When your body gets wounded, it heals naturally by forming a scar. Minor cuts and scrapes fade over time. Scars, on the other hand, form when the cut reaches the dermis, the middle layer of your skin.
A scar revision procedure can reduce scarring by blending the scar with the surrounding skin tone and texture. Because every scar is unique, every surgeon needs to develop a customized plan that takes into consideration the patient’s age, nutrition, health habits, and the like.
Why People Undergo Scar Revision Treatments
No matter how small a scar is, this kind of skin irregularity can affect a person’s appearance. Contractures, or scars like it, may also limit the movement of the skin, leading to potential functional problems in the future. Undergoing scar revision treatments can resolve the irregularity and discoloration while also improving one’s facial features.
It is also essential to know that not all patients undergo this treatment for the same reasons. Some patients want to take this treatment after experiencing physical or psychological trauma from an incident. This kind of trauma occurs regardless of the gap between the time when the physical injury was sustained and the consultation for surgery. Because of this, it is essential for patients to take time to recuperate and heal mentally before undergoing any scar revision treatment. Having a realistic expectation of one’s healing time is vital. Patients should also understand that possible adjunctive procedures may be required depending on the severity of the injury.
The Main Techniques for Scar Revision Surgery
When the excision reaches to the tissue below the epidermis or skin surface, a layered closure is performed. A layered closure is also used in areas of the skin that requires a lot of movement. It involves closure below the skin surface using non-removable sutures. After this, layers of closure builds up on the surface of the wound until the scar becomes fully covered.
Z-plasty is a transition flap that allows two adjacent triangular flaps to interchange over each other which also lets them lie in each other’s originating bed. A Z-Plasty procedure allows the two flaps to transpose from parts with excess skin into areas with deficiency. There are several reasons why Z-plasty is useful in scar revision surgery:
- The scar can be redirected to lie better in the direction of the relaxed skin tension lines.
- Reorienting the scar is made possible into a better location or position.
- Decreasing the visibility of the scar is done by breaking up its length.
- The scar length can be increased which reduces the scar contractile force and allowing improved conformation to contoured surfaces.
- The surface-revised scar can be oriented to the deeper and more established scar, preventing the final scar from being depressed.
Z-plasty is easy to adapt compared to other techniques of scar revision surgery. Scar revision surgeons understand that being well-versed with this technique is crucial for a successful operation.
W-plasty or zigzag plasty renders the lengthy linear scar irregular. It is also useful in closing the semicircular incisions, making the unbroken curvilinear scar more noticeable. Along with this, the scar is put under greater tension which prevents it from being pincushioned or depressed.
Even though the W-plasty can make all of these improvements, the zigzag configuration can usually be observed immediately. The technique also does not include rotation or transposition of adjacent flaps which is why the final scar is only increased rather than elongated in the final total length.
Non-Surgical Scar Revision Treatments
Laser Scar Revision
Scar revision surgeons have used laser therapy as their primary scar treatment. Correctly performing laser therapy lowers the prominence of the scar since the laser only damages the underlying dermis. Since the barrier of the skin is not penetrated, the likelihood of an infection is low.
Topical Creams & Ointments
A variety of creams and salves can be used for treating scars. A region of the scar can be improved through topical application of vitamin A Using vitamin A is also an effective resurfacing agent because the retinoic acid does not irritate nor elevate the scar.
Silicone gel is also an excellent treatment for different kinds of scars. This type of gel should be applied to the wound once the suture is removed and repeated for the following three months.
What Scar Revision Surgeons Should Have
The most important thing a scar revision surgeon should have is a board certificate and credible experience in reconstructive surgery to ensure that you have the proper knowledge and care in handling the procedures. Since this type of treatment requires a customized plan, a seasoned surgeon can come up with the best methods and recommendations for your case.
If you wish to have the most pleasing and natural-looking results, consult Dr. Jacob Sedgh so you can learn more about his scar revision treatment. As a double-board certified plastic surgeon and his years of experience, he makes sure that your plan is the best one suited for you.