Will a second breast reduction make the scar worse?

If I am considering getting a second breast reduction, would the scar and scar tissue become worse if I go under the knife again? I had a breast reduction and lift about 3 years ago, but I wish I would have gone smaller (to a C rather than a D). The scarring on my chest is already something I’m self-conscious about, so I really don’t want to run the risk of it being worse.

ChMargery

F, 35, Nevada

Making the scars worse with a second surgery is a common concern. The short answer is that the same incisions can usually be used for a secondary breast reduction, and we can remove scar tissue from the first procedure in the process.

Secondary breast reductions can be challenging procedures since the skin's natural elasticity may have decreased since the time of the first procedure. Pre-existing scar tissue from the original surgery needs to be considered. Without a direct consultation i can't evaluate your existing scars, but typically the scar tissue from the first surgery can be removed in the process to clean up the new incisions.

If you're not using the original surgeon for the secondary surgery, be sure to bring any records from the original procedure to the second surgeon. These records may provide important details that could assist with the secondary reduction.

It's extremely important to find an experienced plastic surgeon with a good sense of aesthetics. When removing breast tissue the breast reduction surgeon must preserve a sense of overall proportion and create an aesthetic contour. It's also important to preserve nipple sensation and maintain normal blood flow within the breast.

Dr. Jonathan Heistein has 5 Breast Reduction before & afters:

Breast Reduction before image performed by Dr. Jonathan HeisteinBreast Reduction after image performed by Dr. Jonathan HeisteinBreast Reduction before image performed by Dr. Jonathan HeisteinBreast Reduction after image performed by Dr. Jonathan HeisteinBreast Reduction before image performed by Dr. Jonathan HeisteinBreast Reduction after image performed by Dr. Jonathan HeisteinBreast reduction before image performed by Dr. Jonathan HeisteinBreast reduction after image performed by Dr. Jonathan Heistein

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That's a great question. In most cases, a secondary breast reduction surgery can be completed via the same incisions as the original breast surgery. If there is significant scarring from the original plastic surgery, that scar-tissue can be excised as part of a secondary surgery. In which case you'll effectively have a "new" clean incision which may heal better than the first.

Since you've already waited a long time since your first surgery, it sounds like you're probably a good candidate for secondary surgery. Keep in mind, however, that successful surgeries also depend on patients being in good health and having a stable weight. To ensure minimal scarring it's important to limit weight gain during the post-op and recovery period. It is also important to be as stress-free as possible during your healing process as stress can negatively impact the body's ability to heal.

Even with the best surgical procedures, it’s always possible for your scars to be worse after a second procedure. In my experience however, scars are usually better following secondary breast reduction.

I encourage you to schedule a direct consultation to discuss which options are best for you. Always be sure to contact a board-certified plastic surgeon with experience in secondary breast reduction surgery for best results.

Dr. Neil Zemmel has 2 Breast reduction before & afters:

Breast reduction before image performed by Dr. Neil  ZemmelBreast reduction after image performed by Dr. Neil  ZemmelBreast reduction before image performed by Dr. Neil  ZemmelBreast reduction after image performed by Dr. Neil  Zemmel

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Usually a second breast reduction can be done through the same incisions.  Also, if there are scars from the first, they can be removed with the extra breast tissue so the incision can be freshened up once again.  Be sure to discuss your goals and concerns with your board certified plastic surgeon and consider the pros and the cons. Be certain your surgeon is properly certified.