Scar revision is a surgical technique performed by plastic surgeons that can greatly diminish the appearance of many scars. The procedure essentially replaces an unsightly scar with a less noticeable scar.
If you exhibit scars due to injury or previous surgery, a scar revision may be right for you. Of the various types of scar revision procedures, more than 160,000 were performed in the US in 2010. In addition to restoring a cosmetic balance thrown off by a scar, scar revision can also improve the skin’s function in many cases.
Who’s a Candidate for Scar Revision
Though scar revision does not technically remove a scar, it is a technique that effectively replaces one unsightly scar with another that has an improved aesthetic appearance. It is not possible to fully restore the skin to its appearance prior to the formation of the scar, but the procedure can have a positive cosmetic and emotional impact on the patient, which the doctor understands and will address.
You may be an ideal candidate for scar revision if you are a healthy nonsmoker, which will aid in proper skin healing post-surgery. If excisional scar revision is to be performed, the procedure may not be completed sooner than six months following the formation of the scar. In some cases, you may benefit from less invasive microdermabrasion or injection treatments to diminish a scar.
How Scar Revision Works
Based on the type of scar you exhibit, the doctor may perform a variety of scar revision procedures.
- In a fusiform excision surgery, the doctor will make an ellipses-shaped incision around the scar and remove the tissue.
- In a partial or serial excision surgery, the doctor will make an elliptical incision as noted above, but may not be able to entirely remove the scar in one procedure and follow-ups may be necessary.
- A local flap surgery is performed when the surrounding skin can be used to cover the scarred area of the skin. Using a Z or W-shaped incision, the doctor can break up the scar, restoring function and limiting its noticeability.
- If you exhibit a raised scar, the doctor may gradually shave down the elevated tissue to match the surrounding skin.
- Small, round and depressed scars may be repaired with a skin graft. In this surgery, the doctor will take skin from a donor site on your body and use it to raise the scarred area to be level with the surrounding tissue.
- For some of these procedures, such as local flap surgery, the doctor may perform tissue expansion techniques, which help the skin to adequately stretch in order to make reconstruction possible.
During your consultation at Indiana Plastic Surgery, Dr. Robinson will discuss the various scar revision techniques and determine the best treatment plan for you.
What to Expect After Scar Revision
Following scar removal surgery, your skin may feel tight and you may experience swelling and pain, which may be managed with medication. The surgery site will be covered with a dressing and you may need to change it to keep it fresh.
Contact us to schedule a consultation with board-certified Indiana plastic surgeon Dr. David Robinson in his Valparaiso or Munster offices. Call 219-513-2100 to get started.