Scar Revision

What is Scar Revision?
If a scar anywhere on the body is deemed disfiguring or excessive, a scar revision is an opportunity to revise the scar and surrounding tissues in an attempt to improve the appearance. It is never possible to remove a scar but often possible to improve the appearance of the scar. My approach to scar revision is that I have to believe I can improve the appearance at least 50% to make it a reasonable intervention. Many patients are not aware that a scar revision does not make the scar go away…this is a very important point in discussing whether or not it should be considered.

How long will surgery be?

This depends on the location of the scar and the surgical plan to revise the scar and surrounding tissues.

What kind of anesthesia will I have?

This depends on the location of the scar on the body and the surgical plan to revise. Many facial scars can be revised in the office under local anesthesia. Abdominal scars and scars on the arms or legs are generally approached in the operating room under general anesthesia.

What is recovery like?

Recovery depends on the complexity of the scar and the degree of tissue rearrangement to revise. Facial incisions are generally closed with removable sutures in the skin for best final approximation of the tissue and best final scar; these sutures are removed at 5 days. Many abdominal and extremity scars are closed with dissolving sutures in the skin.

What are the risks of a Procedure?

Failure to heal and widening of the final scar.

How do I prepare for surgery?

For local anesthesia procedures to be performed in the office, an appointment is scheduled after initial consultation to discuss the plan. If the scar is to be revised in the operating room, a preoperative appointment is scheduled approximately 2 weeks prior to surgery. At this time, all consents and recommendations, instructions for before and after surgery are reviewed. A long list of medications to avoid is reviewed and prescriptions are given for postoperative management.  The day before surgery, all patients are called to review final questions, confirm nothing has occurred since the patient was seen at preop that might require rescheduling of the procedure and to finalize arrival time at the facility. All patients are given ample information at the preoperative appointment regarding a time line of what to expect in the recovery process and when.