Scars are created from a trauma to the skin such as a cut or abrasion. A scar can be made intentionally through surgery for example or other medical treatment or unintentionally through an injury. Scars form on the skin as a natural part of the skins healing process. Scars fade over time however they are never completely removed. Scar revision surgery assists minimising the appearance of a scar, however the scar is never completely erased.
Scar revision surgery is most beneficial to patients’ who are self-conscious regarding the appearance of a scar, if the scar is causing pain or discomfort or if the scar is restricting movement.
There are several scar revision surgical treatments;
Excision, where the surgeon surgically cuts out the scar tissue and uses stitches or similar to close the wound, creating a finer scar, in an inconspicuous location.
Skin graft or flap surgery, this surgery is generally used for a large area that restricts the patients’ ability to move properly. A skin graft requires the transfer of healthy skin from a donor site elsewhere on the body of the patient to the scar area. Flap surgery is a similar process to a skin graft however the fat and tissue is also removed from the donor skin area and placed into the treatment or scar area.
Z- plasty – this technique is generally used if the scar falls in a crease or is restrictive in somewhat. The Z-plasty technique lengthens the scar tissue assisting with camouflage and movement.
W-plasty – simply aims to camouflage the scar by separating it into triangles, reducing the dominant appearance of the original scar.
The surgical procedures implemented are purposeful and deliberate therefore the scaring is often finer, inconspicuous and will fade more effectively. Non-surgical treatments can also be employed to assist treating the prominence of scaring.
The recovery time for scar revision treatment depends on the location and depth of the scar and the procedure used to correct it.