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Breast Reduction Scars : What You Need to Know8 min read

Patient Education about Breast Reduction in Virginia

Plastic Surgery Image. Woman before and after breast reduction
Picture of Dr. Phillip Chang
Dr. Phillip Chang

Board Certified By The American Board of Plastic Surgeons.
Voted Top Plastic Surgeon in Loudoun, Virginia
Offices in Leesburg, Virginia.

Best of Loudoun 2019
real self top doctor virginia

Breast reduction surgery scars can often be scary to patients. Unlike breast augmentation scars which are relatively small and hidden, breast reduction scars are much longer and go around the areola. Keep in mind the breast reduction factor: despite the length of incisions, it has the highest satisfaction rate of all the procedures that we perform in plastic surgery. This is in part, because we take great care to make the best quality scars possible.

The Key to Minimizing Scars: Your Plastic Surgeon's Reputation and Experience!

Plastic Surgeons spend years of training learning about how to surgically reconstruct cosmetic and traumatic conditions. Most plastic surgeons go through 5 years of general surgery residency before another 2-3 years of plastic and reconstructive surgery residence before entering a cosmetic surgery fellowship. Over ten thousand hours are spend perfecting the craft of hiding and improving the quality of scars.

Hi, I’m Dr. Phillip Chang and I have performed hundreds of breast reductions over the last decade in Northern Virginia. 

How Do Plastic Surgeons Minimize Your Scars?

There are many steps to creating the best scars possible as a result of your procedure.  

  • Decrease the number and length of incisions as much as possible.
  • Hide the scars as much as possible (behind hair or creases or color changes such as around the areola for breast reductions).
  • Place scars in normal creases.
  • Place larger deep strength sutures that bring the dermis of the skin together.
  • Place more superficial but deep precision sutures that bring the epidermis together.
  • Place external sutures only if needed.
  • Place protective surgical tape that seals the incision, applies pressure, and protects the incision from external elements.

Reduction Scars Are Individualized!

Your breast reduction will be tailored to your needs including your starting bra cup size and what cup size you want to have. Larger breasts with more droop will require more work than smaller breasts which do not droop as much. 

In general, there are two types of breast reduction techniques

Some plastic surgeons will only perform the anchor-style breast reduction as it is an older and more established technique. 

Newer techniques have, however, evolved to include the lollipop-style breast reduction that uses less incisions, less scarring, and requires less recovery. 

I perform both techniques, depending on your needs. 

Lollipop-Style Breast Reduction Example

The lollipop-style breast reduction includes scars that go around the areola followed by a vertical incision extending from the bottom of the areola to the under-breast crease. The lollipop reduction is also called a vertical breast lift as it does not include a horizontal cut in the under-breast crease. 

The donut-cut around the areola is designed to reduce the size of the areola and to move it to its new location. The vertical incision is used to remove the inferior and lateral breast tissue.  

The blue markings on the left breast show where skin or breast tissue is removed. The red lines on the right breast shows the final scars.

Anchor-Style Breast Reduction Example

The anchor-style breast reduction includes scars that go around the areola followed by a vertical incision extending from the bottom of the areola to the under-breast crease. For larger breasts that hang more, a horizontal incision along the under-breast crease is also needed because as the breast is closed from side to side, there is often a large fullness that develops at the bottom of the breast that needs to be removed. 

The donut-cut around the areola is designed to reduce the size of the areola and to move it to its new location. The vertical incision is used to remove the inferior and lateral breast tissue. The horizontal incision is used to reduce and fashion any bulging tissue at the base of the breast.

The blue markings on the left breast show where skin or breast tissue is removed. The red lines on the right breast shows the final scars.

Scar Placement for Silicone Breast Augmentation

Warning : video is graphic in nature

How Do You Take Care of Your Scars?

The key to proper care of your scars is diligent care and patience at home. 

Your scars will be initially protected by surgical tape that will in general stay on for about 1-2 weeks. Following its removal, you are instructed to use a scar cream called Biocorneum that include vitamin E, silicates, and sunblock. Patients are instructed to keep the incisions clean with a surgical soap called hebiclens to prevent superficial incisional infection. Patients will also benefit from the application of silicone surface sheets over the incisions at night.

  • Leave surgical tape on for 1-2 weeks.
  • Clean incisions with hebiclense surgical soap daily.
  • Apply Biocorneum scar cream twice a day after the removal of the surgical tape.
  • Apply Silicone sheet over incisions at night to sleep.
Our office also offers other products to encourage the healing of your scars.

The Bottom Line Concerning Breast Reduction Scars

Breast reduction scars can appear scary. The quality of the scars, however can be optimized with good technique and minimizing the length of the scars as much as possible. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. Scar revisions are sometimes required. Laser scar treatments can also improve the quality of the scars in some patients. 

Keep in mind, that breast reduction surgery has the highest satisfaction rate of all cosmetic surgery procedures. Even minimal scarring is worth the long-term results and benefits.

"Even minimal scarring is worth the long-term results and major health benefits for those afflicted with heavy, oversized breasts."

Finding the Best Breast Reduction Surgeon in Virginia

dr. chang is surrounded by the seven young ladies who work in his office

Dr. Phillip Chang is known to be one of the best breast reduction surgeons in Virginia after performing hundreds of breast reduction procedures for almost 20 years. His innovative techniques have been highlighted in national magazines and educational channels prompting patients across the country to send revision breast reduction procedures to his office in Northern Virginia outside of Washington, DC.  

Visit his office in Leesburg, Virginia in Loudoun County or fill out the contact form below for more information on how we can help you with your breast reduction surgery

FAQs for Breast Reduction

Additional answers can be found on the procedure pages on our website.

Macromastia, gigantomastia, mammary hyperplasia, and breast hypertrophy are all medical terms describing large breasts.  Symptomatic macromastia describes the condition where large breasts can cause pain or obstacles to everyday life.

The medical term for breast reduction is reduction mammoplasty.  This is the term that you might find on our medical cpt code for breast reduction surgery.

Breast reduction surgery and breast lift surgery are nearly identical procedures.  The major difference between the two procedures is the amount of breast tissue that is removed.  Both procedures require the same incisions depending on how much your breasts sag.  Small breasts will benefit from a donut-style incision.  Larger amounts of sag will require a lollipop-style incision.  Even larger amounts of sag requires an anchor-style incision.  See our website for a more detailed explanation.  With this in mind, breast lifts remove skin and only as much breast tissue as required.  Breast reduction surgery will remove skin and as much breast tissue weight as you dictate.

Most patients can return to work or school after about one week.  Your breast reduction scars are closed with absorbable sutures and will have completed their initial healing by that time.  Most patients will still be sore.  Most patients will feel like themselves in about 3 months.  Final visual breast reduction results in terms of shape and the breast reduction scars will not be seen for up to a year.

Breast feeding after breast reduction surgery is generally preserved.  For this, you need to know the normal statistics for breast feeding.  Statistically, about 20 percent of normal women that do not have breast reduction cannot breast feed.  20% of women after breast reduction surgery cannot breast feed.  There is no difference.  

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