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Breast reduction and scars

Posted on 7 November 2016

All forms of breast reduction will result in some scars on your breasts.

The commonly performed breast reduction techniques produce either the Lollipop scar pattern or the  Anchor pattern of scars.

The Anchor pattern refers to scars being present around your nipple, vertically below your nipple running to the breast fold and a long scar running in the breast fold from close to the edge of the breast bone to the lateral chest area. This was the universal scar pattern seen from the 1970's until the later 1990's.

The lollipop scar pattern refers to having a scar around the nipple and a vertical scar running below the nipple down towards but not quite reaching the breast fold. There is no scar in the breast fold. The reduction techniques which result in the lollipop pattern started to be introduced more commonly from the late 1990's onwards.

It is important to understand we are discussing the external pattern of the scars you see on your breasts after the breast reduction not what has been done underneath the skin.

Breast reduction can be performed by liposuction alone in the suitable patients and if this is performed multiple small scars are required. These are 3-5mm long and usually placed in the lower portions of the breast. There are 2 reasons why breast reduction is not commonly performed by liposuction alone. Firstly in young women the breast tissue can be dense glandular tissue which is difficult to treat via liposuction alone and requires excision. The second reason is that the vast majority of women seeking breast reduction are concerned about the degree of droopiness (we call this ptosis). Using liposuction alone leaves uncertainty about how much improvement in nipple/areola position there will be and so most women elect to have surgical repositioning of the nipple areola complex and accept the scars required.

The reported satisfaction rates after breast reduction with either the lollipop or anchor pattern are very high. This is because the relief from the symptoms caused by overly large breasts (neck,back and shoulder pain) is achieved by reducing the weight of your breasts. If we reduce the weight of your breasts sufficiently it is likely you will be accepting of wither scar pattern as a trade off for experiencing less or no neck, back and shoulder pain.

Often during a consultation where I begin discussing the scars resulting from breast reduction my patient will say I don't really care about the scars I just need to be rid of weight dragging on my neck and shoulders.

IF you feel like this you are likely to be accepting of wither scar pattern . If you are worried about scars on your breast after breast reduction it may be a warning to you that the time it not right for you to be considering the procedure and you should either wait until such time as you feel more comfortable about the concept of visible scars on your breasts or simply decide breast reduction is not for you. Breast reduction is a significant surgery and it is not for everyone.

Tags: Breast Care Self Image Breast Reduction

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