Scars are a normal result of any form of surgery. Sometimes the scars are more noticeable due to their position or site, whether they are raised or depressed, whether they differ in colour and texture from the surrounding skin, and if the scars can be stretched (hypertrophic scars) or increased in size (keloid scars).
Scar Revision involves several techniques to minimise the appearance of a scar, thus making it blend with the surrounding skin’s tone and texture and therefore making it less obvious.
Is this right for me?
The treatment depends on the type of scar that is present. and this will determine if this is the correct treatment for you.
Discoloured scars, surface irregularities, acne scars and scars secondary to minor injury
These scars do not impair function or cause a physical impairment but can be psychologically upsetting and traumatic. These can be treated surgically or non-surgically by your plastic surgeon.
Here scars are stretched and can occur at any site. These are most commonly seen in scars which have been closed under a lot of tension; or following slow healing scars secondary to wound infection/ breakdown; or in patients who genetically have a predisposition for wide scars. These scars are therefore slightly raised; red and uncomfortable and can get wider over time. They can be darker (hyperpigmented) or lighter (hypopigmented) than the surrounding tissue. Treatment can be non-surgical and/ or surgical.
These are scars that extend over the border of a normal scar. This differs from hypertrophic scarring which maintains the border of the original scar but has just become stretched. These are more commonly seen in areas where very little underlying fat exists, such as on the ear-lobes, sternal( chest wounds) and neck wounds, but can occur anywhere on the body. They can be itchy and quite uncomfortable when in the active phase. Treatment can involve steroids/silicone/ excision +/- steroid injections into the scar.
Burns Contractures / tight scars
These develop where the scarring causes the underlying tissue to pull on the overlying skin. This is commonly seen when there is a large amount of tissue loss (such as after a burn) or where wounds occur across joints, thus reducing the movement of the neck, fingers, elbows, knees and ankles.
What does this involve?
Scalp scar revision
These scars can be quite extensive and can involve hair-loss also. Non-surgical methods such as the use of medical tattooing; medical treatments to thicken the scalp hair to hide the scars; or plasma-rich protein to improve the quality and thickness. Surgical methods can range from simple closure to quite extensive skin flaps depending on the extent of the scar and amount of hair-loss. Hair transplant may also be required for extensive areas of alopecia (hair-loss).
These scars can be puckered; raised; cause an overhang of tissue when standing; can be quite obvious in tight clothing. Treatment can involve excision; fat grafting; or liposuction.
These are commonly raised and hypertrophic. They can be puckered and can also give contribute to a fuller looking mons/ pubic area. The treatment can involve a combination of scar excision; re-draping of underlying tissue; or liposuction of the mons area.
Tracheostomy / thyroid scars
The scarring here can be quite visible and hypertrophic/ keloid. There can be a degree of puckering to the area. The treatment will depend on the extent of damage.
Revision of face-lift scarring
Following face-lift surgery one can be left with several deformities such as stretched (hypertrophic) or raised (keloid) scars; pixie ear deformity; hair-loss in the scalp secondary to the facelift scar. These areas ca be addressed with a number of treatment options such as topical non-surgical treatments; surgical treatments with scar excision and simple closure and hair transplant to address large areas of hair-loss.
Excision of ice-pick scars from acne
Acne scars can be quite difficult to treat. This condition will involve a combination of treatments such as the use of non-surgical methods (filler/ chemical or mechanical peels) and surgical methods – excision /or repositioning of some of the scars to make them less noticeable.
Facial scarring following surgery / trauma
Following an injury or through trauma (stabbing/ bite injuries), one can be left with scars that have healed abnormally or can be quite unsightly. Similar methods as described above can be utilized to help reduce the size/ appearance or noticability of the scar
These scars can vary between deep to superficial and the extent is related to the nature of the original injury. Often patients would like these removed for a variety of reasons. There are different ways to reduce the appearance of these scars and your plastic surgeon would be able to discuss what is possible/ feasible.
This can result following trauma or through the weight of ear-rings. This is also a common area for keloid scars to develop. Treatment will depend on the extent of the scar and will range from topical non-surgical treatments to surgical methods to revise the scar or a combination of treatments.
These can result secondary to trauma or following surgery. The treatment here is usually surgical and involves re-orientating the scar to remove notches or to neaten up uneven scars.
Sternal / Chest scar wounds
These are commonly secondary to heart/ lung surgery and the scars can become quite stretched (hypertrophic) or raised (keloid). The treatment may range from topical steroiod injection to a scar revision with excision and closure of the wounds.
Revision of breast scar wounds
Generally the scars following breast reduction/ breast augmentation and breast reconstruction tend to heal quite well. However, if the scars have not healed well then these can be revised through surgical excision of the scar and forming a neater scar.
Umbilical scar correction
Generally these scars tend to present following umbilical hernia repairs but can also be secondary to tummy-tuck procedures or other surgery around the belly-button. Treatment here is generally surgical and involves excision of abnormal scars. For a belly button that has not healed well and the top layer of skin becomes black and dies off (necrosis), the belly buttons can be reconstructed and a new one made with the surrounding skin.
Abdomen scar revision
Most abdominal surgery will result in scars that can be unsightly. These can be made less obvious by non-surgical or surgical techniques
Scar revision arms / hands / knee / feet
These scars are generally secondary to surgery. Due to the region, these scars are predisposed to developing hypertropic or keloid scars – especially if they cross joints. Scar revision procedures here would involve topical treatment and occasionally surgery if there is extensive restriction of movement of the joint involved.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the recovery like?
Recovery can take up to a few days. You would need to stay out of the sun if your skin is exposed i.e. your face or hands. Depending on the severity of the procedure and the location on the body you may have a sterile dressing applied to protect the area. Scar revision can vastly reduce scar tissue.
More frequently asked questions
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