Lack of Info on Wound/Scar Management

I felt that I didn’t get adequate info on how to manage my wounds after surgery, or how best to treat the scars once the wounds had healed over. I saw a physio a few months after surgery to help with the stiffening effect from rads and she showed me how to massage the scars and suggested silicone gel to reduce the red/purple discolouration. That helped a lot but more recently I have been trying silicone gel scar reduction sheets and they have made a huge difference in only a couple of days.
Why don’t we get told these things? I understand that the breast consultant was focussed on saving my life, but I think it would be better if after surgery we were then handed over to people who know about wound management.
Any thoughts from anyone?
Sarah x

I couldn’t agree more, Sarah. I felt a bit like a ship that had been detatched from its mooring and left to float. I didn’t have any bad effects from rads and my skin soon healed.
The only thing I have used is the aqueous cream. I tried Bio Oil but went back to massaging the aqueous cream into my scars twice a day and am quite pleased with the results especially on the scar under my arm.
I would like to try the silicone gel pads, are they available over the counter or only on prescription?
What would we do without the forum. Apart from lots of support we learn a lot from each other.


I suspect it all comes down to money - the silicone sheets are quite expensive. They are available over the counter - I haven’t used them myself but my daughter had a good results with them.

You can get rectangular sheets quite easily in most chemists and Boots do their own brand ones. As Finty says, they’re not cheap. The trouble with the rectangular ones is that they’re difficult to fit to a mastopexy (boob lift) type scar (which is what I’ve got), which curves all the way round under your breast, then a straight line up to the nipple and around the nipple. So I found a gel sheet made for mastopexy scars by searching online and bought that - but it was £35 for one! It fits much better than the rectangular sheets but must have been designed for someone with Katie Price type proportions!
Sarah x

I’ve got quite a collection of scars and been quite despondent over how to reduce the appearance of them. My mx scar looks pretty awful even now and surgery was in November. I’ve been using Neutrogena’s Norwegian Formula intensive moisturiser (the fragrance-free one) on it which was recommended by my BCN. It’s made the skin more supple but done nothing to improve the look of the scar.

My stay in intensive care has left me with 5 smaller scars on my neck which I’d like to reduce the appearance of, but the worst of the lot is the 3 inch scar resulting from the emergency surgery I had to remove the infected hickman line. It’s quite high up on my chest so it’s visible with most clothing unless I wear scarves or necklaces and looks like a zip with a deep trench down the middle. I know that I should just be grateful that they saved my life but I do wish someone could have given a little thought about what it would look like afterwards and closed it up more carefully.

I might give the gel strip a go as it sounds like it may well help a lot. Anyone had much luck with bio oil? I’m thinking about buying some for the smaller scars and Boots has it on 2 for 1 at the moment.

I really wish they’d give us more info about this at the start instead of waiting for us to ask because scar reduction is so important when it comes to dealing with the aftermath of surgery.

I found that the silicone gel ointment worked very well at improving the colour of my scars, so they went from a bit purple down to pink, but it didn’t do anything for the lumps and bumps. The gel sheets seem to be more effective for flattening scars, which makes sense since it is holding it flat.
The silicone gel ointment (SilGel was the one I used) is about £24 for a small tube, or get in on prescription. But I believe that some GPs are reluctant to prescribe it because of the cost. You should also be able to get the ordinary gel sheets on prescription, but may find the same problem due to cost.
Sarah x

I’m 4 months post surgery - mx and LD flap recon and I lightly massagew with bio oil every day. Some drs will prescribe and we can get prescriptions free - your GP will have a form.

Very pleased with the way the scar round the old nipple area is fading and can see improvements in the more ‘serious’ back scar.

I’m also still waering a close fitting sports bra 24/7 - keeps a light pressure on the scars - pressure is a standard treatment to help the appearance of burn scars.

Many fact sheets recommend light massage.


I’m a year on from my mx and the scars are almost invisible. Unfortunately, I’ve just had a WLE in the reconstruction, so I’ve got bright new scars again but am confident they will fade. One tip I wish I had had, is that if you have an LD flap recon, and are slimish, you should massage your back around the scar (when properly healed). Mine has unfortunately stuck to my back and although the hospital physio tried to release it, it was too late so I will need plastic surgery. The plastic surgeon said that I should have had some fat put under the scar to stop it sticking. It isn’t common, but worth knowing about.


Good point Annie

I saw a physio several times post op and she warned me about this, recommended gentle self massage and gave me excercises specifically to help stretch and keep the back area free.

I’m not particularly diligent, but do them whenever I feel myself tightening up and have virtually full range of movement.


Hi Friends,
l need words of advice from anyone that has gone through breast recontruction nipple tatoo and mastopexy to the second breast to match .

hello ladies,

firstly i have to say that i am on these boards, awaiting surgery for lump removal and biopsy. i do not claim to have had surgery for breast cancer.

however, i have had a breast reduction 7 years ago, and the my scars are the same as someone already posted here. It was actually quite an invasive procedure and included an uplift. I have long scars that line the entire bottom of each breast, leading somewhat into the armpit. another line goes from the center of this line to the nipple, and again, around the nipple.

