Scar Revision San Diego
Improvement in the appearance of a scar may be achieved with plastic surgery. Dr. Gregory Park offers his experience in making your scars less obvious through the injection or application of certain steroid medications or through surgical procedures known as scar revisions.
Improving Your Scars In Carlsbad & San Diego
Scars are an unavoidable product of trauma or surgery. How your skin heals after surgical or traumatic injury may depend on the circumstances of the injury, your genetics, the quality of the closure at the time of injury, and care after closure of your wounds. A resulting scar may be a source of embarrassment or a constant reminder of a trauma or surgery that one would like to forget, or at least be reminded less of.
The treatment for scars can range from the simple use of scar gels and massage to complex surgical scar revision surgery.
What is a Scar?
The different types of scars include:
Discoloration, 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.
Keloids are larger than hypertropic 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 that restrict movement due to skin and underlying tissue that pull 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.
Hypertropic scars are thick clusters of scar tissue that develop directly at a wound site. They are often raised, red and/or uncomfortable, and they may become wider over time. They can be hyperpigmented (darker in color) or hypopigmented (lighter in color).
Stretched ear lobe repair – 1 month post operative result
The goal of your consultation with Dr. Park is to determine your desired outcome and goals with surgery, gather information, and feel confident and assured when you schedule your surgery with us. During your initial appointment Dr. Park will examine your scars to determine the treatment or surgery that would be right for you.
The success of your scar revision procedure depends very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. Be ready to discuss your history of previous surgery or traumas, reasons for surgery, and goals and expectations.
Your Non-Surgical and Surgical Options
The degree of improvement that can be achieved with scar revision will depend on the severity of your scarring, and the type, size and location of the scar. In some cases, a single technique may provide significant improvement. However, Dr. Park may recommend a combination of scar revision techniques to achieve the best results.
Topical treatments, such as gels, tapes or external compression, can help in wound closure and healing, or to reduce the ability of skin to produce irregular pigment. These products may be used to treat existing surface scars and discoloration, and to aid in healing of scar revision procedures.
Injectable treatments are often used to fill depressed or concave scars. Depending on the injectable substance used and your particular scar conditions, results may last from three months to several years. Therapy must be repeated to maintain results. One form of injection therapy uses steroidal-based compounds to reduce collagen formation and can alter the appearance, size and texture of raised scar tissue.
Surface treatments are most often used for cosmetic improvement of scars. These methods can soften surface irregularities and reduce uneven pigmentation. Surface treatments are a controlled means of either mechanically removing the top layers of skin or changing the nature of tissue. These treatment options include:
- Dermabrasion is a mechanical polishing of the skin.
- Laser or light therapy causes changes to the surface of the skin that allow new, healthy skin to form at the scar site.
- Chemical peel solutions penetrate the skin’s surface to soften irregularities in texture and color.
- Skin bleaching agents are medications applied topically to lighten the skin.
In many cases scars require excision of the old scar and closure of the resulting would. Closure generally requires a simple or layered closure of the wounds. In some cases absorbable sutures are used so removal of stitches is not required. In other cases non-absorbable sutures are used which do require removal a weeks or so after your surgery.
Advanced techniques in scar revision include complex flap closure to reposition a scar so that it is less conspicuous, or improve flexibility where contracture has restricted mobility.
Pharmaceutical tissue substitutes may be used if ample healthy tissue is not present for closure of a scar excision. This is more likely with revision of severe burn scars.
Tissue expansion can be a substitute for skin grafts. In this procedure, an inflatable balloon called a tissue expander is placed under the skin near the scar site. Over time, the balloon is slowly filled with sterile solution to expand the area of healthy skin. Once the skin has been stretched sufficiently, the expander and the scar is removed and the stretched skin is moved to replace the scar tissue. This process can involve multiple surgical stages or procedures in order to achieve the final results.
After Your Surgery
The first phases of healing after a surgical scar revision may include localized swelling, bruising, discoloration or discomfort for 1 to 2 weeks. Healing will continue for several weeks and as the new scar heals it will slowly improve and fade.
Your New Look
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 is no guarantee, in some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.
The Next Step
To find out if you are a good candidate for scar revision surgery, call us at (760) 655-1414 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Gregory Park. We look forward to helping you in achieving your goals.