As in any surgical operation, there is a vague amount of scarring in breast reduction surgeries. In addition to the fact that patients have measured and proportional breasts as they wish, it can be stated that the remaining small scars are relatively insignificant.
If you are curious about how the scars look after breast reduction operation and the healing process, continue reading our article.
Breast Reduction Scar Timeline
The healing and complete closure of incisions occurs at different times depending on a number of factors. However, it would not be wrong to state that the improvements were largely completed within the first month. Details of the week-by-week recovery process are as follows:
After 1 Week
Those who work at a desk or in a non-strenuous workplace can return to work just one week after surgery. Those who have heavy and tiring jobs have to take a break from their work for a while to make the healing process go smoothly. Detailed information about the time to return to work will be made by your doctor.
During the first week after surgery, you may feel mild to moderate pain. To cope with these pains and spend the first week comfortably, you can use prescribed painkillers. You can also take a shower after the 3rd day according to your doctor’s instructions and let your body relax.
In the first week, you may feel tired and low energy due to the impact of surgery. For this, you can increase your blood flow rate with light walks in the house. These short walks will contribute to your healing process.
After 2 Weeks
In the second week, the incisions dry out due to healing. Drying may cause some itching.
Since you will feel more energetic during this period, you can gradually return to your routines at home. You should take care not to disrupt walking and other light exercises.
After two weeks, your dressings are completely removed. But you need to continue to wear the compression suit. Your pain may persist, but its severity should have decreased significantly.
After 1 Month
At the end of the first month, you can return to your routine both inside and outside the house, except for tiring and heavy work. Desired exercises can be performed provided that they avoid lifting weights. In addition, from the end of the 5th week, you can enter the bathtub and lie on your side while sleeping at night.
From the end of the first month, your neck and back pain will decrease. The swelling will go away, your mobility will increase, and you will start to wear your clothes more comfortably.
After 2 Months
At the end of the 2-month period after surgery, swelling and pain will disappear. With your doctor’s approval, you can now do the exercises you want, including lifting weights and swimming. You should not forget to wear a supportive bra during these exercises.
After 6 Months
Breast reduction scars begin to fade and straighten during this period. Accordingly, its visibility decreases. Scars will probably continue to appear for another 12-24 months. Visible scars can be hidden by clothing such as swimwear, bras and bikinis.
After 1 Year
A very large part of the recovery after breast reduction surgery occurs between 4-6 weeks. It may take 3-4 months for the remaining swelling to completely disappear and up to 6-12 months for the healing to be completed. But you should keep in mind that the recovery time is different for each patient.
Common Types of Scars
Breast reduction scars differ according to the shape of the incision made during the surgery. The incisions are opened in accordance with the process to be performed. Depending on this, three different scars are formed, which are common. The details of the scars in question are as follows:
Anchor scarring is the most common type. In breast reduction and breast lift surgeries, it is preferred to open the incisions in this way because it effectively removes sagging.
When the anchor technique is preferred, a circular incision is made around the areola, which is the nipple. Then the incision is made from here to the lower breast fold. Finally, along the lower breast line, it goes in both directions. The resulting incision resembles an anchor.
The anchor technique allows the breast tissue to be shaped and lifted. In addition, it also allows the removal of excess skin from under and from the sides of the breasts. Thus, in the process of reshaping the breast, it facilitates the desired results to be obtained.
Lollipop scarring is a technique to be preferred for breasts that are medium in size and have little sagging. If the patient will undergo breast lift or nipple lift or if excess skin will not be removed, the lollipop scar technique is preferred.
In this technique, a circular incision is made around the areola, which is the nipple. Then, a perpendicular incision is made in the area from the nipple to the breast fold. The related method provides breast reduction and lifting, as well as minimizes the amount of scars that occur.
They prefer this technique when nipple lifting or nipple reduction, which is called, modified mastopexy. In this technique, a circular incision is made around the areola.
After the necessary procedures are performed, the relevant incision is closed with melting sutures. Sometimes it may be sufficient to make a crescent-shaped incision only in the upper part of the areola.
Keloid scars are raised scars of the incisions that, unlike the skin, are pink, tan in color, or darker. Dark-skinned patients are more likely to have such scars.
If you have experienced a raised keloid scar problem in your previous surgeries or injuries, you should tell your doctor about this situation before surgery.
Different techniques can be used to reduce the size and appearance of keloid scars. Cortisone steroid injections are one of the preferred treatment methods at this point.
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What Should Be Considered in the Days After Surgery?
What you do after surgery directly affects the success of the procedure and the recovery time. The points to be known and considered in this process are as follows:
- It is quite normal for you to experience pain in the first days. If you have a lot of pain, you can ask your doctor to prescribe pain medication by letting them know.
