Is There Always Residual Scar Tissue with a Breast Lift? How Does This Impact Future Mammagrams?

I am considering a BL without augmentation. The surgeon will be using my own tissue to perform a lollipop lift. I was informed that since I have enough breast tissue, this technique would give me the upper pole fulness I desire without the use of an implant. Do breast lifts leaves scars? Does the type of lift, lollipop, anchor or nipple, affect the degree of scarring? Which one is less traumatic to the breasts? Since I have met with surgeons who offer different solutions, I am weighing my choices.

Doctor Answers 16


All surgeries including breast lift surgeries leave scars. Mammograms are not a problem studies show.
Minimizing the skin scar is important. 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. See link for more information.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Breast lifts and scarring.

Patients are often confused about breast lifts because they equate the skin scars to what goes on inside the breast. The truth is that there are so many ways to perform a mastopexy (breast lift) that what you see on the surface tells you nothing about what was done inside. Depending on the degree of correction required and the preferences of the surgeon, mastopexies vary from simply removing some skin to complete rearrangements of the internal breast tissue. The scars on the skin simply tell how the excess skin was removed. These scars do not affect mammography. Internally, scars will develop wherever the breast tissue is cut. Many times, the breast tissue is rotated to place it behind the nipple or in the upper pole of the breast for a fuller look. This will always lead to some scarring in the breast which may or may not be seen on mammogram. As far as "trauma" to the breast, skin only procedures are the least "traumatic" but also lead to less correction and shorter lasting results.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Breast lift

There is no question ANY incision will leave a scar and alot depends on how a patient heals.In time your breast will sag and that is part of the normal aging process.You can replace your skin with 16 year old skin.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Is There Always Residual Scar Tissue with a Breast Lift? How Does This Impact Future Mammagrams?

A breast lift alone only leaves scarring on the skin.  There is no scarring on the deep tissues, i.e. the breast tissue, which could interfere with future mammograms.  If your concern is cosmetic, the scars resulting from a breast lift vary tremendously from one individual to another and they can be anywhere from invisible to quite visible.  Now, if you are talking about a breast reduction, then yes there will be scarring at the deep level, within the breast tissue that sometimes could be confused with other problems on mammograms.  Either way, if you are over 35, a pre-operative mammogram is mandatory for either operation, to be used as a baseline for future mammograms.

Ruben B. Abrams, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Breast lift technique

Your surgeon is describing an autoaugmentation technique where the tissue of your lower pole is buried under the upper pole to improve the fullness.  Its not perfect and you still get some settling but not as much as the old fashioned anchor lifts where tissue was simply tucked inwards.  If this piece of tissue loses its blood supply, it will turn into a firm mass that you can simply live with or remove but that would diminish your breast size.  Talk to your doctor about your concerns and then go for it and hope for the best.  I strongly prefer the lollipop over the anchor as long as you are not excessively large or droopy.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

After breast lift external and internal scars fade with time

Every case, every desire, and every expectation has to be treated differently. There are many lifts available depending on what you need or want. Some with very little extra scarring and some with more.  With  the proper scar management a very acceptable and visually pleasing result can be achieved.

As far as the internal scarring goes, I recommend a year wait before mammograms after any breast surgery to make it easier for the Radiologist not to get confused with the post operative changes.

Manuel M. Pena, MD
Naples Plastic Surgeon
3.4 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Scarring and Breast Lift

All breast lifts leave external scars.  There is also some internal scarring as well.  In my opinion the vertical scar lift (lollipop) gives the best breast shape and the longest lasting result with the least amount of scars.  The internal scarring does not seem to be a problem.

Mark A. Schusterman, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Breast lift

A breast lift will leave scars but it depends upon how your breasts will look to determine the appropriate procedure to perform.

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

No problem with getting a satisfactory mammogram following a breast lift

There are many choices for breast augmentation and autoaugmentation.  The choice of operation depends upon the size and length of your breasts.  To determine this you will need an examination.  Your question about mammogram after a breast lift is a good one.  Depending upon your age you should get a new baseline mammogram 1 year after the breast surgery.  This will serve as a new baseline study since the internal architecture of your breast will change if you had a previous mammogram.  Scar tissue will not effect your ability to get a satisfactory mammogram.   

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

Mammograms after breast surgery

Hi Honeybutta

A few things about your questions.

1. At one year follow up, upper pole fullness does not change without a breast implant or fat grafting. Dr Hall Findlay has shown this fairly succinctly. Dr Hammond's technique may be an exception to this rule.

2. All surgery leaves scars. The length is less important than the quality, and if the breast shape is good, good scars become irrelevant. Good genetics, surgery and post operative scar care will help the appearance of your scars.

3. Your question in your title about mammograms does not really relate to visible scars - it relates to the amount of surgical re-arrangement of breast gland tissue rather than the length of scars on the skin. Good radiologists can tell the difference between surgical scars and breast cancer spicules. Your post operative mammograms should always be at a place that handles a lot of breast surgery patients.

Unless you have a lot of excess skin, a breast lift can be done with a lollipop scar most of the time.

Good Luck

Dr Gavin Sandercoe



Gavin Sandercoe, MBBS, FRACS
Sydney Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 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.