The first step is Anesthesia; medications are used for your comfort during surgery. Selective methods include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will suggest the most appropriate one.
The second step is the treatment; The amount of healing achieved by surgery depends on your scar’s severity, type, size, and location. In some cases, one method alone is sufficient. However, your plastic surgeon may suggest a range of different treatments for the best results.
Topical treatments include gels, tapes, or compresses that may effectively close and heal wounds or prevent abnormal pigmentation. These products effectively treat superficial scars and discoloration and help in scar revision procedures to improve healing.
Injectable treatments: Usually used to fill wound sores. Depending on the injection and the specific condition of your wound, it may take 3 to several years, but the injection must be repeated to maintain the result. Another method is to use steroid injections to improve the appearance, size, and structure of prominent wounds and scars.
Surface treatments: Most often used to improve wound appearance. These methods usually improve surface irregularities and discoloration. Superficial treatments control the removal of the superficial layers of the skin or change the nature of the wound. These methods include:
- • Dermabrasion is a method of mechanical polishing of the skin.
- • Laser changes the skin’s surface and leads to the formation of new, healthy skin on the scar.
- • Chemical scaling solutions that penetrate the skin surface, soften the structure of the scar and improve color changes.
- • Skin whiteners are used to lighten the skin.
- • Sometimes deeper wounds need to be removed with a surgical incision.
The final step is Closing the incisions; Some wounds need to be layered. Layering is required in cases where tissue removal reaches subcutaneous tissues or areas with high mobility. The first step or the first layer requires sewing the subdermal (subcutaneous layer) with absorbent or permanent sutures. The sutures stay in place until the wound closes and heals.
Advanced scar treatment methods include complex flaps that remove the scar to make it less visible or improve flexibility in movement limitations.
Artificial tissue replacements are used in cases where healthy tissue removal is not enough to close the scar, which is more common in severe burn scars.
Tissue expanders replace skin grafts. In this procedure, a tissue expander, an inflatable balloon, is placed next to the wound. Over time, the balloon is filled with a sterile solution to promote healthy skin. When the skin is stretched enough, the balloon and scar are removed, and the stretched skin is used to replace the scar tissue. In this method, several surgical steps are required to obtain the final result.