Reducing the Appearance of Scars after Plastic Surgery
Body contouring procedures, including tummy tuck and liposuction, help people achieve a slim, toned figure, which isn't always possible with diet and exercise alone.
One concern many patients have when considering body contouring treatments is the visibility of scars after surgery. At The Landings Surgical Centre, Drs. Richard Bendor-Samuel and Luis Boileau understand the importance of minimizing scars. Here, we provide tips on reducing the appearance of scars after plastic surgery. We welcome you to contact our Halifax, NS practice to learn more.
Why Do Scars Form after Plastic Surgery?
Scars are a natural response to the body's healing process, occurring as the tissues repair themselves. Scars form when the deep layer, or dermis, of the skin is damaged. New collagen fibers form to repair the dermis, creating a scar.
Because plastic surgery procedures require incisions within the dermis, all plastic surgery procedures will result in some scarring. However, great care is taken to minimize the visibility of scars by hiding incisions within natural creases or in areas where they will be less visible.
What Can Be Done to Reduce the Appearance of Scars?
There are a variety of treatment options to reduce the appearance of scars after plastic surgery. The right treatment will depend on the severity and age of the scar. Let's take a closer look at some options for reducing the appearance of scars after plastic surgery.
Proper Wound Care
One helpful way to reduce the appearance of scars after plastic surgery is to practice proper wound care during recovery. Proper wound care, including keeping incisions clean, changing bandages as directed, and wearing sunscreen after the wound has healed, can encourage proper healing and help minimize the appearance of scars after surgery.
Although not always effective, some people have had success using topical treatments to reduce the appearance of their scars. Generally minor scars respond best to topical treatments such as cocoa butter and vitamin E.
Steroid injections may help flatten raised scars, creating a smoother appearance. A series of steroid injections may be needed to provide the desired results.
Dermabrasion and Microdermabrasion
Dermabrasion is a treatment that uses a special tool to remove the rough surfaces of the skin. This helps smooth the skin and encourage new tissue growth. Dermabrasion is best suited for facial scarring.
For those with minor scarring, microdermabrasion may be sufficient to smooth and blend scarred tissue with the surrounding skin. Microdermabrasion is less invasive and gentler than dermabrasion.
Laser resurfacing is another option to remove the superficial layers of the skin, similar to dermabrasion. Lasers may also be used to penetrate the skin and stimulate collagen production without removing the upper layers of the skin.
Microneedling is a procedure in which numerous micro holes are made within the skin to stimulate collagen production to reduce the appearance of scars. Medications, such as collagen stimulators, may be added during the microneedling procedure to further enhance results.
Scar Revision Surgery
Scar revision surgery is another option to reduce the appearance of scars after plastic surgery. There are different techniques when it comes to scar revision surgery, but many reduce the appearance of scars by surgically removing the scar and joining the surrounding tissue in a way that will minimize the new scar's appearance.
Revision scars may be hidden within the natural creases of the skin or a zig-zag incision can be made to help blend the scar with the surrounding tissue.
What Types of Scars Can Be Treated Surgically?
Scar revision surgery is best suited to scars that are prominent. This includes scars that are large, raised, too long, too wide, or have healed poorly.
Find out Which Treatment Is Right for You
If you are unhappy with scars after plastic surgery, Drs. Bendor-Samuel and Boileau can help. Call 902-492-2007 to schedule your consultation.