The purpose of scar revision surgery is to minimize a scar so that it appears less conspicuous and blends with the surrounding skin in tone and texture. It’s important to note that scars cannot be completely erased, but cosmetic treatments can improve their appearance. Below is an overview of scar revision surgery.
What Is a Scar?
Scars are the visible sign of a wound that has healed. Poor healing can cause scars to be obvious, unsightly or disfiguring, but even a wound that heals well can result in an apparent scar. In many cases, the development of a scar can be unpredictable.
There are many different types of scars.
- Discoloration/surface irregularities are a form of scarring that tends to be subtle. These scars do not impair function or cause physical discomfort. Examples include acne scars and surgical incisions.
- Hypertrophic scars are thick clusters of scar tissue that develop at a wound site. They tend to be raised, red and/or uncomfortable. They may be hyperpigmented (dark) or hypopigmented (light).
- Keloids are larger than hypertrophic scars and can be itchy and/or painful. They extend beyond the edges of an original wound and develop most commonly where there is little underlying fatty tissue.
- Contractures restrict movement due to skin and underlying tissues pulling together while healing. They occur where there is a lot of tissue loss, such as after a burn, or where a wound crosses a joint.
Who Is a Candidate for Scar Revision Surgery?
Scar revision surgery can be performed on people of any age who wish to get the procedure for their own reasons only. You may be a candidate if…
- You are bothered by your scar
- You are physically healthy
- You do not smoke
- You have realistic goals for your surgery
- You do not have acne or skin disease in the target area
What Is the Procedure?
Scar revision surgery depends on the type and severity of scarring. Generally, there are four steps.
Medication is administered to make you comfortable. Your doctor will recommend local anesthesia, intravenous sedation or general anesthesia.
Your doctor may perform topical treatment, injectable treatment or surface treatment to reduce the appearance of your scar.
If your scar is very deep, an incision may need to be made to remove the old scar.
Some scars require layered closure, specifically when an incision extends to tissue below the skin’s surface. The first layer requires a sub-dermal closure with absorbable or non-removable sutures. A skin graft may also be performed.
For more information about scar removal surgery or to schedule an appointment, call the experts at Pinnacle ENT Associates.