How can I get the most minimal scarring when I have my breast reduction?

I want to make sure I do everything possible to make my scars fade away after my breast reduction. I know that they will always be there but I want them to be as unnoticeable as possible. How long should I tape them? What kind of tape? Are there ointments to put on them and for how long. I just want to know everything I can do! And when to wear what kind of bras.

Doctor Answers 6

Optimizing scars after reduction

Thank you for a great question.  This is a really important issue for all patients to know about after any kind of surgical procedure

all scars take 6 to 12 months to mature. During this process the scars will go from red raised and pick to skin colored flat and narrow. 

The process can be speeded up by massage the use of silicone gel sheeting and scar moisturizing.  There are many manufacturers of scar improvement products.  However there is very little solid scientific evidence to support the use of any one particular product over others. 

I teach my patients that it's not what you rub on your scars but that you rub on your scars.  Using any moisturizing lotion that works well for your skin will help.  One thing that has been proven in the literature and has worked really well for my patients is silicone gel sheeting.  

There are many manufacturers including new gel, scar guard, etc.   you should be able to ask your surgeon about which products here she is familiar with and how to incorporate them into your scar care regimen postoperatively. 

As for bras I usually ask my patients to wear a soft bra without a wire for one month after surgery. Often a front closure sports bra is ideal during this time.  After one month when healing is complete I generally allow patients to wear whatever types of bras they would like

Springfield Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Minimal scar technique

The best technique to minimize breast reduction scarring is The Ultimate Breast ReductionTM. This technique avoids the ugly vertical scars of the traditional technique, maintains nipple sensation and the ability to breast feed.The incisions are hidden around the areola and in the inframammary fold.The weight of the breast is transferred to the underlying muscle relieving neck, back and shoulder pain without excessive reduction.

Best Wishes,

Gary Horndeski, M.D.

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 208 reviews

How can I get the most minimal scarring when I have my breast reduction?

Scarring is a difficult topic as there are many variables. Some of these variables can not be controlled or affected, while others are.

Genetic predisposition (the genes with which you were born) has a significant determination on your ultimate result. This obviously can't be manipulated.

Surgical factors such as minimal tension on the skin, meticulous skin approximation, not running a stitch in the skin the full length of the incision as this creates more inflammation where scar is deposited.

After surgery, using tape to prevent water loss (TEWL: trans-epidermal water loss) for several weeks is useful. Most scar gels or creams basically work in this way to keep moisture in and the massage of application also helps. I give SkinMedica Scar Recovery Gel to my patient "partners" after surgery as it works to communicate with the fibroblast (the cell that makes the collagen for the healing) and has worked wonderfully in my practice.

Brian J. Lee, MD
Fort Wayne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Scarring after a Breast Reduction...

A breast reduction is a fantastic way to improve your physical appearance and pain in the back or shoulders. However it is important to realize there will be some type of scarring, and how much usually depends on both the surgeon and how the patient heals. It takes time for these scars to fade away to hopefully a thin line. After the surgery your surgeon will give post operative guidelines to follow. Silicone sheeting or tape can be used for several weeks after the procedure to decrease the risk of hypertrophic scarring. Using the right compression garments and a cream such as vitamin E can maximize the outcome, but be sure to follow your plastic surgeon directions.

How can I get the most minimal scarring when I have my breast reduction?

Doctors love to believe that if they do this or that  then scars can be controlled. I personally think that there is a lot of magical thinking and ritual in these thoughts.

  Having done syregry for 30 years I am not sure if scarring can be modified in a predictable way though I do the same rituals everyone else does. Some people will scar unfavorably despite what you do.  

Val Lambros, MD, FACS
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Improving incisions

Some things are out of our control has the patient and the surgeon. Healing is one of those things. Only thing that one can do for surgical incisions would be the following:

  1. Have a technically well executed surgery
  2. Avoid infection
  3. Avoid one breakdown
  4. All the body to improve the scars over 12 months

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.