At Penn, our plastic surgeons can improve the appearance of a scar on almost any part of the body.

What is Scar Revision Surgery?

Every person heals differently and the effects of an injury or surgical scar are always unique. At Penn, our plastic surgeons can improve the appearance of a scar on almost any part of the body.

While no scar can be removed completely, the appearance can be drastically improved.

There are several types of scar revision procedures including the following:

  • Scar excision: If there is sufficient adjacent skin, the scar is excised or removed and the skin is closed.

  • Z or W-plasty: The original scar is repositioned along the natural lines and creases in the skin.

  • Skin grafting: The scar is surgically removed and skin from another part of the body is used to cover the area if the scar area is large. This method is frequently used for burns.

  • Skin flap: Similar to a skin graft, skin and the tissue below the skin are moved from another part of the body to cover the site.

Who is a Good Candidate for Scar Revision Surgery?

Almost anyone can look and feel better about their appearance after scar revision surgery. Scars go through a healing process that lasts for about a year. Scars will be red for a time, get tight and then relax and have a more subtle color. Once the scar is completely healed, scar revision therapy may be considered.

What to Expect After Scar Revision Surgery

Because different parts of the body heal differently, recovery times and expectations vary depending on the procedure performed and the location on the body. Surgery to repair a scar on your leg may take as long as two weeks to heal, while a procedure on your face may take only about a week.

Your surgeon will talk with you about what to expect after the surgery, as well as how to care for your wound. Carefully following these instructions will help speed recovery and give you the best chance for excellent long-term results.

Risks of Scar Revision Surgery

While scar revision is normally safe, there is always the possibility of complications as with any surgery. These may include infection, bleeding, a reaction to the anesthesia, or the recurrence of an unsightly scar.

You can help prevent complications by carefully following all pre- and post-operative instructions provided by your surgeon.

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