews


It is not typical for the itching to begin so suddenly and at 6 months after surgery.  Are the areas red? Any other symptoms?  It may be a contact reaction to a new soap or detergent.  I recommend talking to your surgeon about the situation as he/she is most familiar with the details of your surgery and how you've progressed through recovery.

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 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.