Plastic and reconstructive surgeons perform scar revision to improve or reduce the appearance of scars. Surgery or traumatic injuries will always cause some scarring. Advanced therapies from a specialist can make scars on almost any part of your body less obvious.
At Faith Regional Physician Services in Norfolk, Nebraska, we offer surgical and non-surgical scar revision procedures. You can schedule a free consultation with a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon for personalized care recommendations.
Types of Scarring
Scars develop on your skin after surgery, trauma, or injuries, including skin conditions such as acne. Your scars may be raised or depressed with varied colors and textures. Wounds that are difficult or slow to heal often create a more disfiguring scar.
Any scar – especially if it’s on your face, arms, or other prominent locations – can change your appearance and affect your self-image. Treatment depends on the scar’s type, severity, and location.
Types of scars include:
- Scars with discolored or irregular surfaces– These include acne or scars from a minor injury or surgical incisions.
- Hypertrophic scars – These thick, clustered scars develop over a wound. Skin is typically red and raised. Scars may be uncomfortable and grow wider. Color ranges from hypopigmented (lighter) to hyperpigmented (darker).
- Keloids – These are larger, often painful scars that may itch or pucker. Keloids grow beyond the wound’s borders. They’re common in fatty areas of your skin.
- Contractures – These scars form when the skin and underlying tissues pull together during healing. They’re more common after losing significant tissue to burns or other trauma. Contractures sometimes form on a wound that crosses a joint making it difficult to move affected areas.
Scar Treatment Options
At Faith Regional, we offer surgical and non-surgical scar revision. Your surgeon will develop a care plan based on the type and nature of the scarring. The doctor may combine therapies such as nonsurgical skin rejuvenation.
Scar treatments can improve or reduce but not completely erase scars. Some treatments, such as soft tissue fillers, require additional touch-ups to maintain your improved look.
Treatment choices include:
- Topical treatments – These include gels, bleaching or skin-lightening creams, compression bandages, and other therapies. Compression bandages hold the skin firmly, which can improve scars and healing. Your doctor may use steroidal-based compounds. They reduce collagen formation to improve the look, size, and texture of scars.
- Injectable therapies – Soft tissue fillers or dermal fillers and other injectables fill in or treat scarred tissues.
- Mechanical treatments – Certain medical devices and methods such as dermabrasion help to even out and resurface your skin.
- Minimally invasive surgery – Less invasive procedures involve the use of sophisticated camera-guided tools and technologies. Surgeons operate through tiny incisions for minimal discomfort and faster recovery.
- Scar revision surgery – Surgery can help remove or improve deep or complex scars. For severe scarring, your surgeon may discuss fat grafts, flap procedures, tissue transfer, skin recontouring, and advanced wound-closure techniques.
- Laser or light therapy – These treatments change skin surfaces so new, healthier skin can form.
- Chemical peels – These therapies penetrate your skin’s surface to smooth or even out irregular textures and color.
Risks of Scar Revision Procedures
You’ll learn more from your doctor about the benefits and risks of specific procedures. Every surgery has risks, such as bleeding, infection, poor wound healing, and reaction to anesthesia. Risks vary by procedure, condition, health, and lifestyle. The doctor will discuss these and other potential complications:
- Blood clots
- Bruising and blood collection (hematoma)
- Death of fatty tissues deep in the skin (fat necrosis)
- Fluid accumulation
- Loose or discolored skin
- Poor wound healing
- Results not as expected
- Skin loss
- Skin sensation changes (numbness or pain)
Preparing for Scar Revision Surgery
Your doctor will tell you about what to expect before and after surgery. Preparation typically includes:
- Lab tests and medical evaluation
- Review and adjustment of any medications you take
- Instruction to stop smoking ahead of your surgery date
- Information about medications and supplements to avoid
- Details about your procedure, including the type of anesthesia
- Information about your recovery and follow-up care
Steps of Scar Revision Surgery
Your surgeon will inform you about procedure details. Scar revision surgery may involve these or other steps:
- Your doctor may prescribe certain medications for you to take before surgery.
- You may receive local anesthesia to numb the area. For other treatments, you may have IV sedation or general anesthesia.
- Scar revision varies based on condition and other factors. In some instances, you can see significant improvement with one treatment. For other scarring, your surgeon may combine methods or schedule multiple procedures.
- The surgeon may make an incision to remove deep, older scars.
- The doctor may apply topical gels, tapes, compression bandages, or other treatments to help close and heal wounds.
- For certain conditions, the surgeon uses advanced tissue-removal and layered closure techniques. Surgeons sometimes use pharmaceutical tissue substitutes when there isn’t enough tissue to close an incision over large areas. Your surgeon will discuss these or other procedures during pre-surgery visits.
- Once incisions are closed the surgeon adds protective gauze or bandages.
After Scar Revision
Your surgeon will talk with you about recovery, times, and follow-up care.
- You’ll have some swelling, color irregularities, and discomfort. This should go away in a week or two. The area continues to heal for several weeks. The new scar slowly fades.
- If you have procedures such as dermabrasion, laser resurfacing or chemical peels, these can also cause swelling and discoloration. You’ll have some sensitivity and discomfort in treated areas.
- Once scars heal, you should see long-lasting results, but it can take several months before the final results are visible. Results vary. For certain conditions, it can take a year for the new scar to fully fade. Your doctor may discuss whether additional surgery and treatments can help.
For safe and successful results, it’s important to follow all of your surgeon’s instructions. Report any unusual symptoms right away. You’ll have 24/7 contact information.
Your Plastic Surgery Team
For any procedure, specialization matters. At Faith Regional, you’ll benefit from the expertise that comes from years of experience, education, and advanced training in plastic surgery. You’ll enjoy the benefit of healthcare providers with a genuine dedication to serving our region.
At Faith Regional, your plastic and reconstructive surgeon, a specialized nurse, and other healthcare professionals such as an advanced care practitioner may be involved in your care.
Schedule a Consultation
You can reach us at 402-844-8167 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.