Whether from injury or previous surgery, scars are a normal stage of the healing process. The colour and texture of scars fade and improve over time. Some scars that have healed poorly can be aesthetically unappealing for patients and/or affect the range of movement and function. Treatment options for scar management with Dr Taylor include injections of steroids and scar revision surgery.
Interventions during the scar formation process, including wound massage and the application of silicone products, can assist in softening scar tissue. Dr Taylor has a good working relationship with a very experienced team of Occupational Therapists, who specialize in scar management. He will refer you to this team if he feels you will benefit from this service.
What are Steroid Injections?
This procedure can be done in Dr Taylor’s rooms during a clinic appointment. You will be given a script to fill at the pharmacy, and you will bring the medication to your appointment. Injection of steroids into a scar will be completed over a series of appointments (usually 2 - 4). These injections help to soften the scar tissue, decrease the redness and therefore improve the scar's appearance. These injections are not painful.
What is Scar Revision Surgery?
Wounds healing under tension can worsen and stretch scars. Surgical revision of a scar involves cutting out the old scar, releasing formed scar tissue and suturing the skin back together again. In some cases, this may involve a ‘Z-Plasty’ to help release tissue close by.
Often when scar revision surgery occurs, the skin has stretched since the initial surgery/injury, and the wound will be under less tension and should therefore scar better. Tension is also relieved on the wound through the technique of suturing. In some cases, specialised dressings can also be used to support the wound during the healing phase to assist with scarring.
What Can I Expect with Scar Revision Surgery?
A Quick Overview
Surgery time: 30 mins - 1 hour
Length of stay in hospital: Day surgery
Recovery time: (The following are approximate times.)
Driving 24 hours,
Office work 24 hours,
Strenuous work/exercise 6 weeks if the movement will affect this area of the body during healing.
Incision and scar: Incision around the old scar (the same size)
Other Things to Consider
Often an injection of steroids and scar revision surgery are combined therapy.
To prevent poor scarring from reoccurring, it is important to prevent stretching of the skin in the area of the body during the healing process.
If you are someone who is prone to hypertrophic scars, there is no guarantee that this won’t reoccur.
Depending on the size and location of the scar, this surgery can potentially be done under local anaesthetic if you would prefer.
Download the Scar Revision Information Sheet, click here.
You can find more information on the procedures at plasticsurgery.org.au