Scar Revision Surgery

Scar revision surgery will attempt to minimize a scar so that it is less conspicuous and blends in with the surrounding skin tone and texture.

Scars are visible signs that remain after a wound has healed. They are the unavoidable results of injury or surgery, and their development can be unpredictable. Poor healing may contribute to obvious, unsightly, or disfiguring scars. However, even a wound that heals well can result in a scar that affects your appearance. Scars may be noticeable due to their size, shape, or location; they can also be raised or depressed and may differ in color or texture from the surrounding healthy tissue.

Your treatment may vary based on the type and degree of scarring and can include:

  • Surgical revision with advanced techniques in wound closure.
  • Although scar revision can provide a more pleasing cosmetic result or improve a scar that has healed poorly, a spot cannot be erased.

What is a scar?

Scar revision is plastic surgery performed to improve the condition or appearance of a scar anywhere on your body. The different types of scars include:

  • Discoloration or surface irregularities and other more subtle scars can be cosmetically improved by surgery or other treatments recommended by your plastic surgeon. These types of scars do not impair function or cause physical discomfort and include acne scars as well as scars resulting from minor injury and prior surgical incisions.
  • Hypertrophic scars are thick clusters of scar tissue that develop directly at a wound site. They are often raised, red, and uncomfortable and may become more comprehensive over time. They can be hyperpigmented (darker in color) or hypopigmented (lighter in color).
  • Keloids are more extensive than hypertrophic scars. They can be painful or itchy and may also pucker. They extend beyond the edges of an original wound or incision. Keloids can occur anywhere on your body, but they develop more commonly where there is little underlying fatty tissue, such as on the face, neck, ears, chest, or shoulders.
  • Contractures are scars restricting movement due to skin and underlying tissue pulling together during healing. They can occur when there is a large amount of tissue loss, such as after a burn. Contractures also can form where a wound crosses a joint, restricting movement of the fingers, elbows, knees, or neck.

Your scar type will determine the appropriate techniques your plastic surgeon will use to improve your scar.

Who is a good candidate for scar revision?

Scar revision is a highly individualized procedure. It would help if you did it for yourself, not fulfill someone else’s desires or try to fit an ideal image.

Is a good option for you if:

  • You are bothered by a scar anywhere on your body.
  • You are physically healthy.
  • You have a positive outlook and realistic goals for your scar revision surgery.

What should I expect during my scar revision recovery?

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.

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. Sometimes, it may take a year for the new scar to heal and fade fully. The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. Although good results are expected, there are no guarantees. In some situations, achieving optimal results with a single surgical procedure may not be possible, and another surgery may be necessary.