Scar tissue is a normal result of the healing process. They can be a result of trauma, prior surgery or injury. Scars are composed of fibrous tissue which is permanent in nature and cannot be removed totally however different types of scars can be improved by using a variety of techniques. The overall goal of improvement is to minimize the appearance of the scar either by disguising it, relocating it, or minimizing its prominence so it is less noticeable. You must realize that it is not ever possible to completely remove all traces of the scar since the body can only heal by forming a new scar. Certain procedures can be used to improve the appearance of scars which include steroid injections, silicone sheeting therapy, dermabrasion and laser treatments. When these techniques are not enough, surgical scar revision is required. The goal of scar revision is to render a scar less conspicuous.
Scar revision and dermabrasion procedures are done either in the office setting or in the outpatient surgery area. Healing generally takes several days and there usually is minimal restriction on activities. On occasion, a scar revision surgery is combined with dermabrasion in a staged fashion to achieve the best results possible. Dermabrasion is an excellent means of providing overall improvement in acne scarring. The scarring cannot be completely removed, but when combined with other minor procedures, dermabrasion can provide excellent smoothing of noticeable acne defects. The acne itself must be quiescent or inactive prior to dermabrasion.
Depending on the type of scar you have, early intervention may or may not be required to prevent a bad scar from forming. Certain scars may improve with time and should be allowed to mature and completely heal prior to initiating surgical treatment. Treatment is usually not instituted until at least six months following an acute injury and in some cases, it is recommended to wait a year or more. Dr Imani will outline all the available options and customise a treatment plan that is best suited for you.
Types of Scars
Hypertrophic scars and keloids may occur anywhere on the body, but they’re most problematic over the breastbone, on the earlobes and on the shoulders.
Types of Treatments
A. NON SURGICAL TREATMENTS FOR SCARS
Collagen or other Fillers - Often used to treat depressed scars. Fillers have the advantage of blending into the skin, but are not permanent and usually require periodic augmentation.
Steriod Injection - Some scars, particularly the hypertrophic and keloid scars are improved by injection of steroid medication. This medication does not narrow the scar but rather flattens and softens it.
Pressure Therapy - Pressure therapy involves a type of pressure appliance worn over the area of the scar. These may be worn day and night for up to four to six months.
Silicone Gel - When applied to scars, silicone gel sheeting or silicone gel, will soften and help to fade the scar.
B. SURGICAL SCAR REVISION
Scar revision is a procedure designed to reduce the appearance of unsightly scars. The success will depend on certain factors such as the scar’s size, shape, location, patient’s age, skin type and color, and general medical condition. Dr Imani uses the latest techniques to improve scars which include Z-plasty, W-plasty and geometric broken line closures.
Types Of Scar Revisions:
No matter what approach is taken, keloids and to a lesser extent, hypertrophic scars have a stubborn tendency to recur, (depending on the area) sometimes even larger than before. To discourage this, combined treatments such as steroid injections, topical steroids and sometimes radiation therapy are required. As you heal, keep in mind that no scar can be removed completely. The degree of improvement depends on the size and direction of the scar, the nature and quality of your skin, and how well you care for the wound after surgery.
Anaesthesia: Local or general anaesthesia
In/Outpatient: either in or outpatient, depending on the extent of the surgery
Length of Surgery: 30 min - 3 hours
Pain Score: minimal
Dressing: one week of dressing, followed by wound care after dressing removal
Recovery and getting back to work: 3-14days off work (bandage reasons, peeling and redness only), full recovery in six weeks.
Duration of Results: Long-term
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified surgeon.