Procedure Scars which are stretched, thick (hypertrophic or keloid), red, retracted, painful scars often cause cosmetic concerns. They can also cause functional problems by restricting movement or by retracting skin.
Most scars can be narrowed or released with surgery. Some scars are difficult to treat because of underlying genetic problem such as keloid scars. In these cases, non–surgical treatments such as massage, silicone creams or steroid injections are often better.
The wounds are repaired with sutures under the skin which don’t require removal and dissolve within four months. In coloured skin, high factor sun protection for over a year is important
Scars Along the original scar line, occasionally longer
Operation time 1 hour
Anaesthesia Local
Hospital Stay Day Surgery
Benefits Cosmetic, Psychological, Functional, Symptomatic
Risks Bleeding, Infection, Inability to improve the scar: Recurrent or worse scar problems (stretched, thick, abnormal pigmentation, red, longer, retracted etc.), Skin discoloration, New or remaining skin cones, Wound separation, Slough, Necrosis, Pain, Nerve injury (Numbness, weakness, paralysis), Bruising, Swelling, Overcorrection, Undercorrection, Asymmetry if affecting both body sides, Cosmetic imperfections (higher risk after skin stretching or wound irritation / healing problems), Organ injury, Functional problems, Contour irregularities, Need for further surgery, Allergic reaction
N.B. Most complications are unlikely and serious risks are rare
Risk factors Smoking within 6 weeks of surgery, overweight, high blood pressure, bleeding tendency, diabetes, pregnancy / irritation / weight changes if near the scar area
Optimising factors Diet rich in Vitamin C and protein, plenty of fluids, fresh air, scar massage, sun protection, silicone gels or sheets
Discomfort 1 – 2 weeks
Bruising 2 – 3 weeks
Recovery Light activities 2 weeks, Physical work and sports 6 weeks (Depending on scar location)
Acceptable appearance 2 – 4 weeks for most patients (This is subjective)
Final result 6 – 18 months
Alternatives No Surgery, Silicone sheets or gels, Steroid injections, Radiotherapy

Procedure Diagrams

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