In some cases, the appearance of mild to moderate scar tissue can be diminished with topical gels, injected steroid, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, or laser treatment. However, more severe scars may require revision surgery to reduce its prominence. The surgical improvement of an existing scar is a simple procedure for most plastic surgeons. Whether created by a plastic surgery procedure, trauma such as dog bite, or abdominal and/or female surgery, a scar’s appearance can often be improved once the tissue has matured.
What Is Scar Revision Surgery?
Scar revision surgery is a cosmetic procedure designed to minimize the appearance of an existing scar. Scars form as part of the natural healing process in response to trauma of the skin tissue. The fibrous tissue that develops at the site of the trauma can have a different texture or pigment from the patient’s normal, healthy skin. A scar may also be elevated or depressed in relation to the surrounding skin. In some cases, the function of sweat glands or hair follicles at the site of the scar may be affected. In addition to the cosmetic consequences of scarring, scars can make some men and women feel self-conscious or embarrassed. With scar revision surgery, Dr. James A. Matas can improve the appearance of the scar, reduce its prominence, and create more even skin tone and texture.
What Are the Benefits of Scar Revision Surgery?
The results of scar revision surgery depend, in part, upon the unique qualities of the patient’s scar. Scar type, size, depth, and complexity can all impact the degree to which the appearance of the scar can be improved. Most patients experience one or more of the following benefits:
- More discreet or barely visible marking on the skin
- More uniform appearance of the scar and the surrounding skin
- Reduced or eliminated inflammation, irritation, or itching
What Types of Scars Can Be Treated with Scar Revision Surgery?
Scar revision surgery can be used to treat scars that manifest as surface irregularities of the skin, contracture scars, keloid scars, or hypertrophic scars. Scars can be identified in this manner:
- Surface Irregularities: Minor injuries, surgical incisions, and acne are very common causes of scarring. Of all the types of scars, surface irregularities in texture or pigment are most easily treated with nonsurgical methods such as injectable treatments or laser resurfacing.
- Hypertrophic: Hypertrophic scars typically have a raised or thick appearance, and may be caused by cuts, burns, acne, or body piercings. Hypertrophic scars may result in physical irritation, itchiness, or discomfort.
- Keloid: Keloid scars usually appear on areas of the body with minimal fat, such as the shoulders, chest, or ears. These scars, which may extend beyond the border of the initial wound or incision, are often rounded, feel like a solid mass, and may cause the patient pain.
- Contracture: Contracture scars are typically characterized by a tight or “pulling” sensation and may impede normal movement of the skin. These scars are often the result of significant skin loss or larger burns.
What Can I Expect During the Scar Revision Procedure?
Scar revision surgery is as individual as the patient, and often a surgical plan is customized for the problem itself. The location and orientation of the scar, the patient’s skin type and skin tone, and how compliant the patient will be with the healing process are all factors considered by the surgeon. Depending upon the extent of revision necessary, the surgery may be performed under local anesthesia or intravenous sedation. Special sutures and surgical dressings may be applied, and instructions concerning healing and sun exposure will be provided. Scar revision can be performed alone, or combined with another surgical procedure depending upon individual circumstances.
How Much Does Scar Revision Cost?
Since each scar revision surgery is customized to meet the unique needs of the patient, there is no set cost for the procedure. Factors that may influence the final price of the surgery include the size of the scar, scar type, location of the scar, and the complexity of your custom surgical plan. After your initial consultation, Dr. Matas can provide an accurate quote for the cost of your revision scar surgery. Qualified patients can take advantage of our plastic surgery financing options, which can provide low monthly payment plans with low or no interest rates.
If you are interested in learning more about scar revision techniques we offer, we encourage you to schedule a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Matas.