Often caused by accidents or surgery, development of scars, normally depend upon individual body’s ability to heal. With several variables affecting the severity of scarring, including depth & size of the wound, the amount of blood supply to the area, color & thickness of skin, & direction of the scar, how much end results in bother, is a personal matter of concern. Although scars cannot be permanently removed, plastic surgery can improve appearance by making it less obvious to notice with injections, or with the application of certain steroid medications or through scar revision surgical techniques. Therefore, in case you are considering scar revision, this article will help you understand basics, including types, procedures for treatment & results to expect. Since we cannot address all issues & a lot depends on individual circumstances, it would be imperative you ask plenty of questions with your surgeon before undergoing scar revision treatment.
Common Types of Scars
Most common type of scar is flat & pale scar, which may be red or dark, or raised after healing & may become paler & flatter over time. When skin at the edges of the wound, come neatly together, they usually heal as a thin, pale line. But wider wounds with more surface skin missing, display more scarred tissue to bridge the gap. Scars are usually painless but may itch for a few months in the beginning.
- Keloid Scars – These are thick, puckered itchy clusters of tissue which has grown beyond edges of incisions or wounds. Most often red or darker in color than surrounding skin, these generally occur when bodies continue to produce collagen, which is tough fibrous protein after the wound has healed. Keloid scars are normally found to occur more among dark skinned people. However, this tendency slackens with age.
- Hypertrophic Scars – Not to be confused with Keloids, Hypertrophic Scars also tend to be thick, red & raised. However, they do not spill out & remain within the boundaries of wounds or incisions. These are also found to improve on their own, over time within a year, or more.
- Contractures – Burns & other injuries often result in loss of large area of skin which may form a scar pulling the edges together. This process is called contraction & results in contracture affecting adjacent tendons & muscles often restricting normal movement. Contracture correction involves cutting scar tissue & replacing it with skin graft or flap. When contracture has existed for some time, physical therapy after surgery may be required so as to restore full function.
- Facial Scars – Frequently considered as a cosmetic problem, there are several ways through which facial scars can be made less noticeable. Quite often these are simply cut open & closed with tiny stitches so as to leave a thinner & less noticeable scar. Some facial scars can also be softened using dermabrasion, which is a controlled scraping technique of top layers of skin.
Surgical Scar Revisions Treatments
Scar revision surgery is basically meant to minimize scars by making them more consistent with surrounding texture & skin tone. Treatment options normally vary depending upon the degree & type of scarring.
- Z-plasty – This surgical technique is commonly used to reposition a scar so that it closely confirms with natural lines & creases of the skin, so as to appear less noticeable. Z-plasty can also relieve tension generally caused by contracture. Old scar is removed in this procedure by new incisions on both sides while creating small triangular flaps of skin. Flaps are rearranged to cover wound in a different angle in ‘Z’ pattern. Subsequently closed with fine stitches which are removed a few days later, Z-plasty is performed as outpatient procedure under local anesthesia. Z-plasty can make scars less obvious, but cannot make them disappear as some portion of the scar will always remain outside lines of relaxation.
- Skin Grafting & Flap Surgery – Skin grafts & flaps involve the transfer of skin from healthy areas of the body to cover injured areas. Both these procedures are serious types of scar surgery. Normally performed as inpatient procedures using general anesthesia, surgical sites may take several weeks or months to heal with support bandage or garment being necessary for up to a year. While most grafts are successful from patient’s own skin, there may also be a few complications at times.
Flap surgery is a complex procedure where skin along with blood vessels, underlying fat, & muscles at times are moved from a healthy part of the body to cover the injured site. In some flaps, one end of blood supply remains attached to donor site while in others blood vessels in flap are reattached to blood vessels at the new site with help of microvascular surgery. Nevertheless both, skin grafting & flap surgery greatly improve function & appearance of scarred areas.
Uncertainty & Risks Involving Scar Revision Surgery
Generally, scar revision surgery is quite safe, but the possibility of complications, always exist. These include bleeding, infection, reaction to anesthesia, or recurrence of unsightly scars. Most risks can be minimized by choice of qualified plastic surgeons 7 adhering to their advice, both pre & post surgery including after care.
Affordable Scar Revision Surgery in India
India is an excellent healthcare destination to undergo a variety of cosmetic surgery treatments, including scar revision. While delivering high quality treatments, scar revision surgery with IndianMedTrip is low in cost when compared to similar procedures available anywhere else in the world. IndianMedTrip is associated with the best specialized & multi-specialty hospitals in the country so as to give international patients the best value for the money they spend on this medical travel journey.