Scar revision helps in making the scar less noticeable and more cosmetically appealing
Scar revision helps in making the scar less noticeable and more cosmetically appealing

Scar revision helps in making the scar less noticeable and more cosmetically appealing; however, it does not completely erase it. Scar revision is also useful in restoring a poorly healed scar. Scar revision may include both surgical and non-surgical techniques. Complications of scar revisions can be reduced by proper planning and physician’s experience.

What is scar revision?

Scars are visible remnants on the skin as they heal after an injury or accident.

Scar revision is a procedure that helps to minimize a scar and makes it less conspicuous and blends with the surrounding skin tone. It restores function and corrects disfigurement caused by an injury, a wound, poor healing, or previous healing. 

Scar revision may include:

  • Simple topical treatments
  • Minimally invasive procedures
  • Surgical revisions with advanced technologies

What are the different types of scars?

The different types of scars include:

  • Discoloration or surface irregularities: These types of scars do not cause any physical discomfort and can be cosmetically improved by surgery.
  • Hypertrophic scars: These are a thick bunch of scar tissue that develop at the wound site and become uncomfortable over time.
  • Keloids: These are larger than hypertrophic scars that are painful and itchy and may also crease.
  • Contractures: These are scars characterized by pulling of the skin and underlying tissue during healing.

How is scar revision performed?

Scar revision can be performed under local anesthesia, intravenous sedation, or general anesthesia. The plastic surgeon may recommend a combination of scar revision techniques to achieve optimal results. These include:

Topical treatments: Gels, tapes, or external compression help in wound healing or reduce the skin’s ability to produce abnormal pigmentation. These may also help to treat existing surface scars and discoloration. It may also be useful during the healing of scar revision procedures.

Injectable treatments: Dermal fillers are useful in filling depressed or concave scars. The results may last anywhere from three months to several years, depending on the injectable substance. Therapy should be repeated several times to maintain results.

Surface treatments: These involve cosmetic improvement of the scar. It evens skin irregularities and reduces uneven pigmentation. The different types of surface treatments include:

  • Dermabrasion is a mechanical polishing of the skin.
  • Laser or light therapy brings about changes in the surfaces of the skin, leading to the formation of new, healthy skin at the scar site.
  • Chemical peel solutions even out irregularities in texture and color by penetrating the skin’s surface.
  • Skin bleaching agents are applied topically to lighten the skin.

Surgical incision: It is required to surgically remove an old scar.

Some scars that penetrate deep into the skin surface may require layered closure. Layered closure can be achieved with absorbable or non-removable sutures. Some of the advanced techniques in scar revision include:

  • Complex flap closure
  • W-plasty
  • Z-plasty

What are the risks of scar revision procedure?

The risks of scar revision procedure include:

  • Recurrence of scar
  • Keloid formation
  • Separation of the wound
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Prolonged healing
  • Skin sensitivity
  • Skin discoloration and swelling
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Skin sensitivity
  • Persistent pain


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Medically Reviewed on 10/19/2020