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Mastectomy Scars: What are the treatment options?

Mastectomy Scars: What are the treatment options?
HPFY Staff Writer

If you're preparing for breast cancer surgery, you may be concerned about the scars you will have after surgery. The extent of scarring from a mastectomy will depend on the surgical procedure used.

Mastectomy Scarring?

  • Partial Mastectomy: A partial mastectomy procedure involves the removal of the tumor along with some surrounding breast tissue. Occasionally, the surgeon may also remove a lining part that covers the chest muscles. In a partial mastectomy, your breast appearance doesn’t change completely, but both breasts look slightly different in size, and there will be a scar at the surgical site. After surgery, the lumpectomy scar may appear to be small and straight across or beneath your breast or under the nipple and can be concealed more easily.
  • Skin-sparing mastectomy: In a skin-sparing mastectomy, the surgeon removes the breast, areola, nipple, and one or more lymph nodes. A skin-sparing mastectomy usually leaves a visible, medium-to-large scar visible on the front of your breast. Women who want to reconstruct their breasts immediately after breast cancer surgery often opt for this type of procedure. 
  • Nipple-sparing mastectomy: The procedure of nipple-sparing mastectomy involves removing all your breast tissue but preserving the skin and areola. This form of surgery is preferred by those women who are in the early stages of breast cancer or at high risk for developing breast cancer or receiving preventive breast surgery.
  • Simple or total mastectomy: This mastectomy surgical procedure removes one breast, called a unilateral mastectomy, and in the case of removal of both breasts, it is called a double mastectomy. In total or simple mastectomy, the surgeon will remove the entire breast tissue, including the areola and nipple, and sometimes will remove lymph nodes and skin, depending on the patient's choice to undergo reconstructive surgery. Post-mastectomy scars on breasts crossing the chest horizontally are more pronounced and visible. 
  • Modified Radical Mastectomy: This type of mastectomy is identical to a simple or total mastectomy, in addition to removing the lymph node. A Modified Radical Mastectomy removes all breast tissue, skin, nipple, and areola in the breast and armpit. This breast cancer surgery will leave a scar across the chest and will be pronounced.  

Treatment for Mastectomy Scaring 

Although it is impossible to entirely erase a mastectomy scar, using wing ways to minimize 

Scar revision surgery: Scar revision surgery is an effective technique for diminishing or flattening your scar. Depending on how your scars heal, the surgeon may remove excess scar tissue or use laser surgery to smooth the scars appearance.

Some non-surgical ways to reduce scarring includes are:


While a mastectomy usually leaves scarring. Breast cancer treatment options may also leave some scarring - 

  • Surgical drains are placed in your breast after surgery, forming small round scars when removed. The amount of scarring from surgery mostly depends on the number of drains used.
  • Radiation therapy can induce fibrosis, the abnormal accumulation of fibrous connective tissues, leading to uneven skin thickening. Some short-term effects, like chafing and blistering sores, may leave permanent scars.
  • Chemotherapy ports are smaller devices attached to a vein in the chest for chemotherapy and will leave a scar at the incision site just above the breast near the collarbone.
  • Lymph node dissection and removal: In order to test the lymph nodes for diagnostic purposes, some may need to be surgically removed. This may leave some minimal scarring in the armpit region. 

Breast reconstruction is an option many women consider after breast cancer surgery. The decision to reconstruct a breast can help conceal (take out cover) cover a mastectomy scar. Women who opt for surgery should discuss all options with a surgeon.


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HPFY HPFY Staff Writer

HPFY Staff Writer



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