A scar arises when an injury or surgical incision goes through the deeper parts of the dermis and possibly into the underlying fat layer. Such scars will never disappear by themselves. Over time, all scars mature and become less visible, but there are many individual factors that influence how the scar appears and how they will change. Scars on the face tend to be more discreet than the scarring on the chest, back and shoulders. Contrary to what you might think the scars, become subtler the older the patient is. This is because young people have more active scaring and the scars tend to be more red and hard. Moreover, their skin is more elastic, allowing the scar to increase in width when the stitches are removed.
Reasons For Scar Revision
Patients often seek help for scars from previous operations or after accidents, or due to medical conditions such as acne. Often the full extent of the scarring may only become apparent some time after the event that has caused it. Many patients consider scar revision procedures to reduce and minimize the appearance of scar tissue. The most appropriate treatment will depend on the type of scar (indented, hypertrophic or keloid for example) and the individual patient.
Surgical scar revision can be performed as a stand-alone procedure or, particularly following an accident or trauma, at the same time as other surgical procedures. Some patients may also undergo injection treatments or non-surgical skin treatments like steroid injections, chemical peels or laser treatment to get the best results.
There are many approaches to treating scars. However if you decide to choose surgical scar revision, a number of procedures are common. Indented scars are best improved by removal of the scar tissue and interposing a layer of fat tissue into the wound to elevate the scar. In the face however, the opposite applies, i.e. the surrounding skin is lowered to the level of the indented scar. Also common are so-called keloids, an elevated and widened scar that results from overly active scar formation. Other elevated scars are so-called hypertrophic scars. These appear pink and can cause itching and tingling of the skin. To achieve a good result in the correction of these types of scars surgery is often combined with injection of steroids. Your surgeon will discuss the options with you at your consultation and together you will decide on the best approach.
On the day of your procedure, you will arrive at the hospital fasting. Before the surgery you will meet with your surgeon again and he will mark the surgical site. Smaller scars can be corrected with only local anesthesia while larger scars may need some form of light general anesthesia with local anesthesia. Following the surgery you will be closely monitored while you begin your recovery and the effects of the anaesthetic wear off.
Most of our patients who undergo surgical scar revision won’t require an overnight stay in hospital. At the hospital they are taken care of by professionals with extensive experience of this surgical procedure. On discharge you will have been given an appointment for your first post-operative visit to The Aesthetic Institute, but patients are welcome to contact us before that if they have any concerns.
After surgery you will have a dressing over the new scar, which initially is very red. In the first few weeks after surgery the scar may appear to look worse than before, but it is important to remember that the ultimate outcome cannot be assessed for several months. Whether you have stitches, when they need to be removed and if/when you need complimentary treatments will vary from patient to patient.
Non-surgical treatments for scar revision include Fraxel Laser Treatment, Chemical Peels and steroid injections, where appropriate.
If you have any questions about surgical and non-surgical scar revision which are not addressed here, or if you would like to book a consultation with the Consultant Plastic Surgeon to discuss scar revision, please call 01 491 5738, email email@example.com or complete our Enquiry Form.