Unsightly scars can create a poor self-image for patients. They can form due to many reasons, mainly from either a previous surgery incision site or an open injury. Too much tension with closure, a complication from procedure, breakdown of the wound (dehiscence), infection, or blood collection are some causes. Sometimes patients experienced traumatic injury in the past and did not heal well. Genetics plays a role in hypertrophic and keloid scarring where there is a thick overgrowth of tissue. All these factors can create an ugly scar, which may look widened, uneven, depressed, asymmetric, and/or thick. Regardless of the cause or characteristics, scar revision surgery will excise the old unattractive scar to create a new fine discrete scar. It is important to note that this procedure will not eliminate the scar, but replace it with an improved appearing scar. Sometimes this scar can be moved a few centimeters one way or another to better hide in clothing or in a natural dark shadow. Patients comment on the much-improved fine-line discrete scar that is better hidden and hardly noticeable.
The ultimate treatment for unattractive scars is excision and closure of the surrounding tissues. Since tension has dispersed over time and the new incision is not associated with another big surgery, the theory is that all risk factors are eliminated to give you the best chance for the wound to heal in a fine line. If you have a hypertrophic or keloid scar, the care is to treat the inflammation with steroid injections until it has softened. Afterwards, it can be excised for an improved appearing scar. During your consultation, Dr. Tsai will present you with all the possible options in detail and work with you to individualize treatment according to your specific goals and expectations to provide you with the best possible result.
Procedure and Recovery
The procedure takes less than an hour to perform and can be done awake with a local anesthetic, or under general anesthesia (fully asleep) in the adjacent surgicenter depending on your preference. Patients return home the same day as the procedure so transportation will need to be arranged. Your first checkup will be the following day in the clinic. Bandages are removed several days after the procedure and normal daily activities can be resumed within a few days. Pain is tolerated with prescribed oral pain medication. Exercise is resumed approximately 6-8 weeks after surgery.
For more information, photos, and videos, please refer to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website for Scar Revision.