Enhancing the look of your breasts with a breast lift can be a great boost to your self-esteem, especially if you’re affected by the sag that often occurs after pregnancy and nursing or that comes with aging. There are several different techniques for performing a breast lift, and for many women, scarring is an important consideration when choosing the kind of breast lift they want.
Different Types of Breast Lifts Leave Different Scars
Each type of breast lift is different in technique and in the pattern of scarring you can expect. Most techniques attempt to minimize scarring, but the nature of the surgery means a certain amount of scarring happens in most cases.
Anchor Breast Lift
The anchor breast lift reshapes your breasts significantly to correct a high degree of sagging. Three incisions are made in this technique:
- Around the outer edge of the areola
- Vertically from the bottom of the areola to the breast fold (where your breasts meet your chest)
- Horizontally along the breast fold
After the breasts have finished healing, the areola and breast fold scars are usually concealed. The vertical breast lift scars are often still visible.
Bellesoma® Breast Lift
The Bellesoma breast lift is a breakthrough technique that uses your own natural breast tissue to restore breast fullness. One major benefit of this technique is that it doesn’t produce an unsightly vertical scar. Instead, the incisions are concealed around your areola and on the underside of the breasts.
Crescent Breast Lift
This kind of breast lift isn’t recommended if you have significant breast sagging. It involves only one small incision, which is made on the outer edge of the areola.
Once the breasts have finished healing, these breast lift scars are very hard to detect.
Peri-Areolar Breast Lift
The peri-areola breast lift is also known as a “donut lift” because of the kind of incision that’s made. For each breast, an incision is made around the entire outer edge of the areola. This technique provides a mild lift for women with a small amount of breast sag.
The peri-areola or donut lift causes a minimal amount of visible scarring, since the incisions are made around the areola.
Vertical Breast Lift
This breast lift technique is also called the “lollipop,” due to the shape made by the two incisions. One is a circular incision made around the outer edge of the areola. The second incision extends vertically from the bottom of the areola to the natural line of the breast crease.
Because there is a vertical incision involved, the lollipop lift can cause some noticeable scarring.
What You Can Do to Minimize Breast Lift Scarring
The breast lift technique that’s right for your body and your desires may leave scars you wish weren’t there. But there are many things you can do to help heal your breasts and minimize scarring. The scars might be visible, but your breasts can still look great!
In terms of scar appearance, the first year is the most important part of the healing process. Right after surgery scars are typically a deep red. Over the first year they’ll start to flatten out, changing from deep red to a lighter red, to pink, and eventually to white. If you want to minimize scarring, taking good care of your breasts in the first 6 to 12 months after surgery is of paramount importance.
Follow Your Surgeon’s Instructions
Whatever your plastic surgeon’s aftercare instructions are, be sure to follow them as closely as possible. They will provide instructions on wound care and other issues that affect healing and scar formation, so make sure you fully understand the advice you’re given.
Wear a Supportive Bra
Make sure your bra provides the proper support. If your surgeon recommends or provides a particular kind of bra to wear after your surgery, use it!
The bra you wear should provide lots of support, but it should not have an underwire. At this stage, your scars are sensitive, and the rubbing of underwire can be irritating to the delicate, healing skin.
Avoid Exercise and Exertion
For at least the first week after surgery, it’s important to avoid all kinds of exercise and exertion. Anything that might put stress or pressure on the scar should be avoided. Once your surgeon says it’s okay, you can gradually start to exercise again. Most people can resume their normal routine around six weeks after surgery.
Apply Creams Regularly
Using a softening cream or lotion post-surgery is recommended. Cream helps keep your skin hydrated and the scars soft and flexible. Talk to your surgeon about the best kind of cream to use for your skin.
Another option is silicon treatments. These are breathable silicone strips that fit along the breast crease and nipple. Using silicone treatments helps reduce skin irritation and itchiness.
Lotions and silicone treatments shouldn’t be used on your breasts right after surgery. Wait until the wounds have fully healed—at least two to three weeks, or when your surgeon says it’s okay.
Try Lifestyle Changes
If you’re a smoker, quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do to improve the outcome of your breast surgery. It may not have a direct noticeable impact, but smoking can delay wound healing and reduce blood oxygen levels, both of which affect your body’s ability to heal itself.
Enjoying a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water are important too. Your skin needs to stay hydrated and requires plenty of protein, vitamins, and minerals to heal properly.
Avoid Sun Exposure
Direct sunlight can cause scars to become discolored, making them darker than they otherwise might be. Scars also sunburn more easily than normal skin. If you’re not able to avoid sun exposure, use a sun block with a high SPF.
Talk to Your Surgeon If You Notice Anything Unusual
Most people who have breast lift surgery have an uneventful recovery. But if you notice unexpected symptoms such as scars that don’t fade, new swelling, or a colored or foul-smelling discharge from an incision site, contact your surgeon for advice right away.
Be Consistent for Best Results
Whichever breast lift technique your surgeon uses, scars are a reality. But with good consistent breast care, you can minimize their appearance. Over time, they’ll flatten and fade, and in some cases, become barely noticeable.
Whichever breast care techniques you choose, remember to okay them with your surgeon. Everyone is different, so it’s best to get professional advice first. And remember that consistency is key to minimizing scars! Take good care of your breasts every day to make sure they look just like you imagined they would.