Transition surgery, like every other kind of surgery, will result in some scarring. In the majority of cases, men who have undergone surgical transition find the scarring to be minimal and love the look of their new chests.
What Should I Expect?
The location and size of scars will depend on the incision used in your procedure. For small breast removal, only a small incision on the lower areola is needed (keyhole). For large breast removal, incisions will be made around the entire areole as well as below the chest muscle (double incision mastectomy). Most procedures will fall somewhere in between these extremes.
Scars around the areola for the keyhole procedure are often not noticeable due to the skin’s pigmentation, a trick used by plastic surgeons for almost a century. Scars below the muscle are more visible.
Either way, you can get the best results by helping the incisions heal faster. The faster it heals, the less likely your body is to build up scar tissue. Protect against scars by following these steps:
- Use SkinMedica Scar Recovery Gel
SkinMedica Scar Recovery Gel can be used on all skin types to diminish the appearance of red or pink scars. Additionally, it’s proven to reduce scarring if applied in the first few weeks after incisions have healed over. Other topical treatments are available as well, depending on your skin type, allergies, and medical history but this one has been proven to be a most effective product.
- Stop smoking, even if only temporarily
If you use tobacco, stop for three weeks before and six weeks after surgery. Tobacco damages skin protein and constricts blood vessels, making it harder for the skin to heal.
- Eat well
Protein, healthy fats, carbs, zinc, and vitamin C are all used by your body to speed up healing. Look up a healthy diet or consult a nutritionist to make sure you’re getting enough of each.
Your body uses water to remove inflammatory particles and debris, a crucial part of healing. Hydrating will help you feel better and will decrease the appearance of scars.
- Use compression garments
Compression garments hold the moisture in, helping your skin heal more effectively. They also break down scar tissue, making them useful for reducing scarring even months after your surgery. Ask your surgeon to show you how best to use them.
- Guard against the sun
UV light damages the skin and prevents effective healing. If you can, try to keep your scars out of direct sunlight for at least one year after surgery. When you go outside wearing light fabrics, you may even want to consider applying a strong sunscreen below your clothes.
- Stay positive
Scar prevention is a lot of work, and it can be discouraging, especially because your scars will look worst in the first two months after surgery. This shouldn’t be cause for worry: your efforts will pay off and they will fade. Don’t put unnecessary added tension on your body by stressing over your surgery. Trust that your surgeon has done the best job possible, and keep in mind that the end results will take time.