How many times have you found your old scars ‘ugly’ and ‘unattractive’? Do you struggle to hide them under makeup every time you go outside? Are you seeking a permanent solution to keep your ‘flaws’ out of sight? Well, scar revision surgery is most definitely the way to improve the appearance of your scar and get an even skin tone. Here, we tell you about different options you can opt for and how they can help you with scar revision surgery.
What Is A Scar Revision Surgery?
A scar revision surgery minimizes the scarring and prevents any tightness in the skin caused by it. After an injury or a bout of chicken pox or acne, what is left on the skin is a nasty ‘scar.’ The fibrous tissue forms and replaces the injured part of the skin as it heals. However, revision reduces or improves the appearance of the scar while rectifying skin disfigurement and restoring skin function. (1)
When To Opt For The Surgery?
A scar revision surgery can help you improve the appearance of fibrous clusters of tissue around any site of injury on your skin. These can be pitted scars, elevated scars, thick keloid scars, hypertrophic scars, contracture scars (causing tightness), and so on. Each scar is different, and the extent of scarring usually depends on several factors, including the wound’s location, size, depth, and skin characteristics. Also, scars can shrink automatically as you age, getting lighter and less noticeable. Hence, there is no specific time for scar revision surgery. According to experts, you should undergo surgery 2-3 months after the scar matures and the wound heals. (2)
Types Of Scar Revision Surgery
1. Scar Incision
It is the most straightforward way to revise a scar. In this method, the existing scar is cut out, and the skin is sewed back carefully to close the incision. This leaves behind a new wound that is less prominent than your previous scar.
The Z-plasty technique is used to reorient hypertrophic scars resulting from significant injuries. ‘Z’ or ‘V’-shaped incisions are strategically made through the scar tissue and adjacent healthy skin. This creates pointed, triangular flaps that are re-positioned to disrupt the scar pattern, resulting in a thinner and less visible scar. Additionally, Z-plasty alleviates tightness around contracture scars by aligning with the natural skin folds.
3. Punch Graft
In the punch grafting, a small instrument punches out the scar and the underlying skin core. The resulting hole is filled with a ‘graft’ or thin layer of unscarred skin sourced from another body part, typically from behind the ear lobe. The fresh skin piece is inserted and taped onto the injury site, effectively replacing the old, depressed scar with a smoother and less noticeable appearance. This method is commonly employed for relatively minor but deep scars.
Also Read – Acne Surgery – Keep Your Skin Breakout Free
4. Skin Flap
This is similar to punch grafting, with the difference being that it is done superficially. The scar is cut out from the upper layer of the skin and is covered with a ‘flap’ of fresh skin grafted from a healthy part of the body. This ‘flap’ indicates thick skin, including fat, nerves, blood vessels, and muscle. Skin Flap technique is used to revise a scar generated due to a large amount of skin loss, and it primarily addresses the concern of improving the function rather than the appearance of the skin.
All scar revisions surgeries are performed under anesthesia. It could be sedation, local anesthesia or general anesthesia based on the extent of the scar.
Once you are through with the surgery, you will have a dressing covering the incision(s). There can be light swelling, bruising, and irritation around it. Ensure you do not scratch or itch that operated area right after the surgery. All these effects should disappear within a couple of weeks of the treatment. After that, you would have to visit the doctor to get your dressing removed and the progress of healing checked. But do not expect instant results. The scarred area will take at least a few months to reconstruct and improve its appearance. However, you can resume normal physical activities a few weeks after the surgery.
An elastic or plastic dressing is used in keloid revision while a light dressing is used in other types of surgery. The stitches are removed after 3-4 days or 5-7 days for face and other parts of the body respectively.
Risks And Complications
Scar revision surgeries are simple cosmetic procedures that are mostly successful. But sometimes, if not performed correctly, they can lead to bleeding, blood clotting, and infections. Other risks involved in the surgery include breathing issues, scar recurrence, formation or recurrence of keloids, separation of wound, etc. So, make sure that you consult with a qualified and reputed surgeon while planning to get the surgery done.
Do not expose your revised scar to the sunlight frequently. It will change both the color and the texture of the wound, thereby preventing its appearance to be better.
Costs Of Surgery
As detailed earlier, the choice of surgery depends on the scar’s extent, leading to varied associated costs. The average expense for scar revision surgery typically falls between $1,900 and $2,100. When evaluating costs, it’s crucial to consider factors like the type of procedure, surgeon’s expertise, and geographic location. Consulting with a qualified surgeon ensures a tailored approach and a comprehensive understanding of potential expenses for your specific case.
Are you struggling with unsightly scars? Discover the transformative power of scar revision surgery to improve your skin tone permanently. This comprehensive guide covers different options, including scar incision, Z-plasty, punch graft, and skin flap techniques. Learn when to opt for surgery, recovery timelines, and potential risks. Explore the types of scars addressed and associated costs, empowering you to make informed decisions for a smoother, more confident you.