MED0000962857 - This website contains imagery which is only suitable for audiences 18+. All surgery contains risks, Read more here.

What Scar Pattern Does a Plastic Surgeon Use for Breast Reduction Surgery?

Breast reduction surgery: incision placement

Dr David Sharp

Dr David Sharp

Specialist Plastic Surgeon + Registered Medical Practitioner

Article written by Director and Journalist Liz Washington B.Journ, and medically reviewed by Dr. David Sharp, MBBS, FRACS (Plast)

Just like any surgery, a breast reduction involves incisions which will leave some scarring behind, but proper aftercare can help to reduce the prominence of breast reduction scars over time. 

Scarring after a breast reduction will depend on the incision type and placement, which is tailored to the individual’s breast shape and size. When you choose an experienced surgeon like Dr David Sharp in Brisbane, you will receive a list of personalised aftercare instructions, which will help you to manage scarring after your procedure. The idea is to support sufficient healing, and implement care tips that can help to fade and mature scars over time. 

Read on to learn more about breast reduction aftercare and breast reduction scars. 

What is a breast reduction?

A breast reduction, also known as reduction mammaplasty, is designed to reduce the size of overly large breasts. When addressing the size, the procedure can also adjust the shape of the breasts, as well as reposition nipples and areolae. 

The procedure is commonly chosen by those who experience difficulties as a result of large or heavy breasts, such as chronic neck, back, and shoulder pain, postural problems and limitations in physical activity.

During a breast reduction, a qualified plastic surgeon will remove excess breast tissue, fat, and skin through carefully planned incision patterns. The surgical technique used may vary from patient to patient, depending on factors such as the patient’s breast size and shape. The most commonly used technique is the anchor (or inverted-T) technique, which includes an incision around the areola, down the middle of the breast’s lower pole and under the breast fold. The right method for you will depend on your personal needs. 

Pictured, right, before and 3 months after breast reduction surgery with Dr Sharp

Brisbane breast reduction plastic surgeon

Types of breast reduction scars

In terms of location, pattern and size, there are different types of scars that can occur after a breast reduction. The appearance of your breast reduction scars will depend on the chosen incision type used to perform your procedure. Scarring can also largely depend on skin type, and individual healing response.

Sensation changes, swelling and scarring is normal after breast reduction surgery. While breast reduction scars may initially appear red, raised, or particularly noticeable, they will typically fade and flatten over time. However, for scarring to fade and for the incision to heal sufficiently, you will need to follow some essential aftercare steps.


Aftercare steps to help minimise breast reduction scars

After your procedure, your surgeon will provide you with personalised instructions for both scar care and your overall recovery. Tailored to the details of your procedure and other individual factors, such as your personal skin type, your instructions will be designed to promote proper healing and minimise complications. 

Firstly, you will need to keep your incision sites clean and dry. Maintaining good hygiene is essential for preventing complications, such as infection, and promoting the healing of your incision sites. You should always follow your personalised instructions, but generally, you will need to cleanse the incision sites gently with mild soap and water, patting them dry with a clean towel. Your surgeon will recommend how often tape or dressings need to be changed. To keep your incisions dry, you should avoid exposing them to excessive moisture or friction. Be mindful of any signs of infection, such as increased redness, swelling, or discharge, and contact our team straight away if you have any concerns. 

As well as keeping your incisions clean, you can also apply topical scar treatment products that can help to minimise noticeable scarring. There are a variety of both over-the-counter and prescription scar treatment products available that can help to minimise the appearance of breast reduction scars. These products can help to hydrate the skin, reduce inflammation, and improve the texture and colour of scars when used consistently. Postoperatively, patients receive personalised recommendations for which products will work best for this stage of your scar development. 

While your incisions are healing and once they have fully healed, you should carefully protect the area from excessive sun exposure. Exposure to UV rays can cause scars to become darker and more noticeable over time. To prevent sun damage and causing scarring to darken, you should always protect your incision sites from direct sunlight by wearing protective clothing, applying sunscreen with a high SPF, and avoiding prolonged sun exposure, especially during peak hours. We recommend a SPF 50+ sunscreen that is gentle on the skin.

Regularly massaging the scar tissue can also help to reduce scarring. Gentle massage techniques can aid in breaking down scar tissue and promoting circulation to the area. You can do this by yourself at home, or have an experienced practitioner perform the massage. To perform the massage at home, use your fingertips to apply gentle pressure in circular motions over the scarred area. Be careful not to apply too much force, especially during the early stages of healing, to avoid causing discomfort or disrupting the healing process. Lymphatic drainage massage and physiotherapy can also assist in softening and maturing scarring under the guidance of experienced therapists. 

When aftercare instructions are followed carefully, breast reduction results settle into their final shape over time.

Dr David Sharp: Breast reduction surgery in Brisbane

A highly personalised procedure, breast reduction surgery should be undertaken by a Specialist Plastic Surgeon that can support your postoperative recovery with the option of inpatient admission and complication management, should they occur. It’s important to understand the difference between a plastic surgeon and a doctor that performs this procedure, but is not a Fellow of The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. 

As a trained Specialist Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgeon, Dr David Sharp has years of experience performing a variety of procedures. He has completed over 20,000 surgical procedures, taking an empathetic and personalised approach for every patient. 

Contact our team to book your initial breast reduction consultation at our Brisbane location today. You can also contact us with any further questions you may have, and read more about Dr Sharp here. 

Dr David Sharp plastic surgery Brisbane

About Dr. David Sharp:

Dr. David Sharp is an experienced specialist plastic surgeon in Brisbane, with a special interest in breast, body and facial cosmetic surgery.

With over two decades of experience in medicine, Dr. Sharp has performed over 20,000 surgical procedures in Australia and has an established surgical and non surgical practice in Brisbane.

Read more about Dr Sharp's credentials and expertise here. 

For more information and to schedule an appointment with Dr. David Sharp, please contact our patient support team at 3202 4744 or visit our online booking request form here.

This information is intended for general knowledge and should not replace personalised advice from your surgeon. Always consult with your surgeon for individual care.