Very large breasts look aesthetically unappealing and often become a source of lower self-esteem for many women. Breast reduction is an effective and popular plastic surgery procedure to reduce the size of overly large breasts. The surgery involves the removal of excess skin, fat, and glandular tissue from the breasts. This decreases the size of the breasts considerably. One of the common concerns of patients considering breast reduction surgery pertains to the scars after the procedure. Like all other plastic surgery procedures, breast reduction leaves scars on the breasts. The surgery involves major incisions and removal of tissue, which means the scarring would be relatively more. The procedure is not possible without scarring. Scarring after breast reduction Scarring occurs as the body heals after experiencing incisions or cuts. Breast reduction involves major incisions, which means scars will develop after the intervention. Even though many patients are happy with the tradeoff between the scars and the aesthetic improvements in the breasts, others are greatly scared of scars. It is important for patients to discuss scarring with the surgeon before the surgery. There are also many patients who consider scars as a big concern before the operation but feel absolutely okay afterward. If you achieve better results with the breast reduction surgery, the scars may be no big issue for you. The scar occurs when the body heals after getting an incision. The scar will fade over time and become less visible; however, it will never disappear entirely. As to how visible the scar will be after the procedure depends on your skin color, skin type, skin quality, the exact location of the incision, and the scope of the surgery. It also depends on your overall health, genetic tendency to develop scars, and the surgeon’s skills. Factors determining the extent of scarring As mentioned above, there are multiple factors that can determine scarring after breast reduction surgery. First off, if you are older, you can expect to get more scars because the skin quality of older patients is not as good as younger patients. There are also many patients who have a genetic tendency to develop more scars after a surgery. If anyone in your immediate family has developed large scars as a result of an operation, there is a risk you may also develop major scars after breast reduction as well. If your skin is elastic, you are in luck because the scars after breast reduction may not be large or extensive. The incision technique used to perform the surgery will also go a long way toward determining the scar size and shape. If your plastic surgeon is board-certified, you can be rest assured there will not be any unsightly or unwelcoming scars after the intervention. Smokers are more prone to developing unsightly scars after breast reduction surgery. This is the reason why smokers are advised to stop smoking before the procedure and avoid smoking for at least 1-2 months following the surgery. The site of the incision is yet another major factor that would determine the size and shape of the scar. The most standard incision for breast reduction would go around the areola and run down the nipple. In rare cases, an extra incision will be placed on the breast fold. The incision will result in a lollipop-shaped scar or anchor scar. If the patient needs a considerable change in cup size, the plastic surgeon may execute a more widespread incision. These incisions will trigger the development of scars that go above the nipple and down the breast crease. The scar that develops in the middle area of the breasts is more visible. The rest of the incisions will mix up with the nipple and are less visible. How to decrease the visibility of breast reduction scars If you want to reduce the visibility of breast reduction scars, you must plan it before the intervention. Make sure to discuss with your surgeon ways to reduce the scars that would develop after breast reduction. In order to help the incisions heal and decrease the visibility of the scars, be sure to take sufficient rest and avoid physical activities during the recovery period. Engaging in physical activities may result in wound separation, which can make the scars worse. If you give enough time for the incisions to heal, a normal and less visible scar would surface. One of the best ways to avoid an unsightly scar is by choosing your plastic surgeon carefully. Make sure to choose only a board-certified plastic surgeon to perform the surgery. Board-certified surgeons are highly experienced and trained in plastic surgery. They use only the best and proven surgical techniques, which means you will get minimum and less visible scars. After the surgery, you will be required to wear compression garments, which will contain the swelling and help your body heal faster. As a result, the scars will be less visible. When sleeping, make sure to avoid applying any pressure or stress on the chest and breasts. Infections after breast reduction can also make the scars unsightly. Be sure to keep the incisions clean after the surgery and take any antibiotics prescribed by your surgeon on time. Do not let unauthorized people touch the incisions. Smoking can make the scars abnormal because it blocks the flow of fresh blood and oxygen to the incisions. If you are a smoker, stop smoking before the surgery and remain a non-smoker after the surgery. Conclusion Breast reduction is a major plastic surgery. It involves the removal of excess skin, tissue, and fat from breasts, thus resulting in smaller breasts. Patients should discuss breast reduction scars with the surgeon in advance of the surgery and make a plan to decrease the visibility of the scars.