Some people wear their scars like a badge of honor because they appreciate the physical reminder of life events like delivering a baby via cesarean section, surviving a traumatic injury, or undergoing a gender-affirming procedure. Still, not everyone sees their scars in a positive light.
If you have one or more scars that represent a source of significant physical or psychological discomfort, scar revision surgery can restore your well-being. To ensure you have realistic expectations, here is what you need to know about this procedure and how to have a smooth recovery.
What Happens During Scar Revision Surgery?
You may seek scar revision surgery if tissue contraction is causing a loss of mobility or limiting your range of motion. However, some people choose this procedure for purely cosmetic purposes. Regardless of your motivation, Dr. Schmidt understands your reasons are intensely personal.
Since no two scars are identical, Dr. Schmidt will take a custom approach to your scar revision surgery with versatile techniques like these.
- For some people, the best technique is to excise the scar tissue and reshape the surrounding skin, allowing it to heal cleanly.
- For jagged or raised scars, Dr. Schmidt may decide to use a skin resurfacing technique known as dermabrasion, which involves scraping off rough, uneven scar tissue so healthy, new skin can take its place.
- In other cases, combining scar revision dermabrasion with a chemical peel can provide the best results.
Scar Revision Timing and Recovery
When performing scar revision surgery, timing is crucial. If the wound that created the scar hasn’t fully healed, Dr. Schmidt may recommend waiting until you have made a complete recovery. Surgeries performed too soon are more likely to lead to less-than-desirable results, including an abnormal response to wound healing called hypertrophy.
While it typically takes several months for the full effects of scar revision surgery to become visible, the results are long-lasting.
Your Scar Revision Consultation
The first step in preparing for a scar revision procedure is to meet with your surgeon in a confidential consultation. This conversation is your opportunity to ask questions to ensure you are an informed patient. Come prepared to discuss your complete health history, including:
- Past and present medical issues, including previous surgeries
- Any prescription or over-the-counter medications or supplements you take regularly
- Known allergies
Dr. Schmidt will examine you and may suggest undergoing specific tests or health screenings to ensure you are a good candidate for surgery. If you’re currently taking any medications or supplements that might increase your risk of bleeding or other complications, you’ll need to stop.
The Dangers of Smoking for Plastic Surgery Patients
If you are a smoker, one of the most critical things you can do to prepare for any surgery – even a relatively straightforward procedure like scar revision – is to quit smoking before your procedure and remain tobacco-free throughout your recovery and beyond. Here’s why.
- Smoking deprives your body of the oxygen it needs to repair wounds and build new tissue. Hemoglobin, a molecule that transports oxygen throughout the body, cannot carry as much as usual in the presence of cigarette smoke.
- Smoking constricts the blood vessels, thus slowing the supply of nutrients to the healing surgical site.
- The chemicals in cigarette smoke can increase inflammation and put you at a heightened risk of infection.
Are You a Good Candidate for Scar Revision?
As a fellowship-trained, double board-certified surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Schmidt has the specialized knowledge needed to create natural-looking results when performing plastic surgery. His advanced facial reconstruction techniques for skin cancer patients have earned him accolades from his fellow physicians and former patients.
To learn more about the best scar revision in Denver, contact us today to schedule your private consultation.