What is Scar Revision?
Scar Revision is a surgery that aims to minimize the appearance of scars so that it is less conspicuous and blends in with the surrounding skin. Scar revision is also done to correct skin disfigurement caused by injury, wound or previous surgery.
What causes scars?
The causes of scars include traumatic injury, infection, burn and surgery. Scars are a way for the body to repair a damaged skin and consist of collagen based tissues. Some scars are unattractive simply due to location, while others may affect facial expressions. Scars are permanent once formed, but surgically it is possible to alter scar lines and adjust the surrounding tissue to make the scar less visible. Many scars that appear large and unattractive at first may become less obvious with time.
What are the different types of scars?
Hypertrophic Scars - These are thick clusters of scar tissue that are formed directly at a wound site. They are often reddish in colour, and get thicker over time.
Keloid Scars - These are bigger than hypertonic scars and can be painful or itchy. Keloids are often lumpy. Keloids occur where the skin has healed after an injury or incision and often spread above and beyond the original injury spot.
Burn Scars - These are scars caused by second and third degree burns. The severity of a burn scar is dependent on the severity of the burn. First degree burns often heal without any scarring. Second and third degree burns often produce scars.
Normal Scars - Normal skin discoloration or surface irregularities
How is scar revision surgery done?
There are a variety of scar revision treatments including steroids, compression, surgical excision, fat grafting, or combined therapies which may be used depending on the nature of the scar.
Depending on the extent of surgery required scar revision can be done with local anesthesia, sedation or general anesthesia.
Surface treatment is the most commonly used option for cosmetic revision of scars. These treatment techniques involve either manual removal of top layers of skin or changing the nature of scar tissue. These techniques include:
Dermabrasion - mechanical polishing of skin
Laser or light therapy - changing the surface of the skin to allow new healthy skin to form at the scar site
Chemical peel solutions - penetrating the skin’s surface to soften irregularities in texture and color
Skin bleaching - applying medications topically to lighten the skin.
Hypertonic or Keloid scars are first treated with medicine injections to reduce their size. If this doesn’t product satisfactory results, the scars are removed surgically and the incisions are closed with stitches.
Scar revision often involves removing the scarred skin and thus closing the incision requires skin grafting i.e. taking a thin layer of skin from another part of the body and placing it over the incision area, If a large amount of skin has been lost in the original injury (like in a severe burn), skin flap surgery is done which requires moving the complete skin and underlying fat, nerves and tissues from a healthy part of the body to the injured area.
Recovery from Scar Revision Surgery
You may experience swelling, discoloration or discomfort in the first couple of weeks following a surgical scar revision. Overall healing will happen over several weeks and as the scar heals it will smoothen and fade away. You may also experience sensitivity in the areas of the skin where surgery is done.
Complete healing and recovery may take several months and sometimes upto a year. But once healed the results will be long lasting.
Frequently Asked Questions
At what age can scar revision be performed?
Scar revision can be performed at any age.
What are the risks involved with scar revision?
Risks revision risks include changes in skin color (hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation), infection or unsatisfactory results.
Which areas of the body can be treated with scar revision?
Scar revision treatments are safe and effective for most parts of the body including face, legs, hands, torso, abdomen and thighs.
Scar Revision Surgery in Hyderabad
At KIMS hospital Hyderabad, Dr. Sharath Chandra Reddy and his team of plastic surgeons have decades of combined experience in all kinds of plastic and cosmetic surgery. Please fill out the form below to book your appointment now with Dr. Sharath and discuss your scar revision requirements.