BOOST YOUR CONFIDENCE BY SMOOTHING OUT YOUR SCARS
The skin is the largest organ in the body and serves may purposes, including temperature regulation, protection against germs, feeling of the world around you, and as a protective barrier, among others. After being injured (through trauma, surgery or other causes), all skin heals as a scar. The appearance of a scar can range from completely inconspicuous, to potentially disfiguring. The amount of scarring is determined by the person’s age, heredity, skin characteristics (including pigmentation), and the wound size, depth, and location. A scar looks different when compared to natural skin because new scar tissue consists of different amounts of collagen and other tissue material when compared to normal skin. In some cases, skin trauma can result in hypertrophic or keloid scars that are large or even disfiguring.
In some cases, scars can naturally diminish over time – however, they never heal completely on their own. Scars can be almost unnoticeable and of no concern, or can be an extreme source of displeasure, embarrassment, or concern to an individual – it is a very personal issue. Fortunately, with advances in the field of plastic surgery, there are many ways to treat unsightly scars. At Gabbay Plastic Surgery, Dr. Joubin Gabbay M.D. offers the option of Beverly Hills scar revision surgery to improve and/or diminish the appearance of your scar(s). Scar revision surgery can restore function and correct skin changes caused by an injury, wound, or a previous surgery. Although it is impossible to completely remove any scar, utilizing the latest in surgical technology, Dr. Gabbay can dramatically enhance the appearance of your injured skin tissue.
Just as wounds vary in terms of size, scope, depth, and location, the scars that form around them vary in similar ways. Scars may be raised or recessed, different in color or texture from their surrounding healthy tissue, or particularly noticeable due to their size, shape, and/or location. During your initial consultation, Dr. Gabbay will conduct a thorough medical evaluation and gather all of the pertinent factors about your injury and overall physical health, before selecting the appropriate method and techniques to utilize during your scar revision surgery.
Scar revision is often performed as a simple office-based or outpatient procedure. Recovery from the procedure is generally quick, and while your initial postoperative improvement will be dramatic, it may take months or even over a year to see the final improvement. At Gabbay Plastic Surgery, whether you elect to have scar revision surgery for functional or cosmetic reasons, Dr. Gabbay will evaluate your specific needs and will ensure that your surgical goals are brought to fruition. If you would like additional information about scar revision surgery, please contact Gabbay Plastic Surgery today—we are happy to answer all of your questions and to set up an initial, complimentary consultation with Dr. Gabbay.
Details of Scar Revision Procedures
The skin is a complex organ that serves as a protective barrier for the body. In this protective capacity, the skin is exposed to a number of harsh environmental elements and increased potential for injury. The skin responds to injury by forming scar tissue, which is a predominantly fibrous tissue composed of collagen (produced by fibroblasts in the areas of the skin near the site of the wound), which is used to heal the areas of damage and to stimulate the body to produce new, healthy cells. Scars are visible on the surface of the skin because the organization of scar tissue is not the same texture or color as the original skin.
When collagen levels exceed the tissue needs, scars can form as raised, red lumps on the skin’s surface (Keloid-Hypertrophic scars). Other types of disfiguring scars include widened scars and depressed scars. Keloid scars continue to expand beyond the original size and shape of the wound, while hypertrophied scars expand within the confines of the original wound. Widened scars occur when wounds separate during the healing process, usually as a result of tension perpendicular to the edge of the wound.
Before & After Photos
Is Scar Repair Right for Me?
There is no way to completely remove a scar from the surface of the skin; therefore, expectations of scar revision surgery must be realistic. The goal of scar revision is to improve the appearance of the scar, either by disguising it, relocating it, or minimizing its prominence. A patient’s skin color, age, and the type of scarring are all important factors for determining the outcome of successful scar revision surgery.
Scar revision surgery is a highly individualized procedure and may be a good option for you if:
- The appearance of a scar bothers you anywhere on your body
- You are physically and mentally healthy
- You do not smoke
- You have no underlying health conditions that could affect the outcome of scar revision surgery
- You have a positive outlook and realistic goals for your scar revision surgery
There are different types of scar disfigurements that can be corrected during scar revision surgery, including:
- Discoloration and Surface Irregularities
- Hypertrophic Scars
- Keloid Scars
During your initial consultation at Gabbay Plastic Surgery, Dr. Gabbay will examine your wound and discuss the possible methods of treating your scar, the risks and benefits involved, and the possible outcomes. After assessing your scar, Dr. Gabbay will create a customized treatment plan utilizing the optimal techniques to ensure the success and safety of your scar revision procedure.
The Scar Repair Procedure
Scar revision procedures are meant to minimize the appearance of the scar so that it blends naturally into your surrounding skin tone and texture. The general scar revision procedure involves the following steps:
- Step 1—Anesthesia: Medications will be administered for your comfort during the surgical procedures and may involve local anesthesia, intravenous (IV) sedation, or general anesthesia, depending upon the type and complexity of the surgery you are having.
- Step 2—Surface/Topical/Injectable Treatments: Some scars can be treated with one or more less invasive techniques.
- Step 3—Surgery: For particularly deep scars, surface and injectable treatments may not be sufficient to produce optimal results. For these scars, Dr. Gabbay may elect to incorporate surgical excision techniques, tissue expansion procedures, and/or skin grafting techniques into the scar revision treatment plan. The aforementioned surgical techniques may be employed on their own, or in conjunction with less invasive scar revision measures.
Some of the surface treatments we provide include:
- Topical Treatments: Gels, tapes, or external compression can aid in wound closure and healing and can prevent your skin from producing irregular pigmentation and discoloration.
- Injectable Treatments: Injectables are often used to fill depressed or concave scars, and the results may last anywhere from three months to several years. Injectable treatments must be repeated periodically in order to maintain the beneficial results.
- Surface Treatments: This approach is most often used to soften surface irregularities and reduce uneven pigmentation. Surface treatments such as dermabrasion, laser/light therapy, chemical peels, and skin bleaching agents are used to either mechanically remove the top layers of skin or to improve the condition of the skin tissue.
Recovering from Your Procedure
Following your scar revision procedure, bandages or dressings will be applied to keep the treatment site clean, and you will be given specific instructions that will include how to care for yourself after your procedure, the medications to apply or take orally to aid in healing and reduce the risk of infection, and when to follow-up with Dr. Gabbay. Following all of the instructions is key to the success of your surgery, and it is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during the healing process.
The initial healing phase after your surgical scar revision may include localized swelling, discoloration, or discomfort, which may take 1-2 weeks to subside. You should avoid any activity that places undue stress on the incision area, and you may use cold compresses to reduce swelling. The length of your recovery period will depend on the type, degree, and location of the scar. The healing process will continue for several weeks, and as the new scar heals, it will slowly fade and become increasingly inconspicuous. You should avoid exposure to the sun for several months after treatment, and will be advised to use a sunblock or wound dressing (such as a Band-Aid) when out in the sun, because exposing the scar to the sun may cause it to permanently tan and become discolored.
Rare scar revision complications include: bleeding (hematoma), infection, delayed healing, anesthesia risks, change in skin sensation, damage to skin structures, skin contour irregularities, skin discoloration and swelling, skin sensitivity, pain, negative reactions to medications, blood clots, scar recurrence, separation (dehiscence) of the wound.