If scars make you feel depressed or interferes with your daily activities – maybe it restricts movement or makes you socially isolated – getting a scar revision. This article will give you a rundown on everything you need to know about scar revision including the techniques used and the cost. We have also included before and after pictures for the sake of inspiration.
What Is Scar Revision
Right now you are perhaps wondering “what is scar revision?” Well, the term scar revision refers to surgery aimed at improving or reducing the appearance of scars and ensuring consistent skin tone and texture between the scar area and the surrounding areas. It can as well help to restore skin function and correct skin defects resulting from accidents, previous surgery, burns or wounds.
Scar Revision Procedure and Scar Revision Techniques
The exact scar revision procedure or techniques used depends on the type, size and location of the scar, as well as the plastic surgeon’s preferences. Often a combination of techniques is required for optimum results. Your surgeon will evaluate your specific case and make recommendations for revision surgery options.
Scar Revision Cost – Scar Revision Surgery Cost
Knowing how much improvement is possible with scar revision surgery is one thing but knowing the typical or average scar revision cost is an equally important consideration for most people.
Scar revision cost varies widely depending on the size and depth of the scar and the technique required. Geographic location also has a significant impact on the scar revision surgery cost.
The total scar revision surgery cost encompasses the surgeon’s fee, facility fee, and anesthesia fee. The surgeon’s fee takes the biggest stake of the total cost and is not easy to predict or quote since it varies depending on the techniques to be used as well as the experience of the surgeon; yes, more experienced surgeons tend to cost more. Talk to your surgeon for a more exact estimate of the cost of scar revision surgery.
Lots of plastic surgeons offer flexible payment plans so don’t be shy to ask :). Some have even worked out loans with financing companies.
Scar revision cost is however just one part of the equation. Don’t discount quality and professionalism for low cost. Scar revision is a delicate surgical procedure whose results are very visual and using an experienced and board-certified surgeon is your safest bet.
It is also advisable to look at before and after pictures of patients who have had a scar revision surgery done at the clinic you are considering. If something doesn’t feel okay, then you are probably right. You are better safe than sorry.
I did a brief research on scar revision cost and found it to range from $500 to $5,000. The average cost for a scar revision surgery is $1,475 based on reported costs (on the Real Self community) incurred by real people who have undergone this procedure.
Scar Revision Surgery- Surgical Scar Revision
Scar revision surgery can improve the appearance of a scar and is typically used on scars that are getting thickened, restricts movement or function or distorts other skin features, or cuts across the tension lines of the skin.
It is however important to note that no scar can be completely removed. Several factors have an impact on the degree of improvement possible including the direction of the scar, its location, age, skin color and type and hereditary factors that worsen scarring.
According to the MedicinePlus Medical Encyclopedia, scar revision surgery can be performed under local anesthesia (while awake), under sedatives (sleeping) or under general anesthesia (which makes you fall deep asleep).
The approach adopted for specific scars depends on the type and size of the scar as well as its location. As for the appropriate time to get a scar revision surgery performed, MedicinePlus Medical Encyclopedia recommends allowing the scar time to see how it progresses over time.
Scars tend to fade away and become less noticeable as time goes by and may improve significantly over time, eliminating the need for surgical revision. Some scars however are best surgically revised 60-90 days from the time the wound heals.
Among the options available for surgical scar revision are:
Dermabrasion and laser resurfacing: These techniques involve removing the surface of the skin to allow growth of new skin. The former uses a special wire brush referred to as a fraise or burr, while the latter uses laser light. Although both dermabrasion and laser resurfacing don’t completely eliminate a scar, it they help to make it flatter and less noticeable.
Microdermabrasion is a newer, less invasive type of dermabrasion that targets the dermis of the skin to heal scars without damaging the upper layers of the skin but on the downside, it is only effective for very superficial scars.
Complete removal: For hypertrophic and keloid scars that don’t respond to other scar treatments such as corticosteroid injections and silicone sheets, the surgeon may resort to surgical removal whereby they are snipped off from their point of contact with the normal skin tissue before closing the resulting incision.
An alternative to complete removal of scars is a procedure whereby V-shaped skin flaps called Z-plasty are contoured by making small incisions on both edges of the scar site. This makes the scar thinner and less visible.
Skin grafting: skin grafting is also a common approach to scar revision surgery whereby a thin layer of skin from another area of the body is used to reconstruct the scarred area.
In a procedure known as skin flap surgery, the surgeon may transfer a small section of the skin together with its nerves, blood vessels, muscles and fat from another area of the body onto the site of scarring. This technique is used in patients who have lost a huge amount of skin as well as patients whose scars just won’t heal.
The downside to this technique is the fact that it does little in as far as improving the appearance of the skin is concerned despite being very effective in restoring and enhancing the skin function.
Tissue expansion: This surgical revision option involves inserting of a silicone balloon beneath the skin before filling it with salt water, the effect of which is gradual stretching and growth of the skin. Tissue expansion is preferred for scars resulting from injuries and birth defects.
Scar Revision Before and After the Procedure – Scar Revision Pictures
Once you are at the surgeon’s clinic or office, s/he will evaluate your scar and advise on the most suitable scar revision options. The surgeon will also provide you with several “before and after” requirements that you will need to observe a few weeks or days prior to the surgery and thereafter.
For example, surgeons normally discourage the use of medications known to cause bleeding the likes of Motrin, Ibuprofen and other aspirin products.
And when the big day finally comes, the scar revision will be performed under local anesthesia, sedatives, or general anesthesia.
For keloid scar revision, you are likely to go home with a pressure dressing over the area where surgery has been performed. This is usually done to curb the tendency of keloid scars to recur.
For other types of scars, the surgeon will most likely place a light dressing on the revision area. You can also expect to have the stitches removed 3 to 4 days down the line for facial scar revisions and 5 to 7 days for scar revisions done on other parts of the body.
Another common question is, “when can I return to work after a scar revision procedure?” well that depends on the type of surgery used as well as the location on which it was performed.
Most people will however be able to go back to their daily routines immediately after the surgery, but the surgeon is very likely to instruct you to avoid engaging in activities that stretch the scar. It is also advisable to protect the scar from sunlight for several months by using a good sunscreen or adhesive bandage.
And here comes the best part; you are perhaps aware of our obsession with before and after pictures. There is no way we could wrap off this guide without several scar revision pictures and so here we are:
Images 1, 2, 3
Laser Scar Revision
Laser is without doubt one of the most important inventions of the last century. Laser light has all manner of beneficial uses ranging from stimulating hair regrowth to skin tightening and you guessed right, scar revision.
Laser scar revision involves the use of lasers to reduce redness of scars (by shrinking the blood vessels) and/or vaporize the scar tissue. Laser resurfacing is a form of surgery that uses laser light to remove upper layers of the skin as a way to flatten scars and make them less visible.
There are many clinics offering this scar treatment option and you can unearth some from your city or country by searching on Google using the phrase, “laser scar revision in [City]” e.g. laser scar revision in Montreal.