Different types of scarring require different treatments and respond differently to surgical intervention. The appearance of some scars can be addressed with non-surgical options, such as laser skin resurfacing. Give Front Range Plastic Surgery a call to learn more about your options.
The best candidates for scar revision plastic surgery:
- Follow their doctor’s scar-care instructions and are fully recovered from the surgery or injury that caused their scar.
- Are informed about options for reducing the appearance of scars, including surgical and non-surgical alternatives.
- Have realistic expectations about results and have had an honest conversation with their doctor about what to expect.
- Are generally in good health with no serious pre-existing conditions.
Here are some things to take into consideration if you have a keloid scar that needs surgery, or a surgical or burn scar that is impeding your mobility.
The location of your scar
Facial scar revision is often done for aesthetic reasons, so it is particularly important to be clear about options and expectations. Be sure to give yourself time to heal before seeking a surgical option. After six months, there is still much room for natural healing and improvement of appearance.
The timing of your facial scar surgery and the technique used by your plastic surgeon will depend on the location, appearance, and cause of the scar. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. Make sure you understand why your doctor is recommending a particular technique and the pros and cons of each potential approach.
The type of scar you have
Keloid scars are raised, often bumpy, scars resulting most often from an incision or wound. They can be treated non-surgically with steroid injections. But when those efforts fall short, your plastic surgeon can explain your surgical options. Typically, keloid scar treatment is an outpatient procedure.
Be sure to discuss the possibility of recurrence. Keloid scars can have a tendency to reappear and can sometimes be more visible after treatment.
The impact on your quality of life
Contracture scars caused by injuries, including burns, often tighten areas of the skin and significantly restrict mobility. Over time, muscles and tendons may be affected. From the inability to bend or straighten fingers, to difficulty walking or standing upright, people with contracture scars often suffer serious, life-altering consequences.
Surgical revision of contracture scars can be complicated. Be sure you are working with an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon who can explain all of the benefits and risks. Plastic surgery for contracture scars is usually done under general anesthetic and may require a hospital stay.
Another consideration with regard to contracture scar revision is that, because muscle tissue and other structural elements may be impacted, physical therapy is often required to regain maximum mobility. The pain and difficulty involved with recovery will be different for every patient. You have to be willing to put in the work required for maximum benefit.
Risks of plastic surgery
Surgery always carries risk. The most common types of scar revision surgeries have significantly different risks, recovery times, and potential consequences. As a board-certified and experienced plastic surgeon, Dr Schutte at Front Range Plastic Surgery is here to help you understand the pros, cons, and risks of each type of scar revision plastic surgery, including z-plasty, skin grafting, flap surgery .
Follow up care is always critical to the success of your procedure. You must be committed to care and maintenance of your surgical site and to following your doctor’s instructions. Prior to surgery, make sure you understand what will be required and that you are able and willing to take the required actions to ensure the best possible results.