What is Scar Revision?
As there is no method of eliminating a scar completely, surgery to address a conspicuous or painful scar is known as a revision procedure. The goal of the treatment varies based on the type of scar and your desired outcome. Scar revisions can be performed to:
- Restore natural movement of joints when contracture occurs
- Reduce redness
- Minimize hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation
- Remove scar tissue
How Long Does Scar Revision Surgery Take?
The size, location, and complexity of your scar affects the length of the procedure. In most cases, a scar revision procedure can be completed within one to two hours. However, if a scar is large, in an area that is challenging to address, or requires extensive revision and tissue repositioning, the surgery may take longer.
How Long is Recovery from Scar Revision Surgery?
It can take one to two weeks for tenderness, redness, and swelling to subside. Dr. Hyman will provide personalized instructions for how to care for the treatment site. These instructions will help mitigate discomfort and promote healing.
How Long Until I See Results from a Scar Revision Surgery?
Over the following weeks, the site will continue to heal. The scar will gradually fade over the next several months. You can expect your final results within about one year of the procedure
How to make surgical scars less visible
Most of us are so focused on getting in and out of the operating room we don’t think ahead about incision care. Healing those cuts becomes a big issue the minute we leave the operating room.
The first step is to make sure you have clear instructions before going home. When should you remove dressings? What about stitches? What should you use when washing? What should you avoid? Should you use bandages, Steri-strips, Neosporin, expose the wound to air, or what?
Don’t Google, guess or ask a friend because the answers are highly individualized.
Every surgeon has their own regimen for patients to follow during the first few weeks after surgery. You will get detailed instructions as to how to care for your incisions, After a few weeks, when the incision has healed, you can begin long-term care to minimize the scarring.
following to help you minimize scarring after incisions have healed shut:
- Smooth a silicone-based cream over the incisions(s). Silicone is the best ingredient science has shown yet to treat scars.
- Stay out of the sun. Fresh scars that are exposed to the sun will stay red longer.
- Always use sun block.
- Wear wide-brimmed hats for scars on the face.
- Vitamin E and steroids have been shown to minimize scars.
- Avoid excessive pulling and tension, which causes scars to widen and stretch.
The four phases of wound healing
Our bodies have an enormous capacity to heal themselves thanks to our immune system. When an injury occurs – or in this case, a cosmetic surgery procedure – the immune system is designed to launch an intricate reaction on the cellular level in order to restore tissue integrity as quickly as possible. This built-in response to wound repair occurs in four distinct phases.
When surgical incisions cause injury to the tissues and blood vessels, the vessels have the ability to constrict themselves, reducing blood flow. This is referred to as hemostasis, which simply means “the stopping of blood flow.”
After hemostasis occurs, a series of cellular reactions begin, signaling the body to introduce inflammatory cells to the injured area. The area may then become warm, red, or swollen as the inflammation initiates blood clotting and the first steps of healing. This form of inflammation is beneficial. Powerful immune cells quickly infiltrate the wound, and will continue migrating to that area over the next 48 hours. From this position, they are able to fight against any pathogens that try to enter the wound, consuming or destroying them with their own toxic substances. This helps to sterilize the wound.
For the first 48–72 hours after the injury occurs, an entire range of immune cells move into the wound where they begin to build a new network of tissue and remodel the collagen. The inflammatory stage will last as long as the body needs in order to heal. If you experience any prolonged inflammation, you should let us know immediately, as this could indicate an infection or another problem.
Generally, the signs of any serious disease-causing bacteria or viruses will disappear within 3-10 days. At this point, the inflammatory response declines, and the body will reach the proliferation stage, which is where most of the tissue repair occurs. Through the intricate process of cellular action, the body will begin to repair any damaged blood vessels. Cells will then start to lay down new structural proteins and remodel tissue by producing collagen and the other fibers that form the structures of the tissue.
Tissue remodeling and maturation
After a week or so, wounds will begin to contract. The cells pull together more tightly in order to reduce the area that needs healing and to allow the formation of scar tissue. This is the most important phase when it comes to the visual appearance of scars. Any disruption during this stage could lead to a contracture or a scar that is not cosmetically appealing.
As the wound goes through the healing process, scars will usually appear a light red or pink at first, then begin to fade over time. The entire tissue remodeling stage can take up to two years to complete, but generally speaking, the tissue is recovered enough after a few weeks that normal daily activity can be resumed.
How to minimize scarring after plastic surgery
While there will always be some genetic component to the way you heal, there are a couple of therapies that have been shown to successfully minimize scarring after plastic surgery.
During the second phase of wound healing, the new scar tissue is immature. With adequate massage therapy, you can sometimes prevent this scar tissue from becoming permanent. Frequent, vigorous massage of the area can improve its appearance over time.
This option has been clinically studied extensively. A sheet that is lined on one side with silicone gel is placed directly over the scar, relieving redness, pain, and itching while improving the overall appearance of the scar.”
The position or alignment of the scar on the body can play a large part in its appearance, and some scars may require methods such as steroid injections to improve their quality. However, elective cosmetic surgery comes with the benefit of preoperative planning, allowing our surgeons to place scars in the most inconspicuous positions. These types of wounds often heal more favorably thanks to the ideal conditions under which they occur, and because you will know the exact location of the incision prior to your surgery, you’ll be able to plan ahead for any recovery outcome.
Progress and healing
The initial healing phase of a surgical scar revision may include localized swelling, discoloration or discomfort and may take 1 to 2 weeks. Healing will continue for several weeks and as the new scar heals it will slowly refine and fade. With dermabrasion, chemical peel or laser resurfacing, you will experience similar conditions at the treated area, in addition to overall sensitivity.
The results will be long-lasting
The final results of your scar revision surgery will be long-lasting, however it may take several months for your final results to become apparent and in some cases it may take a year for the new scar to fully heal and fade.
The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. Although good results are expected, there are no guarantees; and in some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.