What will my scars look like after surgery?

It depends on what surgery you have, but scars are an important consideration. Breast surgeons are very skilled at removing the cancer or cancer risk. But finding a surgeon who prioritizes your cosmetic outcome is equally important. While many women see their breast surgery scars as an empowering symbol of beating cancer, many do not. Studies show that breast surgery scars significantly impact a woman’s psychological and emotional recovery and quality of life after surgery because scars can have a large impact on a woman’s self-confidence, intimacy, and body image.[1]

Traditional lumpectomy Breast tumor is removed along with a healthy margin of tissue surrounding the tumor. This will leave a small to medium sized scar on your breast, directly over the area where your tumor was.

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Hidden Scar lumpectomy Breast tumor is removed along with a healthy margin of tissue surrounding the tumor. With a Hidden Scar approach, your incision will be hidden in one of three locations: the natural fold of your breast (called the inframammary fold), around your nipple areolar complex, or in a skin crease in your armpit (called the axilla). Your scar will be hidden when it heals. Ask your surgeon if you’re a candidate for Hidden Scar Surgery or find a Hidden Scar trained surgeon here.

Modified Radical Mastectomy: All of the breast tissue is removed along with the majority of the skin and the nipple. This will leave a large sized scar on the front of the chest that is very visible.

Skin Sparing Mastectomy: All of the breast tissue is removed, the nipple is removed, but the skin is preserved. This will leave a medium to large sized scar on the front of the breast that is very visible.

Nipple Sparing Mastectomy: All of the breast tissue is removed, but the nipple and skin are not. Traditional incisions for Nipple Sparing Mastectomies are made on the side of the breast. Therefore, this procedure will leave a medium to large sized scar on the side of the breast that is visible.

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Hidden Scar Nipple Sparing Mastectomy: A Nipple Sparing Mastectomy can be performed as a Hidden Scar Procedure. With a Hidden Scar approach, your incision is made in the natural crease beneath your breast (inframammary fold). Your scar will be hidden when it heals. Ask your surgeon if you’re a candidate for Hidden Scar Surgery or find a Hidden Scar trained surgeon here.