WHY CONSIDER SCAR REVISION SURGERY?
A scar is permanent, however scars may be made less visible and more acceptable by surgically rearranging and/or relocating them, which also improves functional deficits, thus improving appearance, confidence and self-esteem.
AM I A SUITABLE CANDIDATE?
Patients in all age groups are suitable for surgery. Good general health including psychological stability and realistic expectations are prerequisites.
THE BENEFITS OF SURGERY
Facial scar revision re-orients and camouflages scars, making them less visible thus improving the aesthetic appearance of the face. Benefits also include improvement in function and other untoward effects.
LIMITATIONS OF SCAR REVISION
Every patient considering facial scar revision must understand that scars cannot be removed completely. Surgery only seeks to improve the existing scars.
During consultation the aesthetic and functional effects of scars are explored in detail, scarred area is examined, and a surgical plan is made. Photographs will be taken to aid this process. Additional procedures such as injection of Botox, laser treatment, and dermabrasion also discussed.
Skin type, colour, age, the type and depth of scar tissue and the original cause of the scar play an important role. Timing of scar revision is also critical and revision earlier than twelve to eighteen months is not usually recommended.
HOW SUCCESSFUL IS SCAR REVISION?
In most cases of unfavourable scarring, results of scar revision are satisfactory with the majority of patients expressing happiness with the results. Keloid scars tend to do less well as they tend to recur.
HOW IS THE PROCEDURE PERFORMED?
Surgery may be performed either under a general or local anaesthetic.
When a scar is of contracture type as in cases of burns scars, all the scar tissue is removed completely at surgery and the area is covered with local skin flaps containing healthy skin. Where a flap is not possible, a skin graft may be used. For other types of scars various strategies such as Z-plasty, W-plasty, dermabrasion, laser resurfacing are adopted as required.
Keloid or hypertropic scars are often treated first with injections of steroids and other agents to reduce their size. If this is not satisfactory, the scars can be removed surgically, and the incisions closed with fine stitches. This may be followed by steroid injections every six weeks to dampen the re-growth of the scar. Occasionally scars may be improved by the use of fillers.
POST OPERATIVE RECOVERY
Some discomfort after facial scar revision is expected, and adequate pain relief is given to keep you comfortable. Some swelling, bruising and redness are generally unavoidable. Dressings and were appropriate the stitches are usually removed after one week.
Complications are rare but include bleeding, infection and recurrence of scar tissue.
Please ask all questions you may have, and ascertain that your questions have been answered satisfactorily before you proceed to surgery.
Understand that this is lifestyle surgery and not an essential operation and should be considered a major intervention.
|Procedure time||1 - 3 Hours|
|General/Local anaesthetic||Local or General|
|No. of nights in hospital||Day Case|
|Time off work||2 Weeks|
|Sensitivity period||3 - 4 Weeks|
|Back to normaility / sports||3 - 4 Weeks|