When you undergo surgery or sustain an injury, there’s often a visual reminder of the incident after you heal: a scar. Scars form where your body tries to fix damaged skin. There are several types, and they can look flat, raised, sunken, lumpy, or discolored. Scars can also cause discoloration and vary in severity.
Scarring may be a natural part of healing, but it can still impact your appearance and even impair function in the affected area. But you don’t have to let your scars hold you back. There are several approaches available that can reduce the appearance of scars.
Scott A. deVilleneuve, MD, is a top-ranked surgeon in McKinney, Texas. At Surgical Associates of North Texas, he brings the most advanced soft tissue repair techniques to people who want to minimize their scars. If you have a scar, here’s how Dr. deVilleneuve can help you.
Your skin is your immune system’s first line of defense. This natural barrier protects your body from harmful substances, including germs. When your skin sustains damage, your body jumps into action making new tissue filled with collagen to seal up the opening.
Scars come in all shapes and sizes, and nearly everyone has at least one. A scar’s appearance depends on several factors, such as:
For people with lighter skin, scars often start out pink or red. For people with darker skin, scars typically resemble dark spots. Over time, scars usually fade until they become slightly lighter or darker than the surrounding skin.
Not all scars are a problem, especially since they often fade with time. However, if your scar causes pain, restricts movement, or affects your appearance, there are solutions.
There are several approaches available to reduce the signs of a scar. In some cases, simple topical treatments are enough, but Dr. deVilleneuve offers surgical scar revision procedures that can provide dramatic results for more severe cases.
Surgical scar revision requires advanced skill and soft tissue techniques. That’s because scars and their surrounding tissue aren’t solid, like bone. Instead, they flex and change shape when handled, which are factors that require special techniques to achieve the best outcomes.
There are different approaches to scar revision surgery, and the approach used depends on the type, severity, and location of your scar. However, all approaches involve removing scar tissue and using specialized techniques to improve flexibility and reduce visibility of the scar.
For example, some scar revision surgeries benefit from skin grafts or skin flaps. During a skin graft, Dr. deVilleneuve takes healthy skin from another area of your body and attaches it to your scar site. A skin flap works in a similar way, but it includes the donor skin’s underlying fat, muscle tissue, and blood vessels. This approach is beneficial if your scar site doesn’t have a good blood supply.
Do know, however, that no matter which technique Dr. deVilleneuve uses to treat your scar, it can only get minimized, not completely erased.
After your surgery, you can expect to have some discomfort, discoloration, or swelling at the treatment site. This can last 1-2 weeks as the first stage of healing gets underway. Soon, a new scar will start to form and fade.
As you recover, Dr. deVilleneuve will provide detailed care instructions to help support the healing process and ensure the best outcome. It can take several months to achieve your final result, but it’ll last a lifetime.
If you have a scar, soft tissue surgery could help. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Surgical Associates of North Texas today.