A scar is a visible mark of an injury or prior surgery. Although by definition a scar is a permanent mark, it may be altered so that it no longer appears unsightly. Birth marks are lesion present since birth, which may be cosmetically un-acceptable.
A scar can be modified by various methods – surgical as well as non-surgical.
Surgical methods include – scar revision, dermabrasion, excision with grafting (for hypopigmented or hypertrophic scars) and tissue expansion.
Scar revision is the surgical alteration of a scar, i.e. replacement of an undesirable scar with a more pleasant and favorable scar.
The results of scar revision procedure depends on
These factors will be discussed during your consultation and assessed during your examination.
The procedure is generally performed as a day care procedure. The procedure is commonly done under local or regional anesthesia.
Once the area is completely numb (pain free) the scar is removed and the resultant gap is closed either directly or after realigning (changing the direction) the scar with a delicate surgical technique leaving a less noticeable scar.
Post- operative course
You will have a dressing over the operated site for 2 to 5 days. Any pain or discomfort will be minimized with adequate medication.
The decision to remove the stitches depends on the site of the scar and the individual’s healing process. Initially, the scar may appear red or brownish as well as swollen – this settles over a few weeks.
After scar revision, the new scar is immature i.e. not yet settled. Therefore, it is very important to follow the instructions of cosmetic surgeon to guide the scar to a more favourable outcome. Always remember to handle the area gently - even when you are advised to massage the area.
Exposure to sunlight can induce pigmentation (dark colour) in an immature scar. Sunblocks / sunscreens may be prescribed and should be used as instructed.
Some cases, physical barriers such as caps / umbrella etc may be suggested.
Depending on individual cases, certain creams may be advised to be massaged locally over the scar area for several weeks to help smoothen and soften a scar.
Some special cases - depending on site of scar, tendency to form thick, hard scars etc may be recommended adjuvants such as -
Possible risks and complications
You may have a detailed discussion about this during your personal consultation. Some of the possible complications include - anaesthesia related complications, swelling, bleeding, infection, stretched of thickened scar etc
Birth mark can be corrected by one of techniques used for scar revision.