Breast Scars – Cancer, Surgery, Revision, Tissue

Breast Scars – Cancer, Surgery, Revision, Tissue

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This is how it goes: Your surgeon recommends surgical intervention – say breast implant, lift or augmentation – to address your aesthetic concern or reconstruct your breast and before you know it, there are scars serving as blatant proof that you have gone through the knife. This article will explain the various forms of scars associated with breast procedures and ailments.

Breast Radial Scar

Sometimes referred to as a black star or sclerosing papillary proliferation, a breast radial scar is a star-shaped lesion that often appears in human breasts. The condition is rather rare, affecting only about 0.04 percent of patients annually.

The condition tends to affect mainly women aged between 41 and 60 and although it doesn’t cause a kind of lump that you can feel with your hands, radial scars can appear in a screening mammogram if they are large enough and can easily be confused for breast cancer.

Breast surgery, localized inflammation, and hormonal changes are some of the most common causes of the disease. Fibrocystic changes in the breasts can also cause it.

Although radial lesions in the breasts are usually benign, they may in some instances contain some malignant tissue hiding behind them. In some instances, they can cause pain in the breast.

Patients diagnosed with breast radial scars are at 150 to 200 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer than those without. An important point to note however is that despite the name, radial scars are not always comprised of scar tissue.

Lumpectomy or open surgical biopsy may be used to get rid of the breast mass. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy may also be administered if the tissue obtained after surgery are found to have cancerous cells.

Breast Cancer Scars

If you have ever heard about Beth Whaanga, then chances are it is from her bold photos showing breast cancer scars. They are so uncensored that some people reported them to facebook, but facebook show no reason to bring them down. She was just trying to raise awareness on breast cancer.

Coming back to our topic (breast cancer scars), patients of breast cancer often have to undergo mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgeries, both of which involves making incisions to the skin and as the body tries to heal the wound left behind, it is inevitable that the skin will get scarred.

Breast Surgery Scars

Whether performed to address beauty concerns e.g. to increase the size of the breast or to raised drooped breasts, breast surgery more often than not involves making incisions on the breast. As the skin tries to heal the wound left behind, scars typically results.

The scar normally heals gradually over time as to eventually fade away and become less noticeable. Most scars mature in 6 to 12 months, but factors such as genetics and improper post surgery care of the wounds left by the incisions can prolong the healing time in some patients.

Scar Tissue after Breast Surgery

Breast surgery more often than not involves making incisions on various locations ranging from the areola (the darker circle that surrounds the breasts) to the skin fold underlying the breast and along the vertical length of the breast (e.g. with the anchor breast lift technique). As the surgical incisions heal it is expected that some scars will form.

Scar tissue after breast surgery vary in size depending on the technique used, degree of tension to the skin tissues involved , genetic predisposition to scarring, and how well the wound heals which also has to do with how well the patient follows the guidelines given by his/her surgeon.

Breast Scar Tattoo

After undergoing mastectomy and breast reconstruction, some cancer survivors often resort to tattooing to hide the appearance of the scars left on the chest from the procedures. What a nice way to detract the attention from the scar and instead focus the eyeball of curious onlookers onto your colorful tattoos as you enjoy your tan by the poolside or the beach.

Breast Scar Revision

If you have bothersome scars that seem to attract all the attention by the poolside, more so if it has been around for as long as you want to remember, then you might be a candidate for breast scar revision.

This simply refers to surgical intervention to improve the appearance of scars. It can however only go a long way, and you shouldn’t therefore expect the scar to go away completely; an improvement of 50 to 75 percent is however realistic.

Keep in mind also that most insurance health insurance companies will not cover cosmetic surgeries and related complications. It is thus a good idea to consult with your health insurance provider before you make the decision to go under the knife.

What Constitutes Breast Scar Tissue

As we have already mentioned, scars are not a bad thing. They are part of the body’s natural response to injury and are formed as the skin tries to heal itself. Breast scar tissue is comprised of collagen. When the skin is injured, for example by the surgeon’s scalpel, fibroblast cells from the surrounding tissues move into the area of injury and start a buildup of collagen which then manifests itself as the scar. Collagen helps to strengthen the wound and facilitate a natural healing process. Collagen is like the body’s “glue” as Barry H. Dolich, MD, a plastic surgeon based in Bronx puts it.

The buildup of collagen progresses for about 3 months and thereafter, the collagen starts breaking down and consequently the scar tissue fades away gradually.

Breast Scar Tissue Pain

So you had a surgery and/or radiation therapy as part of treatment for breast cancer and now have painful scar tissue to show for it? Well, according to the Mayo Clinic, painful scar tissue is often an indication that the scar tissue (formed as the body heals itself) has formed around nerves.

Physical therapy often helps to heal the condition but in some cases another surgery may be needed to remove the troublesome scar tissue.

Breast Enhancement Scars

Breast enhancement procedures such as breast augmentation, breast lift, and breast implant are some of the most common plastic surgery procedures. They are typically done to correct perceived deformities for cosmetic reasons, but can also be done to reconstruct a patient’s breasts after an accident or after mastectomy.

On the downside however, formation of scars is one of the risks always associated with the procedures. How visible the scar is depends on the surgical technique used, how well the scar heals, and how prone the patient is to scarring.

Breast Job Scars

“Do breast jobs leave scars?” That is a question that I keep seeing being asked online. The truth of the matter is that any surgical procedure leaves scars and a breast job is no exception. So yes, it does.

Suggested Reading on Breast Scars


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