While most scars are not a problem, some scars are unappealing and unsightly. They can be too big or too wide, bumpy, dark, raised, or recessed. Depending on where the scar is located and its condition, scar revision surgery may be needed to improve its appearance. Scar revision surgery is an elective treatment that works to reduce the size and improve the appearance of your scar.
There are several different types of scars. The type you have can dictate the best technique to address it. The most common scars we treat are:
Adults or children who have a scar that is bothersome, unsightly, or causes self-consciousness and insecurity may be good candidates for scar revision treatment. It is important for patients at our practice who get this procedure to be aware that while this treatment is meant to improve the appearance of the scar and reduce its size, it will not make it fully disappear. The type of surgery selected will be contingent on where your scar is located, the type of scar it is, and the size, shape, and depth.
Surgery to revise scars is typically performed under a local anesthetic or sedation, depending on the extent of the procedure. For thick or bumpy scars, a shave excision can be done to level and even out the scar. Scars that are larger and raised may be reduced in size using an elliptical incision, which removes the scar and some of the tissue and skin around it. The skin is then stitched close with a new, clean line. For scars that were caused by poor closure, this can create a dramatic improvement. Large scars or contracture scars sometimes will include a skin graft or tissue expansion so that the old scar can be eliminated, allowing healthy skin to be sewn together.
In some cases, it is not the size or shape of the scar that is the concern, but instead the color or texture. There are many state-of-the-art noninvasive laser treatments that can improve the color and visibility of a scar, without a surgical procedure. Also, if you have a recessed scar or one that appears “pitted,” an injectable dermal filler product may create a more natural, even skin texture.
After a scar revision procedure, wound care is the most important component of the post-treatment process. We will give very specific rules and suggestions to help you take care of your incision so that the new scar is smaller, lighter, and thinner. Keep in mind that the scar won’t be fully removed, but most scar revision surgeries can create a natural, softer appearance.