Does a Breast Lift Leave Scars?

woman feeling confident in bathing suit at beach (model)

Scars are an entirely understandable concern. While breast lift surgery can make your breasts perkier, the thought of post-procedure scars may make you hesitate.

Can you get a breast lift without scars? Sadly, the answer is usually no. But there’s good news, too: Breast lift scars are easily hidden and there are methods for minimizing them.

How Does a Breast Lift Work?

A breast lift, also known as mastopexy, raises and reshapes sagging breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to support and revamp their contours.

During the procedure, your surgeon will make incisions in the breast tissue to lift the breasts. The extent of the incisions will depend on the degree of sagging and the amount of tissue that needs to be removed. They’ll likely reposition the nipples and areolas as well and may insert a soft tissue support matrix (like GalaFLEX®) to help buttress your breasts’ new, perkier position.

What Should I Expect After a Breast Lift?

After the surgery, the breasts will be wrapped with a special dressing and support bra to minimize swelling and provide support during the healing process. The recovery time will vary depending on the extent of the surgery, but you’ll be back to nonstrenuous work within a week or two.

How Much Scarring Can I Expect After a Breast Lift?

The degree of scarring after a breast lift will depend on the extent of the procedure and your unique healing ability. In general, the more extensive the lift, the more extensive the incisions will be.

Two of the most common and effective patterns used in a breast lift procedure are the anchor incision and the lollipop incision. The anchor incision runs around the areola, down to the breast crease, and along the crease. The lollipop incision runs around the areola and down to the breast crease.

Your surgeon will discuss the potential scarring with you during the consultation, providing guidance on how to minimize scarring and optimize the healing process. After your surgery, your scars will gradually and naturally fade over time. Check out our patients’ before and after photos to see the type of scarring you might expect.

Who Is Most Prone to Scarring?

Scarring is influenced by a complex interplay of biological and environmental factors and can vary significantly from person to person.

Age, genetics, certain medical conditions, and some medications may affect your healing after surgery and increase the risk of scarring. For example, people with diabetes or autoimmune disorders may be more prone to developing scars. Some medications, such as corticosteroids, can also increase the risk of scarring. If you have very light or darker skin, you may be more susceptible to visible scarring.

Can My Surgeon Do Anything To Limit Scarring?

Our practice favors techniques that result in less visible scars. Your surgeon can place incisions strategically along the natural edges of the areola and from the bottom of the areola to the bottom of the breast.

This strategic placement helps the resulting scars blend in with the natural features of your breasts. For more extensive lifts, your surgeon may use not only a vertical incision—which leaves a thin scar—but also a horizontal incision in the crease at the bottom of the breast, leaving a scar that can be easily hidden by clothing. And while breast lift scars won’t completely go away, they typically fade with time and become quite faint.

How Can I Limit Scarring?

Although it’s not possible to get rid of all scarring after a breast lift, proper wound care, including keeping the incisions clean and avoiding sun exposure, helps minimize scarring. Follow your surgeon’s aftercare instructions carefully.

You can help keep scarring to a minimum too. During recovery and after:

  • Don’t smoke or vape.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Eat a healthy diet and stay hydrated.
  • Limit your sodium intake.
  • Wear your surgical garment.
  • Try scar creams or silicone scar sheets.
  • Massage your scars (when you’re cleared by your surgeon).
  • During recovery, walk around your house. Light movement promotes circulation and healing and decreases swelling.
  • Don’t rush your recovery—give your body the time it needs to heal.

Remember that breast lift scars are always around the areola and on the lower part of the breast, so they are easily covered by even the skimpiest bikini top. With proper care, most scars fade significantly with time.

Are Breast Lift Scars Worth It?

Most patients are pleased with their results from breast lift surgery and say that the faint scars that remain are well worth it.

What Do the Results Look Like?

Take a look at a couple of examples of before & after cases:

before & after breast lift procedure - case 31

before & after breast lift procedure - case 559

We’re Here To Help

If you’re interested in speaking with an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon about breast lift surgery at La Jolla Cosmetic, call our office at (858) 452-1981 or request a consultation using our online form.

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Welcome the newest member of our surgical team, Diana Breister Ghosh, M.D.