I thought id just give some empathy, and advice if i may? I wish someone had done the same for me back then. i was young (19) and told that because of my age, recovery would probably go well but also my scars would be slightly worse than older women (something to do with scar tissue healing too well/quickly?) i had been reading some forum posts on breast reductions, and the gist of the advice was the rub bio-oil into the scars twice a day.

it does seem pricey for the size of the bottle (i think it used to be about £8-£10?) but infact i didnt need much each time. Iv got to totally honest, i did not to this thorough massage every day twice a day (i tried tiny circles, slowly over entire leignth of scars)i looked into the patches, but the money was just too far out my league. essentially, i personally think that yes, bio oil is the most beneficial for scars, but infact its the massage/stimulating blood flow that is the most important thing. i also had a lot of problems with stiches migrating out, even up to 2 years after the initial op (they did their job, but seemingly didnt disolve im guessing.)

that annoyed me the most i think… there was no clear instructions, or even written down notes readily available on what kind of stitches were used. for quite a long time i had visible, tied stitches in places. i often asked advice from the nurses at my local surgery as to weither or they they should be taken out etc and when…everyone seemed confused, and i was essentially just told to wait and see… one by one, very slowly, they dropped off.

I also had two areas (at the end of each underneith scar, in the center of chest) that were…werid. im not sure how to describe it, so forgive me if this sounds odd. On my right breast, it looked like the end of the insision was from the inside, leaving a kind of short ‘tube’ like gap, a bit like a whole between my braest skin and my chest skin. the other side looked as though like the skin was folded on the outside, and i kind of had a weird, raised tag of scar tissue. these two weird things were very small, and only noticable to me (and the most visible to me, as they were there whenever i looked down!) but i neednt have worried. the bumpy triangle bit just dissapeared. it took a long time, and im not even sure how many years before i looked down one day and i realised it just looks as flat as the rest of my scars. the tube thign has filled in and likewise, just became part of the rest of the scar.

as for the scars on the whole…i actually couldnt be happier. 7 years on, they are mostly off a dark/off white colour, with minimal raising. i can balrey see the incision around the nipples now, with the central incision being totally flat, and the underneith being only a little bumpy. It was a high risk that i took to have the surgery. i accepted that i may lose nipple sensation, lose them compeltely, and/or have very uneven boobs.
I appreciate however, that you wonderful ladies had very little choice in the matter, but im trying to say is taht i never thought id ever be happy with my breast appearance - just more comfortable.

as for the redness, i have to emphasis the point; IT TAKES TIME! they may, or may not entierly ever become invisible (i guess depending on your individual surgery procedure.) my reduction scars will never be totally invisible, but that doesnt knock my confidence. 3-4 years after,i was worried about how bad they looked, wondering if it was normal for them to be that way. people who did see them often were suprised at good they looked compared to what i was ‘warning’ them about. i recently saw an old photograph i emailed to myself of them (god that sounds weird.) looking back, i can see what they mean…they were fine! my boobs were perky, full, and things have just got even better ever since!

as for my own experience with nipple sensation… like i said i was warned i may lose them all together. the nipple was moved to a new position. when i came around from my operation, the nurse routinley pressed on them regularly for an hour or so - each time i giggled. they were. and still are, more sensitive than they were even pre-op!i was also told that i would never lactate. they were wrong! infact, selfishly, my precious, lucky nipples were what brought me to my gp a few weeks ago. the lump and discharge do not make me fearul of cancer. im 26, hormonal, with no history of cancer in my family. rather more vain than that, im more worried that it will/is becoming infected, and all those risks i took years ago wouldnt be worth it, and id loose my nipple to something else. Im proud of my new puppies, and what ever this is, i want to fix it before it becomes worse. i know, that sounds so selfish :frowning:

anyway, i hope that may have helped someone out there reading this. in short - be patient, and dont be affraid to get someone to take a look if you have any concerns. Nurses at local gp surgeries are there for wound care after all! if you think something is becoming infected, or isnt looking right, dont be affraid to ask. its your body, and after all youv been through, you have the right to be assured, as you have to live with it.

Absolutely agree! Generally happy with my surgery but wish I’d been given some advise on scar which I’m now having problems with.

Hi Everyone,


I had mastectomy and anc in August and have been using bio oil on the scar. I agree that there was little or no advice on care of wound/scar but I asked my oncologist who told me it was fine from their perspective to use Bio Oil. It is expensive. I generally get it from Costco where you can get 2 large bottles much cheaper than at most chemists.


Hope that is helpful.

Sue X

Can anyone help please. 


Following a  breast implant and  a reduction in July, I had to have the implant removed a month later due to infection.  


3 months later, I had a swelling and soreness under the breast reduction site. 


This feels and  looks like a thick pliable, cord running from under the breast scar down into my tummy,with the skin dimpled at one side. If I raise my arms, it is very noticeable and looks like stretch marks. 


My GP, referred me to the hospital and I had a scan and was told it was nothing to worry about. 


Following, a 6 month post surgery appointment with the plastic surgeon, he told me it was a varicose vein 

and quite common and nothing can be done other than massage it. 


I started to massage the area, but it just makes it worse and swells more. 


I decided to have no further implant and just had day surgery, to tidy up the implant

site by removing excess skin


i am concerned that the same may happen again. 


I have read on this site about similar experiences, but now I can’t find the link


any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated