Surgical Scar Revision
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Surgical Scar Revision in Vancouver
Scars are a normal part of the healing process. As your skin heals after damage, the body generates new tissue from collagen. However, scars can develop in different ways, for some they fade over time and for others they can appear lumpy, red, dark, or raised.
Scars can develop anywhere on the skin. There are several types of scars, including:
Depressed (atrophic): These sunken scars often result from chickenpox or acne. They look like rounded pits or small indentations in the skin. Also called ice pick scars, they develop most often on the face. Acne scars may become more noticeable as you age because the skin loses collagen and elasticity over time.
Flat: Although it may be slightly raised at first, this type of scar flattens out as it heals. Flat scars are often pink or red. Over time, they may become slightly lighter or darker than the surrounding skin.
Keloids: These scars are raised above the skin’s surface, are enlarged and spread beyond the wounded area.
Raised (hypertrophic): You can feel a hypertrophic scar when you run your finger over it. These raised scars may get smaller over time, but they never completely flatten out. Unlike keloids, they don’t grow or spread beyond the wounded area.
Stretch marks: When skin expands or shrinks quickly, the connective tissues under the skin can be damaged. Stretchmarks often develop during pregnancy, puberty or after gaining or losing a lot of weight. They usually appear on the breasts, stomach, thighs and upper arms.
While some people wear their scars with pride as a testament to their lives, many people are keen to have the appearance of their scars minimized as much as possible. Scars tell a story, but it isn’t always a story they want to share.
Frequently used in combination with laser treatment, this procedure can improve the appearance of external scars. Poorly positioned scars can be repositioned, and contour problems can be corrected. Effort is made to place the final scars in anatomic lines in order to camouflage their appearance.
The Surgical Experience
Scar revision procedures are typically performed under local anaesthesia as an outpatient procedure at an accredited surgical facility. If the scar is larger, or combined with internal defects (such as an abdominal hernia) general anaesthesia may be required. The surgery typically lasts 1 hour. Following surgery, there will be swelling and bruising in the surgical site. Post surgical scar management is critical, with topical silicone gel, sun protection and moisturizer. Most patients are able to resume a normal work schedule within 1 week and incorporate exercise within 3 weeks. The full effect of surgery should be noticed within 6 months. Additional laser treatment may be required to achieve the optimum result.
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Fractional skin resurfacing is non-ablative meaning it leaves the top epidermal layer of tissue intact. No conscious sedation is required, and the procedure is non-surgical. Fractional skin resurfacing is performed using a topical anesthetic on the skin for treatment of individual regions of the face and body. The most you will feel is a warm, prickly sensation, which is very tolerable.
A series of 3-4 treatments is recommended for optimal results. Each treatment takes approximately 30 to 90 minutes depending on the size of the area. A topical anesthetic can be applied to the area before treatment to numb the skin. Treatments are scheduled approximately 4-6 weeks apart.
Your skin will look pink, with mild to moderate swelling and feel warm. After the treatment our Laser Specialist will provide you with an ice pack to cool the skin. An SPF lotion is applied to the skin for sun protection after treatment.
Mild to moderate redness and swelling will occur which usually lasts 3-7 days. Mild itchiness, warmth and a slight stinging sensation may occur immediately after treatment. The top epidermal tissue layer is left intact which dramatically reduces the recovery time.
Because Fractional non-ablative procedures bypass the melanin (pigment) layer of the skin to target the dermis we can safely and effectively treat darker and tanned skin. We perform the procedure year-round however SPF is critical during the summer months.
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