I have a relatively small areola. Will the incision for subcatenous mastectomy be visible all my life?

I'm undergoing surgery for gynecomastia. My surgeon says because I have a small areola he will have to make an incision outside the contours of the areola. How long will the scar be visible?

Doctor Answers 8

Incision Healing

Hi,
Thanks for the post. Without seeing a photo it is difficult to advise in your specific case. That being said, I have removed some large glands through very small areola without having to extend the incision outside the borders of the areola. The incisions tend to heal very well but final results can take up to a year and a half.

Sincerely,
Dr. Dadvand


Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Incisions

Incisions for gynecomastia are made at the border of areola.  With even small areola, tissue can be excised through the opening.  I'd have to see photos of your chest for a more accurate picture.  Scars can heal very nicely on the chest, particularly with massaging and particular creams.  I always offer a revision of the scar 6 months after surgery if patients are unhappy with their scar, but it is rarely the case I have to do so.

Tim Neavin, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Scars from Gynecomastia Surgery

Your incisions will go through a maturation #process following #Gynecomastia #surgery. For the first few months they will be red and possibly raised and/or firm. As the scar matures, after 6-12 months, it becomes soft, pale, flat, and much less noticeable. You may experience numbness, tingling, burning, “crawling”, or other peculiar sensations around the surgical area. This is a result of the #healing of tiny fibers which are trapped in the incision site. These symptoms will disappear. Some people are prone to keloids, which is an abnormal scar that becomes prominent. If you or a blood relative has a tendency to keloid formation, please inform the doctor.

Bruising and #swelling are normal and usually increase slightly after the removal of any tape or foam. The bruising will decrease over 3-4 weeks, but may last as long as 6 weeks. The majority of the swelling will be gone within the first 3-4 weeks. However, it may take 6-9 weeks to disappear completely. Also, as you heal, the area may feel “lumpy” and irregular. This, too, decreases with time, and massaging these areas will help soften the scar tissue. The #compression garment helps reduce the swelling, and the longer it is worn, the more quickly you will #heal. It can also assist in the retraction of the skin. If you have any concerns about #healing, its best to ask questions of your surgeon or their nursing staff.In the future, if you are concerned with scars, with your surgeon's approval you may be able to use scar management treatments such as Biocornuem,  Scar Guard, Scar Fade,  IPL Laser,  Yag Laser,   5fu/Kenalog for thick scars, or silicone sheeting.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

Incision

A picture is necessary.  However quite a large amount of resection can be done through small incisions, and there is usually not that much tissue to resect.  Unless a large amount of skin needs to be resected, a periareolar incision is almost adequate  to do glandular resection and liposuction.

Jeffrey D. Wagner, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Incision

Thank you for the question and I have never had to extend an incision for gynecomastia excisions.  So please post some photos to see if it is really necessary.

Dr. Corbin

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Scars after Gynecomastia removal

Without seeing photos it would be difficult to have an opinion. Please discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon. Following surgery, your incisions will go through a maturation process. For the first few months they will be red and possibly raised and/or firm. As the scar matures, after 6-12 months, it becomes soft, pale, flat, and much less noticeable. You may experience numbness, tingling, burning, “crawling”, or other peculiar sensations around the surgical area. This is a result of the healing of tiny fibers which are trapped in the incision site. These symptoms should disappear.

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I have a relatively small areola. Will the incision for subcatenous mastectomy be visible all my life?

Thank you for your question. It is important to have a full series of photographs for the best recommendation, but in general, any incision made into the skin will leave a permanent scar.  That said there are areas of the body that tend to heal very well and the chest is one of them.  There are also methods to improve the appearance of the scar which can be done in the immediate post-surgery period of time.  Talk to your surgeon about the anticipated location of your incision (typically it is only along the lower half of your areola where the dark skin joins the paler white skin of the chest) and any extensions that will need to be performed. Occasionally with larger gynecomastia that require excess skin excision patients will incur longer incisions to have the best cosmetic outcome.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Gynecomastia scar

There is a standard technique that's routinely used with the entire operation including removal of the gland is performed through a tiny incision inside the Arm pit. 

Sherwood Baxt, MD
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
3.7 out of 5 stars 24 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.