Aim of Surgery:
- A neater appearance to previously pronounced scarring
- Reduced visibility of previously obvious scarring
- Increased self-esteem and confidence
Scar revision involves surgery to reduce the appearance of obvious or pronounced scarring after a wound has already healed.
Poor healing and infection may contribute to the development of scars which are more noticeable or disfiguring.
The aim of surgery is to minimise a scar so that it is less conspicuous and blends in with the surrounding skin tone and texture. Scars can’t be removed completely, but they can be made less visible with surgery. Scar revision may also be used to treat scars which restrict movement, or which are itchy or sore.
Types of Scarring
Discolouration or Surface Irregularities are generally subtle and may be improved by topical treatments. These scars do not usually cause physical discomfort or impair function but cosmetically can be an issue for the patient, especially if they are in a visible area of the body. This type of scarring can be the result of acne as well as minor injury or previous surgical incisions or skin grafts.
Hypertrophic Scar is a type of scarring which is the result of an abnormal response to injury. In certain people, body cells called myofibroblasts produce an excess of collagen during healing. This overproduction of collagen is more likely to occur when a wound has been infected or inflamed is under tension or is left to heal without stitches. These scars are similar in form to keloid but tend to be milder and more confined to the area of the original wound.
Keloid Scarring– Following any injury or surgery, fibrous scar tissue forms over the wound to protect the injury and aid healing. In some cases, this scar tissue grows excessively forming protruding hard growths called keloids. Keloids tend to have a high rate of recurrence despite treatment. The main difference between keloid and hypertrophic scarring is as follows
|Usually raised over 4mm from skins surface||Rarely raised over 4mm from skins surface|
|Pink/ Purple in colour||Red/ pink in colour|
|Grow beyond boundaries of original wound||Remain in area of original wound|
|Form on earlobes, shoulder, cheeks and chest||Can develop anywhere on the body|
Scar Contracture is a severe form of scarring and is most commonly caused by burns or surgery.
The skin can feel so tight that functional ability is compromised, and the area becomes painful and visibly constricted.
Scar Revision Surgery
Not all scars may be suitable for surgical revision but your surgeon will discuss possible treatment options.
This surgery will be performed by a Plastic Surgeon with the aim of minimising the scar so that it blends with the surrounding skin tone and texture. The scar is revised under local anaesthetic to reduce any discomfort. Your surgeon will take you through the risks and benefits of the surgery so that you can have an informed understanding and realistic expectation of the potential outcome.
How long is recovery?
Mild discomfort is expected for several days following scar revision surgery and can be managed using paracetamol. As with most surgery, normal activity may be resumed after 1 week but strenuous exercise should be avoided for 6 weeks following surgery.
Why have Scar Revision Surgery?
Whilst there are a number of non-surgical methods available to reduce scar visibility, scar reduction is typically the most effective means for reducing particularly prominent, complex or unsightly scars.
Alternative non-surgical treatments include:
Scar reduction treatments do not guarantee complete removal of the scar but aim to make it less obvious.
Who will carry out of this procedure?
At the Belfast Skin Clinic, our team of highly experienced and GMC accredited Consultant Plastic Surgeons will carry out this scar revision surgery.
Will I be a suitable candidate?
Your consultant will meet with you to assess your scar and try to best understand whether your desire for surgery will be likely to achieve realistic results.
The decision for proceeding can only be determined at consultation when a full assessment will help your Consultant determine what is the likely outcome and whether this matches your desired results, so that both your expectations are aligned.
Will I have to stay overnight in the clinic?
The Belfast Skin Clinic is a day-case only clinic and, therefore, all of our patients are discharged on the same day as their procedure with the appropriate aftercare advice. There will also be extensive phone call and face-to-face, nurse led aftercare in the days following the procedure.
You will be invited back for a post-surgery review in the weeks following your surgery.
Will the scarring be noticeable?
Our team of plastic surgeons are very experienced at carrying out meticulous surgery techniques making them the first choice for any cosmetic surgeries. This surgery will not eradicate any traces of previous scars, it will revise these to minimise any perceived unsightly appearance and help blend it more naturally with the surrounding skin tone. Your surgeon will discuss any possible outcomes to effectively manage your expectations and allay any concerns prior to surgery.
What is this surgery likely to cost?
We would encourage patients to make elective surgery based on clinical facts and practitioner experience rather than cost as a this is not an indicator of good practice or service quality.
The Belfast Skin Clinic is fully RQIA accredited and we pride ourselves on having top Consultants in their field, excellent patient testimonials and the highest quality facilities and surgical equipment available on the market.
All costs associated with your surgery will be discussed in full at your consultation.