What is scar revision surgery?
Scar revision surgery is a surgical procedure that aims to improve the function, comfort or appearance of a scar. Scar revision surgery is typically conducted by a surgeon. While it is almost impossible to remove a scar completely, many people find that scar revision surgery is effective at minimising scars.
Do I need scar revision surgery?
The decision to have scar revision surgery is a personal one. This surgery isn’t suitable for everyone and you will need to talk to your surgeon about your individual condition and general health. Scar revision surgery can be a good option if:
- Your scar is limiting your movements
- Your scar is uncomfortable
- You are physically healthy
- You are self-conscious about how your scars look
- You are a non-smoker (or have stopped smoking)
- You have realistic expectations
What happens during scar revision surgery?
A number of procedures can be used in scar revision surgery and your surgeon will talk to you about what is most suitable for you. Common methods include:
- Dermabrasion -The removal of the top layers of skin using an electrical device
- Laser resurfacing – The use of high-energy light (laser) to remove scar tissue
- Excision – Cutting out and repairing a scar and replacing in with a thinner and less noticeable scar
- Z-Plasty or W-Plasty – Surgical procedures which realign scar tissue. This is commonly used on scars from burns or if the scar is in a skin crease.
- Skin graft or flap surgery – More complex forms of scar revision which involve taking areas of skin and blood vessels and placing it onto an area where scar tissue has been removed.
Depending on which scar revision procedure is right for you, your procedure may be done under either local or general anaesthesia. Many procedures are done as day surgery, however, some may require a short hospital stay.
What is the cost of scar revision surgery?
Scar revision surgery is performed in both public and private hospitals. If you choose to have your procedure in a private hospital, a portion of the cost may be covered by your private health insurance. It’s a good idea to discuss this with your insurance provider.
Please contact the Sydney GI Surgery team to discuss your needs and for an accurate assessment of the cost involved.
What are the risks of scar revision surgery?
Scar revision surgery is a safe procedure, however, like all surgeries complications and risks can arise. The most common complications include:
- Adverse reaction to the anaesthesia
- Change in skin sensation
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
- Delayed healing
- Skin contour irregularities
- Skin discoloration and swelling
Recovery from scar revision surgery
Once your stitches are removed you may need to keep the area taped with a special surgical dressing. This will prevent the scar from spreading and will give you a better result.
Initially, your new scar will need time to heal. Make sure that you stay out of the sun as scar tissue can burn easily.
Your doctor will talk to you about how to care for your new scar. You should seek medical attention immediately if you:
- Have a temperature over 38 degrees celsius
- Experience shortness of breath
- Have nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
- Have heavy bleeding from the wound
- Notice spreading redness around the incision sites
Be sure to talk to your surgeon about having your dressings changed and when it is safe to return to normal activity and exercise.