Any time a cut or surgical incision goes completely through the skin, some form of scarring is inevitable. In some cases, if the conditions are right, these can be virtually imperceptible. In other situations, they can be very obvious to the naked eye, making them good candidates for scar revision.
Length/depth/orientation of the cut and infection are poor wound healing factors. If a scar becomes excessively wide, red, or deep, it is a hypertrophic scar. Scar tissue that grows beyond the confines of the initial injury is called a keloid.
As a fellowship-trained facial plastic surgeon and the former Chief of Facial Plastic Surgery at Rush University Medical Center, Dr. Dutton has extensive specialty training and experience in even the most complex types of scar revision. He has more than a decade of experience with complex facial reconstructions after trauma or skin cancer surgery.
Benefits of Scar Revision
- Improve the appearance of a scar that may be unnecessarily noticeable
- Improve function if the scar is pulling on tissues that affect the function of the eye (excessive tearing or dryness), mouth (difficulty swallowing or drooling), or nose (nasal obstruction
- Improve your sense of well-being, helping you to be less self-conscious about the scar
The Scar Revision Procedure
Scar revision can typically be performed under local anesthesia, possibly with intravenous sedation. The procedure can often be performed in the office setting.
Dr. Dutton will meet with you again right before the procedure and devise a surgical plan that he will carefully explain to you. He will evaluate your scar to determine the reasons the scar is visible, including subtle factors that may not be readily evident.
Revision of the scar may involve cutting it out and altering it in such a way that it is at a much more favorable location or orientation, and closing the new incision in an extremely delicate fashion as you would expect from the most meticulous of facial plastic surgeons.
In addition to surgically revising the scar, resurfacing the outer portions of the skin with laser resurfacing or dermabrasion may also improve the outcome, either instead of or in addition to the actual scar revision.
Once the anesthetic is administered for your procedure to begin, you will not experience any pain even if you are awake. The scar will be revised by Dr. Dutton using meticulous techniques and magnification that allows him to see even the finest details. A dressing may be placed at the conclusion of the procedure, or sometimes, just antibiotic ointment. Typically, there are sutures that are removed within a week.
Dr. Dutton will provide all of the details you need to fully understand your surgical plan and what you can expect during and after your surgery.
Scar Revision Recovery
After your surgery, you will be able to go home and possibly return to work the following day, depending on the extent of the procedure. Dr. Dutton and his assistant will provide you with very detailed postoperative instructions and medications, including topical ointments to speed healing and minimize the scar itself. You will also see Dr. Dutton for follow-up appointments to ensure that you are healing properly.
You will experience some swelling and possibly bruising for a few days, but Dr. Dutton will provide you with medications and instructions to minimize this.
The sutures will be removed within seven days. You will notice immediate results, although initially, there will be some redness. While healing technically occurs for a year, in most cases you will be able to see the improvement early on.
In the hands of Dr. Dutton, scar revision is a very safe procedure. He has performed countless successful scar revisions using today’s most advanced and meticulous techniques.