Scar Revision

Surgery to Improve Appearance of Scars

Plastic surgeons perform scar revision to help minimize a prominent scar. There are many different ways to accomplish this, depending on the severity of the scar. From minimally invasive skin resurfacing procedures or injections, to skin grafts and flaps, scar revision procedures vary widely.

Scar revision is best for people who are bothered by a scar that was caused by an injury or previous surgery. Also, candidates should be healthy nonsmokers who understand the benefits and limitations of plastic surgery.

Such limitations include 1) the fact that scars can be significantly improved, but not fully removed, and 2) a patient may need to wait up to one year after scar formation to undergo a surgical scar revision. Non-invasive skin refinishing procedures may be performed sooner.

What to Expect in Scar Revision

What is it? Surgery to improve the appearance of scars caused by injury, surgery or burns.
Inpatient / Outpatient Outpatient
Surgery time: Varies depending on the technique. 1 to 3 hours
Recovery time: Initial healing phase requires 1 to 2 weeks

How Scar Revision Works

Dr. Alfaro will recommend the best scar revision technique, based on the scar you exhibit. To determine the procedure, he will look at the scar, its size, age, and other factors. Common techniques include:

  • Dermabrasion: a mechanical abrasion of the skin.
  • Laser treatment: skin resurfacing allows new, healthy skin to form at the scar site.
  • Chemical peels: a peel can penetrate the skin and soften texture and color irregularities
  • Skin lighteners: topical medications can be applied to lighten pigmented skin.
  • Excision: an ellipses-shaped incision is made around the scar and tissue is removed.
  • Tissue expansion: the skin is gradually stretched to cover the scar.

Scar Revision FAQ

What causes scars to develop?

Scars are visible signs that remain after a wound has healed. They are unavoidable results of injury or surgery, and their development can be unpredictable. Poor healing may contribute to scars that are obvious, unsightly or disfiguring. Even a wound that heals well can result in a scar that affects your appearance.

Are there different types of scars?

Scars may be raised or recessed, different in color or texture from surrounding healthy tissue or particularly noticeable due to their size, shape or location. Different types of scars include keloids, contractures and hypertropic scars.

What are the risks of scar revision?

Risks include hematoma, infection, delayed healing, anesthesia risks, change in skin sensation, damage to deeper structures, allergies to materials, skin contour irregularities, skin discoloration, swelling, skin sensitivity, deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications, pain, and need for revision surgery.

How long is recovery after scar revision?

The initial healing phase of a surgical scar revision may include localized swelling, discoloration or discomfort and may take 1 to 2 weeks. Healing will continue for several weeks and as the new scar heals it will slowly refine and fade. With dermabrasion, chemical peel or laser resurfacing, you will experience similar conditions at the treated area, in addition to overall sensitivity.

Scheduling Your Scar Revision in Tucson

If you are ready to discuss scar revision with a board certified plastic surgeon, we encourage you to call the office of Dr. Armando Alfaro in Tucson, AZ. Dr. Alfaro can answer your questions and discuss the details of this procedure. Call our office at 520-323-9720 to schedule a consultation.