What is Scar Revision?
Scar Revision surgery seeks to alter scars that have formed keloids, have healed in a manner that restricts movement, or are cosmetic problems.
What are the different types of scars and treatments?
- Keloids are scars that continue to grow after the wound has healed, creating itchy clusters of tissue beyond the area of the wound. They can be excised if steroid treatments prove ineffective.
- Contractures are caused by bands of taut scar tissue, which may inhibit function, such as extension of a joint. Contractures are excised and replaced with grafted skin or incised in a "Z" pattern and re-stitched. This provides ample skin for normal movement and reduces the appearance of the scar.
- Hypertrophic scars are thick, raised, red scars that may improve with time or steroid
treatments. The excess scar tissue can also be removed by incisions made to lessen their prominence.
- Facial scars can sometimes be excised and sutured using very fine sutures. This should leave a thinner scar. They can also be revised to run along the natural lines of the face, making the scars less noticeable.
- Skin grafting uses the patient's own skin to cover an injured area. Skin grafts may fail if the growth of blood vessels into the graft is impaired by the nature of the wound, infection or fluid collection. Skin grafts involve scarring at both the donor and recipient sites.
- Skin flaps transfer healthy skin, blood vessels, fat and sometimes muscle to an injured site. Blood flow continues through a "flap" of skin or through skin that has been microsurgically attached. Skin flaps typically have better cosmetic results than skin grafts, and local skin flaps are preferred for facial reconstruction because the replacement skin has a similar thickness and color to the original.
Is Scar Revision safe?
Yes, but all surgery entails some risks, including infection, bleeding, recurrence of the scar and complications due to anesthesia.
Will there be any downtime?
You should allow time for healing after any surgery. The specific amount of downtime is dependant on the extent and area of surgery. Your doctor will instruct you on post-surgical care, including how long you should rest.
What can be expected following surgery?
There may be some discomfort and swelling. Scars may appear red and more noticeable before improving with time.
Who are candidates for Scar Revision?
The best candidate is aware that no scar can be completely removed, and has waited at least a year to see if the scar would fade on its own. Remember that there are limits to how much a scar can be improved, which depend on the scar location and patient's natural ability to heal.
Who should avoid Scar Revision?
Because Scar Revision is elective, the candidacy standards are higher. Generally, those of poor health, such as people with auto-immune or circulatory disorders, should take this into consideration before having Scar Revision.
Instructions for after surgery:
It is important to keep the sutures clean and dry. Follow your surgeon's instructions carefully in order to promote healing and minimize scarring.