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Understanding Where the Scars Go with Breast Reduction Surgery

With breast reduction surgery, incision placement ultimately depends on the shape and size of your breasts. However, with most patients, the scars after breast reduction surgery will be one of two types: a lollipop scar, which goes around your areola and below your nipple (along the midline of your breast), or an anchor scar, which is similar to the lollipop scar but also includes a scar along the base of your breast. In our office, we always defer to a less invasive approach with surgery; thus, in the case of a breast reduction, our first choice is always a lollipop scar as it does not extend along the base of the breast.

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With that said, some cases do require placement of an additional incision at the base of the breast, resulting in an anchor scar. Those of you with a lot of heaviness AND hanging breasts often need the anchor approach for a full transformation with breast reduction surgery. Where appropriate, this approach can provide the best possible results in terms of breast shape, size, and proportion.

This video shows the markings for a breast reduction surgery with an anchor incision. Marking you before surgery not only shows where the scars will be, but it also gives us a road map in the operating room. (It's like Google Maps for surgery!) These markings are extremely important and allow us to work more effectively while you are asleep. Even though most of the surgery is completed with you lying flat, we periodically put you in a sitting position during surgery to confirm that our markings are correct.

Here are the steps of the markings shown in the video:

  1. Mark the midline of each breast 
  2. Mark the inframammary fold (base of breast)
  3. Mark the new lifted location of the areola
  4. Mark the area of skin removal 

The last picture in the video is immediately after surgery. You can already see how this reduction made a huge transformation for this woman. The weight and sagging of her breasts has been removed, and she is left with something much more visually pleasing and manageable. And just so you know, our breast reduction patients are some of our happiest patients!

By reducing the size and weight of your breasts, you feel a sense of freedom. It can truly be life changing! There are so many benefits, just a few of which are:

  1. It allows you to exercise with less discomfort 
  2. It improves your posture, potentially decreasing neck and upper back pain
  3. It expands the options in your closet (no more gaping buttons!)
  4. It makes your breast lighter, literally taking a weight off your shoulders

Even though it doesn’t get the notoriety of some of the other breast surgeries we offer (like breast augmentation), breast reduction surgery is unquestionably unique.  This is because it offers something that few other cosmetic surgeries do: the potential to make you look better and simultaneously feel physically better. The extent of scarring is nothing compared to the benefits that so many women experience after breast reduction surgery.

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