A surprising number of people have poor quality scars that are a result of wounds that haven’t healed very well. There are a number of reasons why wounds are unable to heal properly, including:
- Poor stitching.
- Tension in the wound.
- A foreign body in the wound.
As a result, scars can be unsightly and could possibly cause embarrassment and discomfort. Scar revision surgery can work to help minimise and reduce the appearance of these kind of scars.
What does the procedure involve?
There are several different approaches to treat and revise poor scarring, and a thorough consultation prior to treatment will determine the most suitable method for each individual case. The different methods include:
- Direct Excision.
- Steroid Injections.
- Silicone Tape.
- Silicone Gel.
- Pressure Garments.
What is Direct Excision?
Direct Excision involves cutting out the old scar tissue and using the healthy tissue that surrounds the wound to reclose it. This will still leave a scar, but it will be smaller, neater and less noticeable.
How do Steroid Injections work?
Keloid scars are formed by a build up of a rubbery material called collagen, this is created by a build up of cells around the scar called fibroblasts. Steroid injections work by preventing these cells from producing collagen and the steroids also help flatten the scar by weakening the collagen. Steroids also work to reduce any itchiness and tenderness.
What will silicone tape or gel do to help reduce scarring?
Silicone gel or tape can help flatten the scar and it can also work to minimize hyperpigmentation of the scar. Tenderness and itching can also be alleviated by silicone.
How does applying pressure to a scar work?
Applying pressure to a well healed scar, (whether through a garment or through massage), will help break down the scar tissue and subsequently improve the overall appearance of the scar.
Is Scar Revision surgery suitable for everyone?
Unfortunately, some people are prone to scarring badly, and therefore scar revision surgery will not alleviate the problem. In some cases, the additional surgery may even incur further poor scars. The two common types of healing problem are Hypertrophic Scarring and Keloid Scarring.
What is Hypertrophic Scarring?
Hypertrophic scarring is when the scarring is initially raised, and takes between 1-5 years to settle down. Once fully settled, hypertrophic scars are wide, pale and flat in appearance and they can also become thinned and slightly sunken.
What is Keloid Scarring?
Keloid scarring is thickened and red in appearance and the scar can grow well beyond the boundaries of the original scar. This type of scarring is more common amongst patients with black skin, however it is not exclusive to this skin type.
In time, the scar will become solid, but it will not shrink or flatten.
Does the surgery offer permanent results?
On skin that isn’t prone to poor scarring, most patients can expect permanent positive results from scar revision, although signs of scarring can never be completely eradicated.
However, whilst keloid scars will look better after they have been excised through surgery, it is important to note that it is possible for the scar to reform over time. Estimates of this happening range from between 20-100%, however from Stephen McCulley’s experience, he sites the chances as being 50%.
How much does it cost to undergo Scar Revision surgery?
The costs for scar revision surgery vary, depending on the severity of the scar and the type of treatment needed to treat the patient’s individual circumstances.
Scar revision surgery: from £750.
Steroid injections: from £85.
Silicone gel/tape: Between £20 – £50 depending on the treatment.