Scar revision surgery is a common, minimally-invasive procedure offered by University of Florida Health plastic surgeons to close wounds and minimize the prevalence of scars. Many of these unsightly and even disfiguring scars are the source of anxiety for many people who’ve undergone another surgery or who have been injured.
Provided you’re in good health and have realistic goals and expectations, a scar revision procedure can help you address these unwanted scars.
1. Consult with a scar revision surgeon and establish a plan
First you will need to consult with a surgeon and evaluate your individual situation. You will need to have your health evaluated along with the reasoning behind your interest in the procedure.
Surgeons will recommend a course of action as well as explain what you need to do to prepare for the procedure and assist in your recovery.
2. Administer anesthesia
On the day of your procedure, surgeons will first administer anesthesia. Typically, a local sedation is used but if circumstances warrant it, surgeons may opt for a general anesthesia.
Be sure you don’t eat for several hours prior to receiving anesthesia and follow all instructions carefully.
3. Treatments and incisions
Scar revision surgeons have several options available to help address scars and wounds. Your UF Health surgeon will choose the best option for your individual situation during the consultation. Methods vary based on the size, severity and location of your scar.
These scar revision options involve surface, injectable and even surgical methods.
Topical & surface treatments
Surgeons apply gels, tapes and other external compression methods to help wounds close and heal or to reduce the skin’s ability to produce pigment different than surrounding skin. Products used are useful for healing other minor scars as well as help in your recovery from more extensive scar revision surgery.
Surface treatments on the other hand are mostly used to cosmetically improve scars. They generally soften surface irregularities or reduce uneven pigmentations. Surface treatments include: dermabrasion, laser therapy, chemical peels or skin bleaching agents.
If scars are concaved or depressed, injectable fillers are used and provide relief anywhere from three months to several years. One steroid based injectable treatment reduces the amount of collagen in the skin, which alters the appearance, size and texture of scar tissue. Regular therapy is required to maintain the positive benefits of injectable treatments.
Some scars are deep enough that incisions are required to fully address your scar.
4. Closing the incisions and recovery
If incisions are made, surgeons will need to close the incisions or wounds in question. In high movement areas or places where the excision extends to tissue below the skin surface, layered closure is used. Absorbable, non-removal sutures are used for closure below the skin’s surface.
Surgeons then continue to build-up layers until they reach the skin’s surface, where they then close off the remaining wound.
More advanced techniques, including complex flap closure, are sometimes used to reposition scars so they’re not as conspicuous or improve flexibility where contracture has restricted mobility.
If an insufficient amount of tissue is available from other parts of the body, pharmaceutical substitutes can be used to provide the needed tissue to close a surface wound.
As you can see, a scar revision surgery procedure can involve many aspects. It’s definitely a very individualized procedure that requires careful attention on the part of surgeons and patients.