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     Scar Revision > Plastic Surgery

Plastic Surgery

What is surgical scar revision?

Surgical Scar Revision is a surgical procedure in which a plastic surgeon tries to make the scar less obvious and improves its appearance.

What are the different types of scars?

There are several different types of scars that may be sustained, depending on the type and severity of the injury, as well as the patient's age, overall health and individual healing properties.

Hypertrophic scars are red, raised scars filled with excessive amounts of collagen that may be itchy or slightly painful, although they are considered harmless and do not grow beyond the boundaries of the initial wound.

Keloids are overgrown areas of scar tissue that appear as irregularly-shaped, raised, pink or red areas that may continue to grow over time. While they can occur anywhere on the body, they are most common on the face, neck, ears, chest or shoulders.

Contractures are more severe scars that restrict movement as a result of the tissue in the area pulling together during the healing process. This type of scar most commonly occurs after large amounts of tissue loss or in wounds that occur on a joint.

How is a scar surgically improved?

Depending on the type of scar, different surgical procedures are employed for Scar Revision. These surgical procedures for Scar Revision will be performed under local or general anesthesia. Depending on the extent of the scar, Scar Revision may take anywhere from 1 - 5 hours.

Some of the Scar Revision procedures that are used popularly include:

Surgical removal of Keloid Tissue - Surgery directly removes the keloid tissue and a skin graft may be used to cover the area. Skin Grafting is performed by taking a piece of healthy skin from another area of the body (called the donor site) and attaching it to the surgery area.

Skin Grafting - The procedure of skin grafting involves replacing the damaged area of the skin by healthy area taken from other part of the body. This procedure is also carried out for treatment of Vitiligo.

Skin Flap Surgery - Flap surgery is a procedure in which skin, along with the underlying fat, blood vessels, and sometimes the muscle, is moved from a healthy part of the body to the injured site.

Z - Plasty - is a Scar Revision procedure in which a Z-shaped incision is used. Z - Plasty is used to decrease the skin 'pull' in case of a contracture. This technique can also be used to try and blend the scar in the natural creases and folds of the surrounding skin.

Tissue Expansion - The technique of tissue expansion is used in conjunction with Skin Flap Surgery. In this technique the amount of existing tissue is increased for re-constructive purposes.

How to prepare pre-operatively for surgical Scar Revision?

Prior hospitalization is not necessary for Scar Revision procedure. However, make sure that you inform your plastic surgeon about your health conditions and all the prescription and non-prescription medications that you are taking (including vitamin, mineral and herbal products). Stop smoking at least 2 weeks before the surgery and do not smoke for at least 2 weeks after the Scar Revision surgery.

What is the recovery period like after surgical Scar Revision?

Be sure to make arrangements for someone to drive you home as you will be sent home the same day after Scar Revision. You will heal gradually and be able to resume your daily activities within a week or so. The final results of your Scar Revision surgery will take a very long time to become completely apparent. The stitches will be removed within 7 days after Scar Revision surgery.

Are there any risks involved in surgical scar revision?

Complications can happen during any surgical process and it is also seen uncommonly with scar revision surgeries.

Some possible adverse effects include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Allergic reaction to anesthesia
  • Numbness
  • Recurrence of scar

         
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