What Is Scar Revision?
Scars are a result of skin trauma, and their development can be unpredictable.
While scars can never be permanently erased, the good news is scar revision surgery can reduce chafing for scars irritated by clothing, improve range of motion lost to restrictive scar tissue, and minimize the appearance of obvious scars.
How does it work?
The cut on your arm may only take a week to heal, but the resulting scar takes between one and two years to complete its maturation process.
Scars form in four stages:
- Hemostasis, the first stage of healing, occurs when blood rushes to and clots around your new wound. The process begins immediately and usually lasts for a few minutes.
- Inflammation, the warm, painful redness associated with healing skin trauma, is caused by cells working overtime to repair damaged tissue.
- Proliferation, lasting from day four up to day 21, happens when the tissue around the wound contracts as new skin forms a continually shrinking perimeter.
- Remodeling, the last stage, can last for up to two years as the soft collagen that initially closed your wound is replaced with thicker, stronger fibers that give the wound tensile strength.
Generally, the more careful you are in treating a wound in the early stages of scar formation, the smaller, less visible the resulting scar will be.
Types of Scars
The type of scar you have will determine your treatment plan.
Discoloration or surface irregularity scars are subtle skin marks or pitting caused by acne, chickenpox, and minor injuries. Cosmetic in nature, these scars do not cause physical discomfort and can often be improved without surgical intervention.
Hypertrophic scars are thick, raised, often red scars caused by excessive tension at the wound site. While larger and more noticeable than discoloration scars, hypertrophic scars stay within the original borders of your wound.
They often flatten and fade over time, even without intervention, but a scar revision can dramatically speed up the process and blend the scar with your skin tone.
Keloid scars are smooth, hard growths that grow bigger and wider than the original injury. Depending on your genetics, even minor cuts can turn into keloid scars. These scars are raised, may be itchy, and can continue growing over time.
With a tendency to develop in areas of your body with little fatty tissue, like your face, neck, ears, chest, and shoulders, keloid scars can cause significant cosmetic concerns and require intervention to resolve.
Contracture scars happen when an injury causes substantial skin/tissue loss, and the remaining skin has to be pulled tightly to close the gap, such as a burn or when an injury crosses over a joint. Because they are fixed and rigid, contracture scars can limit your range of motion.
Scar Revision Treatments
Some scars can be successfully treated with a single technique and no surgery. Others will require a combination of treatments up to and including surgery. Some revisions can be done in a single appointment, and some will have to be spread out.
The type, size, and location of the scar you want to revise will play a key role in the amount of improvement possible, but scars should be at least one year old before seeking any type of revisionary procedure.
Non-surgical options for scar revisions include topical, injectable, and surface treatments.
- Topical treatments, like silicone sheets, gels, creams, tapes, and compression bandages, can reduce discoloration while also aiding in the healing process.
- Injectable dermal fillers and steroid compounds are used to fill concave facial scars—such as acne scars—and alter the appearance, size, and texture of raised scar tissue.
- Surface treatments are used to soften stiff scar tissue and reduce uneven pigmentation by taking off the top layer of skin and changing tissue composition. Techniques include dermabrasion, laser/light therapy, chemical peels, and skin bleaching agents.
Improving the appearance of large, complex, or restrictive scars usually requires surgical intervention. Additionally, scars that do not follow your skin’s natural movement lines have better outcomes with surgical treatments.
- Re-excision procedures (w-plasty, z-plasty) are performed by cutting around your existing scar tissue to create a skin flap and suturing through the multiple layers of skin to facilitate the cohesive healing process you didn’t have after your initial injury. Re-excising your scar and also change its direction and reduce tension if it has been restricting movement.
- Skin grafts help restore blood supply to damaged skin by covering it with healthy skin from another part of your body. With severe burns/injuries over a large area of skin where there isn’t sufficient healthy tissue, this process can also be performed using tissue substitutes made from biomaterials.
Results & Recovery
We take every measure to provide the highest degree of comfort for our patients throughout your scar revision process.
