Scar revision is intended to improve the cosmetic appearance of skin irregularities and blemishes resulting from prior injury or unsatisfactory surgical repair. These include scars that are raised, discolored, depressed, poorly aligned and/or have mismatched texture. Oftentimes scars that are quite obvious and unsightly can be revised to blend naturally into the surrounding skin, making them barely noticeable.
Some scars are simply excised and closed in a more meticulous fashion. Others require rearrangement of adjacent skin to break up the scar line (such as Z-plasty).
Dermabrasion is a non-surgical treatment that is commonly used to revise scars that are slightly raised or have abnormal skin texture. It is also used in conjunction with other methods of scar revision (such as excision) to further blend the skin surface.
Scar revision is typically done under local anesthesia in the office. In most cases, the scar will look slightly worse for a short period of time before it begins to demonstrate improvements. Sometimes this can take up to several weeks to months. Therefore, any patient considering scar revision needs to be aware that immediate improvements are not likely and patience needs to be exercised during recovery. Knowing this, scar revision is an excellent option that can ultimately provide you a significant improvement in terms of scar appearance.
Many of these scar revision techniques were summarized in the last edition of “Scar Revision – A Self-Instructional Packet”, which was co-authored by Dr. Hilinski. This booklet is the latest official publication sponsored by the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and intended to serve as a teaching manual for other facial plastic surgeons.