When should you look into scar revision surgery? If you have tried over-the-counter options, home remedies or just let the natural healing process take place and are not happy with the results. There are surgical scar treatments available for your consideration. Different types of scars will require different treatments. For example a Keloid scar may need a different procedure than a burn scar. Some surgeons advise to wait for the scar to heal for a time period that may extend up to one year. However, your surgeon will advise what is best for your individual scar need.
What Makes Someone A Good Candidate?
If you are someone that is bothered or self-conscious because of your scar, then you may be a good candidate. You should also be physically healthy, have a realistic expectation of the outcome and a positive outlook. Lastly, you cannot have any active acne or skin diseases in the area to be treated. If you feel you fit into this category, then you may want to contact a Plastic Surgeon to set up a consultation. During the consultation you can discuss any concerns you may have. You and your surgeon can determine if you could benefit from scar revision surgery.
Scar Removal Surgery Types
For a contracture scar (usually the result of a burn where the skin is contracted), The surgeon will generally remove the scar tissue entirely. Skin Flaps from healthy skin are then lifted and moved to form a new incision line. When a flap isn’t possible, a skin graft may be used. A graft is a section of healthy skin tissue from one area and attaching it to another.
Z-Plasty is another method used to improve the appearance of a scar. During this procedure, the surgeon removes the old scar, making a new incision on each side that form triangle flaps. The flaps are then moved, forming a different angle. Basically, the old scar is covered up and a new incision line will appear. Although Z-Plasty doesn’t remove all signs of the scar completely, it makes it less visible.
Dermabrasion is another option. Dermabrasion uses tiny exfoliating crystals to smooth the skins surface. It is used on rough and elevated scars. It is a good choice for acne scarring. Dermabrasion makes the scars smoother and less visible. People with darker skin are not good candidates for dermabrasion as it may cause scarring and discoloration. Microdermabrasion is a better choice for darker skin. Dermabrasion is considered one of the most effective scar removal treatments.
Laser Treatment of Scar Tissue is often used to help with scar removal. In the 1990’s it was discovered that certain types of lasers could affect the scar tissue positively. When a laser is used to treat a scar, it reduces the redness and swelling. The scar ends up softer and smoother. When the powerful laser light contacts the skin, the blood vessels are sealed off. Collagen inside the scar is changed by the heat effect. The end result is a softer less noticeable scar. The number of treatments needed is dependent upon the age, depth and size of the scar. It is generally performed at two week intervals.
You would fully discuss any risks associated with each procedure with your surgeon. At the consultation, you would want to ask all questions to make sure you are both on the same page. Scar removal surgery poses risks as does any surgery. Some possible side effects are bleeding, infection, delayed healing, anesthesia risks and change in skin sensation. Also, damage to nerves, blood vessels and muscles can occur that may be temporary or permanent. You always want to follow all post-operative instructions given by the surgeon.