Tips on scar healing after mastopexy

Tips on scar healing after mastopexy

01st May 2018


Sagging breasts can become an issue for many women at some point in their lives. The sagginess of the breasts occurs as a result of breastfeeding and pregnancy, significant weight loss, or simply the normal aging process.

A frequently performed procedure that ensures the lifting of the breasts is mastopexy. The breast lift intervention consists of removing the excess skin followed by the reposition of the nipple and areola complex to an anatomically correct position. This type of plastic surgery intervention requires performing incisions around the areola’s edge, as well as other scars: vertically from the areola to the inframammary fold and horizontally at the level of the inframammary fold.

Wound healing is a major concern for patients undergoing a breast lift surgery, especially because the level of scarring can be significant.


About the breast lift surgery

In some cases, the patient will want to combine the breast lift surgery with an implant procedure. The patient is not necessarily required to spend the night in the medical facility, but if the intervention is performed with the use of general anesthetic, the surgeon might recommend this. The intervention duration is between two and four hours and depends from patient to patient.

The breast lift surgery can be accompanied by side effects such as bruises, swelling, discomfort, a numbness in the area and dry skin. In a vast majority of cases, they are temporary and will subside on their own without additional treatment within a few weeks or months after the surgery. The incisions will be red and visible up until a year after the surgery because this is how long it can take for the cicatrization process to complete and for the scars to mature.

Complications are rare after the breast lift surgery. However, there is always a risk of developing them. Bleeding, infection and delayed wound healing are among the most commonly encountered. Unsatisfactory results after the surgery is another complication that might require an additional intervention to correct the issue. Mild asymmetries are also possible.

During the recovery period, it is very important for the patient to limit strenuous activities. After two or three weeks, all the sutures will be removed. The recovery is usually considered complete after four to six weeks. However, keep in mind that the shape and size of the breasts can continue to improve over the first six months after the surgery as the tissues heal.

The results of the breast lift surgery are permanent, but the patient needs to be aware of the fact that with aging, the breasts can start sagging again and an additional surgery might be required to elevate the breasts. Discuss your concerns about the result of the breast lift surgery with the plastic surgeon as he will be able to take into consideration your particular characteristics when providing an answer.


Tips on scar healing

Don’t smoke

Some patients don’t understand why smoking is strongly not recommended after plastic surgery. The explanation is simple. The tissues need oxygenated blood to heal fast and properly. When the patient is smoking, the level of oxygen in the blood drops significantly, making the tissues suffer. Skin or fat necrosis can be triggered by a lack of oxygen in the blood, as well as wound dehiscence that can result in vicious scarring or scars that are wider than normal.

Don’t overexercise

Your plastic surgeon will tell you that bed rest is not necessary after the breast lift surgery. More than this, he will even encourage you to resume your daily activities the following day after the surgery. However, you need to keep in mind at all times that you should avoid intense physical activities for four to six weeks after the surgery. Don’t try to lift heavy objects and don’t overstretch your arms to reach upper shelves or while doing chores around the house.

Mild physical exercises such as walking are always recommended to help the metabolism resume its complete functions, but physical exercises should be saved for when you have a green light from your plastic surgeon. Overexercising during the early stages of the recovery period can result in skin tears that can trigger infections or other complications.

Use silicone sheeting when recommended

Your plastic surgeon will make recommendations regarding wound dressing, the hygiene at the incision sites, and also what products to use to expedite the wound healing. Out of a desire to help the wounds heal faster, some patients start applying products on the incisions before the plastic surgeon suggests this. This is wrong. Many of the products meant to help the scars heal well are not to be used for at least two weeks after the surgery. Your plastic surgeon will recommend when to start using them and what exactly to use, so don’t hurry the healing process as you might trigger further complications.

Don’t try to remove the crust over the incisions

A crust can form on the incision sites. It has a purpose so don’t try to remove it as your scars will look worse after this and not better. Despite popular belief, removing the crust won’t expedite the healing. It is quite the opposite actually, as it can trigger more bleeding and wider scars.



If you want your scars to heal well and fast after the breast lift surgery, follow the recommendations of your plastic surgeon. Don’t use products that your plastic surgeon doesn’t recommend and don’t overexercise unless you have clearance from your doctor.

Smoking can interfere a great deal with the healing and cicatrization process, so avoid it at all costs for at least four weeks before and after the surgery.


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