3 months post-op and the scars around the nipple are starting to get thicker. Is this normal? (Photo)

3 month post op breast lift without implants. Hi - I am a 47 year old woman who had a breast lift 23 April 2014. I have light skin and comes originally from Scandinavia. My scars around the nipple is in some areas starting to get thicker. Is that normal? I am afraid that it is a hypertrophic scarring that is beginning to evolve. I haven't any previous scars which have had this appearance. How are scars maturing normally. What to expect ? Thank you for your time and help

Doctor Answers 7

Raised red scars at 3 months after breast lift need treatment

Based on your history and photograph you may be developing hypertrophic scarring.  The most effective current treatment is 1540 non-ablative fractional erbium laser treatments.  You will need for treatment scheduled a month apart.  Silicon tape and massage may also help.  Avoid steroid injections they can cause widening of the scars and fat atrophy.

Mastopexy scar

Scars after mastopexy surgery typically reach their most intense reddish color in the third to fourth month after the surgery.  During this time they also itch quite a bit.  The scars begin to fade in about the fourth month and continue to slowly resolve over the next 12-16 months.  For women who develop hypertrophic scars, silicone rubber sheets may be effective when applied early and worn 23 hours a day for a few months.  Something that's new is microneedling.  This type of treatment may be effective for scars as well.  Most surgeons continue to see their patients for at least 6 months after mastopexy surgery and often longer than that.  Call your surgeon's office and let them know of your concerns.  They are likely to have some treatment suggestions.

Kelly R. Kunkel, MD
Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Scarring around areola

If you feel that your scars are getting a bit firm or hypertrophic, you should probably see your surgeon. He will likely suggest products that can help minimize the scarring.  Silicone sheeting, silicone gel, steroid injections, etc.. may help.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Normal Scars

By looking at your photos, your scars looks completely normal, i would recommend you to use some silicone strips or gel to help it on the process but nothing else at all. Nothing to worry about. 

Luis Eduardo Redondo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Evolution of scars after breast lift

It is a little difficult to assess the course of your scars without a series of photos or seeing you in person. You are probably the best person to know which way they are going, and to an extent, you are correct to start to ask whether they are evolving normally or not; but the next best person is your plastic surgeon.

From what I see in the images you posted, they do not  appear to be abnormal.

But there are a few guidelines:
As a rule, scars look their worst at somewhere between 4 & 8 weeks after surgery, depending on the location on your body, or even one area of the breast to another, and your natural tendency to scar

Normally "Northern european" skin type patients tend to be aggressive scar formers than african-american, First Nations people, and Chinese or Japanese.But there are exceptions, and I have had a patient who was Ethnic Scandinavian who formed excess scars and after three years returned for revision surgery.

Once the scars peak, there is often a "plateau period" during little improvement occurs, and then they start to fade. the fading or "maturing process takes, variably 6-18 months or even longer

If your scars are feeling itchier or even painful, at three months, this is a sign sign are excessively active

I would urge you to return to your plastic surgeon. Your incisions  and the shape of your areolae appear to be the result of  meticulously done surgery. I am sure he would appreciate following up on you.

Benjamin Gelfant, MD
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

3 months post-op and the scars around the nipple are starting to get thicker. Is this normal?

Over the internet very difficult to see any hypertrophic scarring around the areolae. Best to seek IN PERSON second opinions... 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 171 reviews

3 months post-op and the scars around the nipple are starting to get thicker. Is this normal? (Photo)

You have early hypertrophic scarring. This can happen to the best of hands. A variety of approaches have been described to deal with it. Among these: vigorous massages, scar creams and silicone sheets. 
I recommend consulting and working with your surgeon on this. The sooner you tackle it, the better is the outcome. 

Maan Kattash, MD, FRCS, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 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.