- Like the pain that occurs after surgery, bruises and swelling in the operation area are also normal. The fact that the breast tissues and the muscles in this area are tense is the main reason for the condition involved.
- Drain tubes can be placed in the operation area for a healthier recovery process. These ensure that the fluid in the relevant area is taken out and prevent swelling. Drain tubes are removed after a few days.
- Supportive bra should be worn after surgery. The supportive bra supports the tissue, ensures that the results are preserved and accelerates the healing process.
- It is necessary to avoid unnecessary strenuous activities after surgery.
Which Age is More Suitable for Breast Reduction Surgery?
For doctors, the best age for breast reduction surgery is the age when the woman completes her family planning. In other words, after the completion of processes such as having a child and breastfeeding, it will be more appropriate to perform breast reduction surgery.
From the point of view of women, the most appropriate age is the age after the completion of puberty. The results of surgeries performed earlier than the age of 20 may be impaired due to the fact that the breasts continue to grow. Therefore, it would be appropriate to wait for the completion of the development process.
Although the recommended age for breast reduction is over 20, there are those who have had this surgery when they are 18 or even lower. These patients and their families are usually satisfied with the surgery performed.
Age and genetic elements are also closely related to breast reduction scarring. Depending on age and genetic factors, the healing time and visibility of scars may vary.
Quick Recovery Tips
Even if the breast reduction scars do not disappear completely, they become a thin line 12-18 months after surgery. In this way, their visibility is significantly reduced. There are also some methods to speed up the healing of these scars and reduce their visibility. They are as follows:
- Spend the first 2 days resting. Find a trusted companion to help you through this process.
- Get plenty of rest. Remember that the best way to rest is to sleep.
- Avoid heavy lifting for the first 3-4 weeks.
- Be careful not to consume foods that are high in salt and sugar.
- Speed up your blood flow with light exercises like walking and the like.
- Do not use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide in your incision area.
- Do not hesitate to take pain medication for your pain.
- Do not drive for the first 1-2 weeks.
- Avoid cigarettes and similar tobacco products.
- Stay away from behaviors that will put pressure on your chest area.
Do not ignore the advice and instructions given by your doctor about the issues you need to pay attention to in this process. All this is important in order to shorten the healing time and to close the scar in a shorter time.
Things to Consider for Postoperative Scars
Poor healing of the wound leads to the fact that the scars are more pronounced and worse. The same is true for breast reduction scars. That’s why you should take into account your doctor’s advice on healing and care for incisions after surgery.
Undesirable complications from the type of infection can lead to poor healing. It can even cause the incision to reopen and make the wound look worse. Things to consider in order not to experience such negativity are:
Cleaning of incisions
Cleaning the incisions reduces the risk of infection. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions and recommendations on how and how often to clean it.
Frequent Replacement of Bandage
The bandage or gauze over the incision should be changed as often as your doctor indicates.
Keeping the Microporous Band in the Incision Area
Microporous tape ensures that the wound remains closed as well as reducing the tensile and tension in the relevant area. The tape needs to be used for about 6 weeks. In this process, if the tape is removed, you may need to replace it.
When Signs of Infection Appear
If there is redness and discharge at the wound site, as well as a high fever in the person, these may be signs of infection. When signs of infection appear, you should report the situation directly to your doctor.
Keeping the skin moisturized
You should follow the doctor’s instructions for keeping the wound moist. You may need to use healing ointment so that the wound crust does not form.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Frequently asked questions about breast reduction scars and answers to them are given below.
How Long Do You Stay in the Hospital after Breast Reduction Surgery?
Breast reduction surgery takes an average of 3-5 hours. Patients are kept under supervision after surgery. Most of the patients are discharged on the same day. The length of hospital stay may vary depending on the condition of the patients.
When Can I Start Using Ointment for Scars?
To start using ointment for scars, the incisions should be waited to close. After about 2 weeks, the incisions close. After the relevant period, the scar-passing ointment should be gently applied to the wound area.
How Long Does It Take for Breast Reduction Scars to Improve?
You need to be patient in this process and remember that the recovery time of the scars may be different for each patient. In general, at the end of 6 months, the scars begin to fade and flatten. This process can continue for 12-24 months.
Is It Possible to Massage the Scars?
After the incisions are closed, the scars can be massaged. However, if the incisions are not closed or the wounds are scabbed, massage should not be performed.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are also considering breast reduction surgery, but you are worried about scars, you can minimize your chances of experiencing such problems with the choice of quality doctor. The scars, that occur after breast reduction surgery performed by an experienced doctor in a quality clinic, lose their visibility over time. Moreover, there is no problem with the trace as the incisions will be opened to places that can be hidden.
COSMETICIUM meets the expectations of its patients at the highest level with its experienced surgeons. If you want to reduce your breasts and complete this process without a clear scar, you can contact us immediately for a free online consultation.
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