The Surgical Removal of Scars
By Sheryl Pilcher on February 28, 2013
For our patients in San Antonio, scar revision surgery may be performed to improve the appearance of scars. Scar revision surgery may also be used to improve a patient’s ability to function as well as to correct skin changes caused by a previous surgery, injury, or wound. Through scar revision surgery, patients affected by contraction, for example, may be able to significantly improve their ability to function. Fortunately, many scars will improve and become less noticeable with time. Many times, scars can be improved by utilizing more conservative methods than surgery, such as topical medications. When a scar is not healing properly or responding well to topical medications, scar revision surgery may be recommended.
Scar Revision Surgery
The decision to have scar revision surgery is very personal. Because many scars will become lighter in color and shrink in size as time passes, it can be difficult to determine the best time to undergo scar revision surgery. It is typically recommended that a patient wait one year before undergoing scar revision to allow the scar time to heal. With certain types of scarring, it is best to undergo scar revision surgery 60 to 90 days after the scar has matured. The only way to determine the proper time to undergo scar revision surgery and which surgical technique is best suited to your unique needs and type of scarring is to consult a qualified plastic surgeon. During your consultation with San Antonio plastic surgeon Sheryl Pilcher, she will discuss the various scar revision surgery methods suitable for your specific scarring as well as the benefits and risks of undergoing such a procedure.
Types of Scars: Contractures
Burns and other injuries can cause the loss of a large area of skin. The type of scarring that results from this type of injury can cause contracture. Contracture can affect the muscles and tendons, and greatly restrict normal movement.
Types of Scars: Facial Scars
Facial scars can be aesthetically displeasing, affect facial movement, and diminish facial function. Many patients are self-conscious about their facial scars. Sadly, facial scarring can significantly and negatively affect a person’s self-confidence and self-esteem. By improving the appearance of facial scars through scar revision surgery, we can help restore a patient’s self-confidence in his or her overall appearance.
Scar Revision Surgery: Z-plasty
One surgical technique used at our San Antonio facial plastic surgery center to reduce the appearance of scars is Z-plasty. The Z-plasty technique is used to reposition a scar so that it becomes less noticeable. In Z-plasty, a scar is repositioned so that it closely conforms to the natural creases and lines of the skin. During the Z-plasty procedure, the scar is removed and incisions are then made on each side. This creates small triangular flaps of skin. The triangular flaps of skin are rearranged to cover the wound at a different angle; thereby creating a “z” pattern. This scar revision surgical technique can lengthen a scar by 50 to 70 percent.
Z-plasty may be used to:
- Lengthen a contracted scar
- Change the direction of a scar so that it is better aligned with relaxed skin tension lines
- Break or interrupt a scar for better camouflage
Contact Our Plastic Surgery Practice
To learn more about scar revision surgery, or to schedule a personal consultation, please contact Accent Plastic Surgery, P.A., today.
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“If you need breast augmentation or any cosmetic surgery, I would highly recommend Dr. Pilcher....This has been the best decision I have made.” Quintessa M.