Scars are often actually lengthened by scar revision, but may be narrowed or placed in a less noticeable location. Following surgery, the scar is less conspicuous, even if they are slightly longer.
Scars can be improved in many ways, I will advise you on which will suit you best. Depending on the type and extent of surgery, scar revision can be performed either under local anaesthesia, sedation or general anaesthesia.
Ways to improve the appearance of scars:
The scar may be removed completely and the new wound closed very carefully, aiming to produce an optimal new scar.
Hypertrophic Scar Removal
Very large injuries (such as burns) can cause loss of a large area of skin and may form hypertrophic scars. These types of scars can restrict movement of muscles, joints and cause contracture of tendons. Surgery may involve a series of small incisions on both sides of the scar, which create V-shaped skin flaps (Z-plasty). The result is a thin, less noticeable scar, because a Z-plasty may re-direct the scar so that it follows the natural skin folds more closely.
Keloid Scar Removal
Keloid scars are thick scars that continue to grow outside of the original area of surgery/injury. They can become large, are difficult to treat and often recur. Keloid scars are more common in Afro-Caribbean skin and in certain parts of the body – particularly the earlobes, breastbone and shoulders.
Surgery to remove a keloid scar and re-close the wound may be considered if there was a clear external predisposing factor, such as wound breakdown or infection. If none is identified, however, we have to presume you are genetically at high risk, in which case more surgery is not generally recommended. An exception may be to debulk the scar, making sure the cuts are left within the original keloid so that we do not make the situation any worse.
Silicone gel & Steroid injections
These may be recommended for a variety of abnormal scars, including keloid and hypertrophic scars. Usually treatment needs to be continued over several weeks or months.
Rarely surgery may be performed in conjunction with radiotherapy treatment for certain keloid scars. This is very effective but used rarely, because of the risk of the radiotherapy provoking a skin cancer.
Skin Grafts & Flaps
This involves taking a thin layer of skin from another part of the body and placing it over the injured area. Flap surgery involves moving skin, associated tissues and its accompanying blood supply, making it more demanding surgery than grafting but also better able to cover certain difficult wounds. These techniques are used when a large amount of skin has been lost in the original injury, when a thin scar will not heal or when improved function is more important than improved appearance.
This procedure can be used to replace scarred skin with fresh skin produced by stretching a neighbouring unscarred area. This is done by inserting a silicone balloon beneath the skin and gradually filling it with salt water. Once we have enough new skin the balloon is removed and the new skin used to replace the scarred region.
There are a variety of ways to treat poor scars. You should see a surgeon who is experienced in scar optimisation for a consultation.
Scars naturally shrink and become less noticeable as they age. You may be advised to wait to have surgery until the scar softens, which often takes a year.
General or Local Anaesthetic
Reasonably mobile: Usually immediately
Hospital stay: Variable (often none)
Washing: Keep dressings dry until wound check at one week
Surgery time: Variable (often none)
Driving: Next day (usually)
Time off work: Variable
Exercise: Some exercise not involving the body part may be ok immediately
I would like to express my thanks for the care and kindness you have shown me. It has made such a difference in what has been a difficult time. Many thanks
To Dr Urso-Baiarda and wonderful team.
Thank you for looking after me and making this journey for me. I am so happy with my results!
Thank you again for everything, not only the fantastic results (I’m beyond thrilled) but also the level of care you have shown.
I would love to see what can be achieved, and if the photo can help, that is great.
Take care of yourself, and happy changing people‘s lives, one surgery at the time. See you in a year.
Dear Fulvio and team,
Thank you so very much for performing my operation and all the care that I received post operation too.
You are an expert with in your field, I feel exceptionally lucky that you were my surgeon. My experience is nothing short of outstanding. You have an exceptional bedside manners are kind and a good sense of humour to boot.
Never underestimate the difference you make to your patients.