If you are tired of or embarrassed of an unsightly scar or a scar that impedes movement, then a scar revision procedure could be right for you. Whether the scar is the result of a traumatic injury or a previous surgery, scar revision treatment can improve your appearance and better your movement. In fact, according to The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), scar revision surgery was one of the top five reconstructive plastic surgery procedures, with more than 170,000 scar revisions performed in 2012.
Good candidates for scar revision surgery are in good physical and emotional health. Patients should refrain from smoking before the procedure is carried out, as this can delay healing and keep them from attaining the best results. As always, candidates should have realistic expectations about the outcome.
Scar revision is performed in an accredited facility on an outpatient basis. The procedure usually takes just a couple of hours to complete, and may be performed under local anesthesia, intravenous sedation, or general anesthesia, depending on the size, type, and location of the scar.
There are various treatments that Dr. Chiu can perform depending on the size, type, and location of the scar, including:
For minor scars that exist on the surface or just below the skin, microdermabrasion can effectively reduce the appearance of the scar.
For depressed scars, fillers (e.g., Juvederm®, Restylane®, and/or Radiesse®) can be used to effectively improve the appearance. Since these fillers are made of hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in the body, patients do not have to worry about complications arising from this treatment.
For scars that are very deep and sunken in the skin, an incision may be made in the skin to completely remove the scar from the skin.
In some instances, a skin graft is removed from another part of the body and used to diminish the appearance as well as improve the patient’s flexibility that a scar has prevented.
After the procedure is complete, you may feel tightness and discomfort in the targeted area. Swelling, redness and some discomfort will be apparent, but these symptoms can be alleviated with prescribed pain medication and they will subside in the coming weeks. The scar will be covered with bandages and silicone tape can help speed up the process of healing the scar as it diminishes over time. Many patients feel that they can return to work in a few days, but should refrain from strenuous exercise and activity for about a week or until the scar completely heals.
Although your final look will not be evident immediately after your treatment is complete, your scar will show a noticeable improvement over the next few weeks. Usually patients are very happy with the outcome of their treatment and can live their life knowing that they no longer have to worry about their scar. The results of scar revision can be long-lasting as long as you protect the treated area from sun exposure and maintain a healthy lifestyle.