We believe that all patients should be fully informed. That’s why we schedule multiple pre-op appointments, so you know what to expect from your procedure. We stay in close contact during this period and each patient receives prompt and personalized care.
Once the surgery is complete, you have the option to recover at home if you are a local, or one of our luxury recovery rooms at select hotels in New York City. Recovery timelines vary depending on your procedure, but we offer thorough aftercare to ensure your optimized recovery and results.
The result? Patients that are confident in their surgical plan and results.
For more information, read our FAQs below.
See our other patients’ outstanding results. Let’s find the right approach for you and work together to achieve the results you’re looking for.
Having a scar revision procedure is a choice you make for your self-confidence. We make sure you have the information you need to feel good about your decision throughout the entire process, beginning with your inquiry with our practice, the consultation, and beyond.
Before surgery, we provide:
- 60- to 90-minute in-depth initial consultations with a complete medical history review and physical assessment by Dr. Maman
- Multiple pre-op visits to answer all your questions and make sure you’re recovery-ready
- Specialized surgery coordinators to help you navigate scheduling, financial, and insurance processes
Once you’ve moved forward with surgery, we make sure you’re just as cared for. You’ll get:
- Convenient and safe operating facilities in NYC
- Luxury recovery rooms at NYC hotels for out-of-town patients or patients uncomfortable recovering at home
- Complimentary, custom post-operative support garments and scar treatment regimens
- Attentive and routine aftercare visits
Personalized, Holistic Patient-Centered Approach
Understanding each patient’s personal and clinical needs is central to our practice. We customize treatment plans for each patient, and each patient receives Dr. Maman’s personal contact information along with direct round-the-clock access to our nurse and surgical coordinator.
Meet Dr. Daniel Y. Maman, Board-Certified NYC Plastic Surgeon
A graduate of Harvard Medical School with post-doctoral training at the prestigious Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, Dr. Maman has appeared on the New York Times Top Doctors and Super Doctors in Plastic Surgery lists.
Dr. Maman is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery-certified. This recognition is granted only after six years of rigorous education training in plastic and reconstructive surgery. He’s also a member of the American College of Surgeons, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
Whether your reasons for breast augmentation surgery are personal, clinical, or both, you deserve an exceptionally well-trained, professional who is more than just a surgeon, but a partner in your care.
Contact us today to schedule your consultation.
Basic Scar Revision FAQs
Am I a good candidate for scar revision?
Meeting with Dr. Maman is the best way to determine if you are a good candidate for scar revision and what type of procedure will best meet your needs, but scar revision procedures usually can be performed on patients of any age as long as the scar is at least one year old.
If you have a scar that is painful or makes you self-conscious and do not currently have severe acne or other skin diseases requiring treatment in the same area as your scar, you are likely a good candidate for a revision. Patients who are generally healthy and do not smoke usually have the best results.
Where will my procedure be performed? How long will it take?
Dr. Maman usually performs scar revisions at his in-office, AAAASF-certified surgical suite. He also has operating privileges at Mount Sinai Hospital, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York Eye & Ear Infirmary, and Englewood Hospital. We work with you to select the best facility for your needs.
Scar revision surgery usually takes about one to two hours, depending on complexity.
How long does recovery take?
Scar revision recovery will depend on what process or combination of procedures Dr. Maman recommends for you. For most procedures, initial swelling and discomfort last one to two weeks. But remember that the scar maturation process can take one to two years, so you will have to be patient for your scar’s final appearance.
How do I make sure my scar heals well this time?
Dr. Maman provides you with detailed scar treatment protocols, medical-grade creams, and tapes that will minimize your scarring. You must keep the area protected from the sun, either with clothing or sunscreen, during the healing process.
Will scar revision require follow-up visits?
Because we value our patients’ health and satisfaction above everything else, we don’t charge for post-operative visits, whether they are part of your detailed follow-up plan during the first year after surgery or the annual visits that we recommend to ensure your results are maintained.
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