Scar Revision offered in Cleveland, OH

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Scars can form nearly anytime the skin is broken or badly scraped. The formation of scars is unpredictable, which can present a challenge. Wounds that do not heal optically may result in an unsightly, even disfiguring scar. Some scars are recessed while others can be raised. Some have a rough texture and some are discolored from surrounding tissue, making their appearance more obvious. 

There are a few common ways to treat scars. When simple topical treatments like scar cream or silicone sheets don’t work, the Cleveland Plastic Surgery Institute is here to recommend the appropriate clinical techniques for you.

What is Scar Revision?

Scar revision is a treatment that is performed to reduce the visibility of a scar. This common procedure can be performed almost anywhere on the body. It is done with the goal of making the scar look smoother and more consistent with surrounding tissues.

If you are seeking scar treatment, consult with us today. We offer both non-surgical and surgical options.

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The most frequently asked questions about scar revisions

Anyone of any age can be a good candidate, provided that they are in good physical health. Patients should not smoke (or should be willing to quit for several weeks). 

During your consultation, the affected tissue will be carefully examined and realistic goals can be set for treatment. Patients must understand that while a scar may be significantly improved through appropriate treatment, some signs of scarring may persist indefinitely.

Scar revision can be achieved in many different ways. When topical treatments fail to achieve your desired outcome, surface treatments or surgery can be explored. 

Surface treatments work by smoothing the surface of the skin. Some treatments may also reduce discoloration, making the scar blend in more with the surrounding skin. Examples of surface treatments include:

Injectable dermal fillers are also sometimes used to reduce the appearance of sunken scars. For more severe scarring, it may be necessary to inject a steroid solution that stimulates collagen production, refining the texture and size of raised scars.

In addition, surgical repair may be needed for some types of scars. This may involve a few different techniques. Some improve the appearance of the skin while others restore the function of an area that has become restricted due to the formation of scar tissue. Examples of scar revision surgery include:

  • Skin grafts or flaps. Grafting procedures involve the removal of healthy tissue from one area of the body and attaching it to the area that has developed scarring. Skin flaps are types of grafts that involve creating a flap of skin that sustains its own blood supply as one edge of the flap remains connected to its original location
  • Z-plasty surgery may be recommended for severe scarring. This type of revision involves the creation of angled flaps of skin along the length of the scar. This zig-zag pattern can reduce scar tension and reposition your tissue in such a way that the scar becomes much less visible. 
  • Tissue expansion. Some scars can restrict the movement of an area of the body. In these cases, the skin near the site of the scar may need to be gently and gradually stretched to “grow” extra skin to cover the scar.

Non-surgical scar revision treatments can feel slightly uncomfortable. When appropriate, a local anesthetic may be applied to the skin before various treatments. In general, most treatments are well tolerated without any anesthetic or with the use of topical numbing cream. 

Surgical scar treatment is performed using anesthesia as needed, based on the complexity of the procedure.

Types of anesthesia used during the procedure include:

  • Local anesthesia – administered via injections into the upper and then lower layers of the skin
  • Regional anesthesia – delivered via injection or IV line, blocks pain signals from the surgical area to the brain
  • General anesthesia – involves IV anesthesia that puts the patient to sleep

This may look slightly different for every patient. It depends on the type of treatment that is performed and the way the patient’s body responds. Generally, patients need several days to recover after more intense scar revision treatment. At first, the area might look worse. You may rely on prescription or over-the-counter painkillers for a few days to manage soreness and tenderness.

For lighter scars that are treated nonsurgically, such as dermal fillers, no downtime may be needed. You will receive very clear directions about your post-operative wound care and activity limitations.

There are several factors that influence the timing of your cosmetic results. Milder scars that are treated with dermal fillers may look better immediately after treatment. More significant scars that are treated with laser or light therapy or with surgery can take one to two weeks to begin making visible improvements.

While recovery may take one to two weeks, it could take months for your cosmetic outcome to reach an acceptable level.

No matter which clinical method is used, scar revision is not without risk. Even dermal filler injections carry a very low risk of infection simply because the skin is broken. Laser and light treatments carry the risk of infection, contour irregularities, changes in skin sensation, and poor aesthetic outcomes. All scar treatments could result in worse scarring in certain situations.

Scar revision is rarely covered by insurance. With that being said, if you are suffering from scarring that inhibits movement in the affected area, or that causes persistent symptoms such as pain or itching, you should speak with our office or your insurance provider. In some situations of functional decline, it may be possible to obtain coverage for at least part of the cost of scar revision treatment. 

Contact Cleveland Plastic Surgery for Your Scar Revision Consultation

When you visit our office and med spa, your scar will be thoroughly examined and all treatment options available to you will be discussed. This may include surgical or nonsurgical techniques, or even a combination of different therapies. After your consultation, you will be presented with all appropriate treatment choices so you can make the most informed, confident decision based on your personal goals and preferences. We look forward to helping you. Contact our office at 440-461-6100 to schedule your consultation. We serve patients in Cleveland, Akron, Chagrin Falls, and nearby areas of Ohio.

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