Scar revision aims to minimise the appearance of a scar so it is less obvious. Scar revisions may aim to change the colour, texture, shape, sensation or firmness of a scar.
Scars are the result of trauma to the skin by the way of surgical incision or lacerations form injury. Scars typically heal in a cosmetically acceptable manner after a period of maturation, this can take 12-18 months. Sometimes scars become unsightly or uncomfortable, this can be the result of a wound healing issue such as an infection or wound separation. Poor scars can develop despite the wound healing well initially and are thought to be due to the individuals genetic scar response, such as keloid scarring.
Scars can often be managed conservatively with scar management advice such as taping, pressure, massage or steroid injections. If these fail to correct the scar then surgery may need to be considered.
It is recommended that you have a referral from your family GP or Dermatologist as they need to be part of the management plan. Once the referral is received it will be triaged for urgency and then you will be contacted by the office staff to arrange an appointment. You will be offered an appointment to review the type of scar, the location and your general health. The majority of scar revisions are suitable for excision following injections of local anaesthesia. If a scar is unsuitable for local anaesthesia excision then arrangements will be made for admission to hospital for revision under general anaesthesia.
Following scar revision surgery you may experience some swelling and bruising. Discomfort is usually mild and readily controlled by elevating the operated site, minimal exertion and having pain relief medication available, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. You will be provided with post-operative instructions which include wound care advice, typically the day after surgery you will be able to shower and get the surgical site wet. A follow-up appointment will be provided to check the wound, remove sutures and provide scar management advice. Following every scar revision there will always be a permanent scar, however the goal is for the new scar to be more acceptable than the original. The new scar will mature with time and it is important to follow the advice provided. It is unusual to have a poorly cosmetic scar or have wound healing issues such as wound separation or infection.