Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Tummy Tuck Scar Revision Procedure

Tummy tuck scar revision surgery is a procedure that is done to improve the appearance of a scar from a previous tummy tuck. The surgery is usually done at the same time as the first tummy tuck, but it can also be done at a later date.

Tummy tuck scar revision can help with:

the appearance of scars that have stretched or widened over time

the visibility of an old incision line (the line where the old stitches were made)

the appearance of an unevenly healing scar or one that has not healed well

What Happens During Tummy Tuck Scar Revision Surgery?

During tummy tuck scar revision surgery, your doctor will remove all or part of your existing scar and replace it with new skin grafts and stitches. If you need more than one surgery, your doctor may use dissolvable stitches and biologic glue to prevent further bleeding during recovery.

As you know, the tummy tuck scar revision procedure is a surgical procedure that aims to reshape the appearance of the patient’s abdominal area. It is a cosmetic procedure that can be performed for both men and women.

The tummy tuck scar revision procedure is used to improve the appearance of an existing scar on the abdomen. This can be caused by many factors such as:

Childbirth – Any woman who has had a baby may find that her tummy has stretched and has lost its shape. This can leave unsightly scars that are visible even when wearing clothes over them.

Weight loss – If you have lost weight, this may have caused your skin to lose elasticity and stretch marks may appear on your body. These marks could be located anywhere on your body but most commonly appear on the abdomen or thighs.

Liposuction – Liposuction is another cosmetic procedure that can leave unsightly scars behind if not done correctly by a qualified plastic surgeon.

What are the steps of a scar revision procedure?

Step 1 – Anesthesia

Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedures. The choices include local anesthesia, intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.

Step 2 – The treatment

The degree of improvement that can be achieved with scar revision will depend on the severity of your scarring, and the type, size and location of the scar. In some cases, a single technique may provide significant improvement. However, your plastic surgeon may recommend a combination of scar revision techniques to achieve the best results.

Topical treatments, such as gels, tapes or external compression, can help in wound closure and healing, or to reduce the ability of skin to produce irregular pigment. These products may be used to treat existing surface scars and discoloration, and to aid in the healing of scar revision procedures.

Injectable treatments may also be used. Dermal filler can be used to fill depressed or concave scars. Depending on the injectable substance used and your particular scar conditions, results may last from three months to several years. Therapy must be repeated to maintain results. Another form of injection therapy uses steroidal-based compounds to reduce collagen formation and can alter the appearance, size and texture of raised scar tissue.

Surface treatments are most often used for cosmetic improvement of scars. These methods can soften surface irregularities and reduce uneven pigmentation. Surface treatments are a controlled means of either mechanically removing the top layers of skin or changing the nature of tissue. These treatment options include:

  • Dermabrasion is a mechanical polishing of the skin.
  • Laser or light therapy causes changes to the surface of the skin that allow new, healthy skin to form at the scar site.
  • Chemical peel solutions penetrate the skin’s surface to soften irregularities in texture and color.
  • Skin bleaching agents are medications applied topically to lighten the skin.

Step 3 – Sometimes for deeper scars an incision is needed to surgically remove the old scar

Step 4 – Closing the incisions

Some scars require layered closure. Layered closure is often used where excision extends to tissue below the skin surface or in areas with a high degree of movement. The first step, or layer, requires sub-dermal closure (below the skin surface) with absorbable or non-removable sutures. Layers of closure continue to build, concluding with closure of the remaining surface wound.

Advanced techniques in scar revision include complex flap closures and W-plasty or Z-plasty techniques. Flap closures may reposition a scar so that it is less conspicuous or improve flexibility where contracture has restricted mobility.

Pharmaceutical tissue substitutes may be used if ample healthy tissue is not present for closure of a scar excision. This is more likely with revision of severe burn scars.

Tissue expansion can be a substitute for skin grafts. In this procedure, an inflatable balloon called a tissue expander is placed under the skin near the scar site. Over time, the balloon is slowly filled with sterile solution to expand the area of healthy skin. Once the skin has been stretched sufficiently, the expander and the scar is removed and the stretched skin is moved to replace the scar tissue. This process can involve multiple surgical stages or procedures in order to achieve the final results.

What should I expect during my scar revision recovery?

Progress and healing

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.

The results will be long-lasting

The final results of your scar revision surgery will be long-lasting, however it may take several months for your final results to become apparent and in some cases it may take a year for the new scar to fully heal and fade.

The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. Although good results are expected, there are no guarantees; and in some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.

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