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Scar Revision

You may consider having a type of surgery known as scar revision if you’ve had scarring due to an accident, surgery, or other cause. Scars are primarily caused when the body is injured and needs to repair itself. There are many different types of scars that can be formed and numerous variations of the severity and development of the scars as well. A scar’s severity is dependent on the ways your body responds to injury, how it heals itself, and of course how severe the injury was that caused the scar in the first place.

Is scar revision surgery right for me?

Scars are formed when the skin is cut, abraded, burned, or damaged in some way. The recollagenation of the damaged skin results in scarring. Depending on the type of person or injury, some scarring may take the form of keloid, hypertrophic or contractures. The decision of undergoing scar revision surgery should be made considering:

  • size
  • depth
  • blood supply to the damaged skin
  • thickness
  • color of the scars

Some types of keloid scars can be made worse, however, by scar revision surgery. The surgery can only improve the way the scar looks, rather than removing it entirely. No scar can be taken off completely. Scar revision surgery can, however, make your scar much less noticeable, or less severe.

Some scarring may actually decrease naturally from the initial time of injury.  Because of these possibilities, you may want to wait for some time (a year or so) before undergoing scar revision surgery. Your scar may diminish in size and severity on its own during that time period.

There are many different types of scar revision surgery. The type of scar revision surgery you have will depend on the severity of the scarring and your body’s response to the injury.  Scar revision may use different methods like:

  • laser
  • injections
  • skin grafts
  • Z-plasty

Remember that all scars are permanent.  Scar revision surgery will not get rid of your scar, but it may help conceal it and improve its overall appearance.

After Scar Revision

After any kind of scar revision there is an important period of recovery that must be followed very carefully. If the full recovery period and therapies are not maintained then the scar revision surgery’s wounds may not heal correctly. This could compound the scarification problem with additional scars appearing on torn stitching.

Scar revision surgery may also leave serious swelling or redness that tends to go away with time. Surgery may make a scar’s appearance worsen, which will seem worrisome.  However this kind of scar swelling or disfigurement tends to lesson over time.  A scar or skin related surgery almost always has postoperative issues of some sort.

Some amount of physical therapy may be involved in your recovery as well.  Be sure and discuss all aftercare with your board certified plastic surgeon.  Attending physical therapy appointments will insure proper healing and recovery from any surgery.  Failure to attend your recovery sessions could lead to a lack of recovery or a reversion to the preoperative state.

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