Scar Revision Surgery
This procedure is meant to minimize the scar so that it is more consistent with your surrounding skin tone and texture.
Scars are visible signs that remain after a wound has healed. They are unavoidable results of injury or surgery, and their development can be unpredictable. Poor healing may contribute to scars that are obvious, unsightly or disfiguring. Even a wound that heals well can result in a scar that affects your appearance. Scars may be raised or recessed, different in color or texture from surrounding healthy tissue or particularly noticeable due to their size, shape or location. Your treatment options may vary based on the type and degree of scarring.
Although scar revision can provide a more pleasing cosmetic result or improve a scar that has healed poorly, a scar cannot be completely erased.
Scar Revision Procedures
Steroid Applications & Injections
Steroids can help flatten and reduce the redness of hypertrophic and keloid scars. Steroids are applied or injected into the scar to break down the skin’s collagen. This is especially effective on hypertrophic and keloid scars, both of which continue to form collagen after the wound has healed. These injections can also help reduce the itching and/or pain associated with these scars.
Silicone Gel Sheets
Silicone gel sheets can help flatten hypertrophic and keloid scars. These clear sheets are placed on the scar and worn 24 hours a day.
Z-Plasty & Related Tissue-Rearrangement Techniques
Z-Plasty is a technique used to re-orient scars. The scar is oriented by cutting the skin around the scar in small triangular flaps. These flaps usually follow a Z-shape (hence the name), but the technique your doctor chooses will depend on the shape of the scar. The flaps are repositioned to follow natural lines and creases of the skin. The new scar is often less noticeable. Z-Plasty can also help relieve the pressure of contracture scars.
Dermabrasion smooth’s out surface irregularities such as deep lines or scars by removing the topmost layers of the skin. The afflicted area will be injected with anesthetic and then carefully “sanded” with a rotating wire brush or a diamond wheel until the desired amount of skin is removed.
A vascular laser works by shrinking the blood vessels that feed the scar, thus improving the coloration of red scars. This treatment is done without anesthetic. During the process, the sensation is much like that of a rubber band snapping on the skin.
In this procedure, a “balloon” is inserted under a patch of healthy skin near a scar. The balloon is filled with a saline solution to stretch the skin. When the skin has been adequately stretched, which can take several weeks or months, the balloon is removed. The scar is then surgically removed, and the balloon-stretched skin is pulled over the previously scarred area and carefully closed.
In this procedure, doctors take skin from a healthy part of the body and transplant it to the injured area. Grafts aren’t always cosmetically pleasing because the grafted skin may not match the surrounding skin’s color or texture. The area where the graft came from will also scar, but skin grafts can greatly restore function to a severely scarred area.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
There are two types of lasers used for reducing the uneven surface of scars: the CO2 Laser and the Erbium: YAG Laser. The CO2 laser is typically used for deeper scars, while the Erbium is used for superficial scars and deeper skin tones. Both lasers remove the topmost layers of skin, allowing new, smooth skin to form. There are some color lasers that can be effectively treat the abnormal red pigmentation of hypertrophic and keloid scars as well.