Hypertrophic scars are caused by an excessive buildup of collagen; these types of scars include keloid scars. Typically, these scars can be treated by injections to reduce their size. If this approach is unsuccessful, the scars can be removed surgically.
The clinical evaluation involves the assessment of the scar and potential options for removing and/or reducing it. Dr. Reilly will work with you to create a plan that aligns your goals with potential surgical treatments based on your anatomy.
Generally, this procedure renders vast improvements in the appearance of an unsightly scar.
The surgical technique most often involves excision of the existing scar and closure of the normal tissue in a layered fashion to reduce the tension on the wound to allow for optimal healing.
Most patients take 2-3 days off work after this type of procedure, though the sutures will be in for about 7 days. After 2 weeks, you may resume full activity.
Scar tissue is created when the skin heals from a traumatic cut or tear; the extent of the scarring may range from nearly imperceptible to very obvious or disfiguring. Your scar may may vary in color, texture, and size; they may be wide, sunken or raised, and may be discolored from your natural skin tone. Dr. Reilly will make his recommendations for minimizing the appearance of your scars based on your specific concerns.
In the vast majority of patients, the desired aesthetic result is readily achieved. However, the possible complications of scar revision include but are not limited to the following:
Infection, bleeding, swelling, scarring, pain, numbness, skin discoloration, asymmetry, displeasure with the cosmetic outcome, and allergic or other negative reactions to one or more of the medications or substances used in the operation.
There are various scar revision techniques that Dr. Reilly will discuss with you, in an effort to make your scars as smooth and imperceptible as possible. The procedure may involve creating an incision around the scar, moving skin, or moving the scar to make it less obvious; Dr. Reilly will discuss your options and make his recommendations for the best results for your specific scars. In some cases, Dr. Reilly may recommend a skin resurfacing procedure to assist the the appearance of the scar; see the information on skin resurfacing.
After surgery, your surgeon may choose to apply a dressing for a day or two. 48 hours after surgery, you may wash in the area with soap and water. Your scar may feel tight with some aching, but this is usually very easily controlled by medication. It is crucial that you follow the instructions for post-operative visits and care. Swelling in the treatment area is likely but should not last for more than a few days to a week at most. Cold compresses may be recommended by the surgeon. Sutures are typically left in place 5-7 days and are removed at a post-operative visit. The maturation process for a scar takes a total of one year. You should expect redness and/or darkness around the scar for about 6 weeks after surgery. At that time, the color will fade and the scar will soften and begin its process of blending in with the surrounding normal skin.