Dr. Bunkis will be regularly featured in this Cosmetic Surgery, Ask the Doctor Q&A column. We invite you to call Dr. Bunkis at 949-888-9700, or email your questions to [email protected] . Enjoy!
I AM INTERESTED IN A BREAST REDUCTION BUT MY RESEARCH HAS SHOWN ME A LOT OF EXAMPLES WITH VERY NOTICEABLE SCARS. DO ALL BREAST REDUCTIONS END UP WITH BAD SCARS? Kelly P Coto de Caza, CA
You are correct in saying that the traditional breast reduction procedures can leave noticeable scars, especially if compared to the rarely visible scars after procedures such as a face lift or eyelid surgery. Incision patterns chosen by the surgeon will be dictated by the surgeon’s experience, the patient’s anatomy and each patient’s expectations. Let’s go over breast reduction incision options. The traditional breast reduction scars run around the areolus, vertically down to the fold and horizontally along the fold (i.e. the inverted “T” or “anchor” incision). This technique is still the best available for the majority of larger than average breasts. Ironically, very large breasts can be reduced with an incision around the areolus and above the fold, avoiding the vertical scar between the areolus and fold. But newer techniques today, most of them pioneered in Canada and South America, allow a surgeon to obtain similar results with shorter incisions in appropriate cases (as short as a single incision, less than a quarter of an inch long, if the procedure can be done using liposuction techniques). It is possible today to significantly reduce many breasts with minimal incisions, occasionally utilizing liposuction alone if the breast is soft and fatty (not firm and glandular) and if the nipple is in relatively acceptable position. With a larger breast where the distance between the areolus and fold is not excessive, a “lollipop” technique can be used, where the final scar runs around the areolus and vertically to the fold, without a horizontal line along the fold. The decision regarding which technique will be employed can only be made after a thorough consultation and a discussion regarding patient expectations. The most important part is to find a surgeon who is well versed in all of these techniques, and to choose the procedure which will give you the result you expect with the least amount of scarring possible. A breast reduction is a trade-off between a scar and less breast volume – most patients are very happy with the results and feel that the scars are not that bad!
(Actual patient of Dr. Bunkis) 70 year old Hispanic female, with even larger breasts and droopier nipples, before and three months after a breast reduction which we were able to do with the scar around the areolus and along the fold, avoiding the vertical scar between the areolus and the fold – ironically, the least amount of visible scarring is reserved for those patients with the largest, most droopy breasts!
You may check out our web site at www.orangecountyplasticsurgery.com to see further examples of similar patients.