How to Reduce Scars After Breast Reconstruction

By Ravi Tandon, M.D. on March 19, 2019

Before and after breast reconstruction surgeryDr. Ravi Tandon has helped countless patients in the greater New Orleans, LA area experience improved appearance and confidence following a mastectomy. He has achieved great results with breast reconstruction surgery following mastectomy, helping women look and feel great after fighting and overcoming cancer.

A number of patients have expressed concerns about scarring after surgery and what they can expect. Let’s discuss breast reconstruction scarring, how we plan ahead of time to limit the scars, and what you can do to help reduce the appearance of scarring in the years after surgery.

How Extensive Are the Surgical Scars?

The extent and nature of the surgical scars from breast reconstruction surgery can vary from patient to patient depending on the nature of the procedure that was performed. Generally, there is a horizontal scar along the middle of the breasts made as part of the mastectomy.

The scar tissue heals well with time, though it will be somewhat noticeable even after it has faded. Such is the nature of all surgical scars.

The Importance of the Initial Consultation

During the breast reconstruction consultation, we can discuss the surgical procedure you will undergo, the nature of the incisions and scarring, and other issues related to the procedure. We can also discuss any issues you’ve had with keloid scars or bad scarring in the past. This will allow us to tailor the surgery as well as the post-op care to your unique needs.

Wear a Support Bra

Support bras worn after surgery can prevent your breasts from sagging, which can lead to worse scarring and droopier final outcomes after surgery. Patients should wear their support bra in accordance with surgeon instructions.

Silicone-Based Sheeting and Bandages

Silicone bandages and sheeting can potentially improve the appearance of surgical scars. The American Academy of Dermatology says that these products can reduce scar thickness. Be sure to use this sheeting as directed by your surgeon.

Various Topical Creams for Scars

There are a number of creams that can help soften scar tissue and make them eventually shrink down in size. Cortisone cream may be particularly effective at this. Your surgeon can let you know which creams to consider, when they should be applied, and which creams you may want to avoid.

Quit Smoking and the Use of Tobacco Products

Smoking and tobacco products can have a negative impact on your body’s ability to heal. They can contribute to a higher risk of infection as well as major scarring risks. Consider this a great opportunity to quit for good and start a healthier lifestyle.

Eat a Healthy, Well-Balanced Diet

Eating well can make a major difference in the health and beauty of your skin. Be sure to avoid processed foods and to focus on having more vegetables and fruits in your diet. Look for healthy, lean sources of protein, and make sure you’re getting enough fiber.

Stay Hydrated

Hydration can have a major impact on the elasticity, health, and appearance of your skin. Be sure to drink a lot of water throughout the day. Whenever hydrating, stick primarily to water rather than sugary beverages.

Avoid Sun Exposure

The UV rays of the sun can lead to skin damage and darkening of marks and scars. Whenever you’re going out in the sun for prolonged periods of time, be sure to use sunblock. Protecting your skin can make a major difference on how you look and feel in the years ahead.

Learn More About Breast Reconstruction

For more information about reducing the scars after breast reconstruction surgery and other surgical procedures, be sure to contact an experienced cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon. The team at Tandon Plastic Surgery is here to help. You can reach us by phone at (504) 455-1000.

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