Scarring is an inevitable consequence of undergoing surgery. Although initial scarring may be a worry to some patients, the maturation of the scar is what physicians monitor over time to ensure proper healing and aesthetic outcomes. It is ultimately the way in which a scar heals which will determine how a scar will look on your body in the future.
Any place an incision is made on the body, a scar will go through a healing process post-surgery. Each patient is predisposed to different types of healing patterns based on their skin texture and color. The type of incision made during surgery also has an effect on the healing process of the scar. Proper wound closure intraoperatively is one key step to ensure decreased scarring. During a procedure, your surgeon will ensure decreased tension of wound closures which leads to less scarring overall. This is achieved through suture technique and placing tape over the incisions after the procedure.
Post-operative scar healing is a key step in the process as well. In order to keep the healing process moving along, it is up to the patient to keep the wound moisturized with ointment and prevent infection of the wound with antibiotic ointments. It is also very important to keep the incision site clean and free of any dry blood that may collect in the area. As always, it is vitally important to follow all post-operative instructions given by your physician and care team.
Initial and long term care of your scar is vital to its appearance over time. Limited sun exposure is very important to decrease inflammation to the area and decrease hyperpigmentation. The fading of a scar depends on the patient’s predisposition (skin tone and skin type), incision made, and post-operative care. Scar revision treatments are an option for patients un-satisfied with the result of their natural scar-healing process. These types of treatments include topical gels, injectables (steroid-based compounds, dermal fillers), and surface treatments (dermabrasion, laser, chemical peels).
If you’re considering plastic surgery contact our clinic at 312-694-0879 or through the request form in the header to request a consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. John Kim.