Minimizing Surgery Scars

Anytime the skin is cut, a scar will form to close the wound, so scars are inevitable following most surgeries.   Emergency surgery will unfortunately leave scars that are usually more obvious, due to having to react quickly to save a life.   The trade-off is obvious.   Plastic surgeons have considerable training in this regard.   Elective cosmetic surgery does allow time for planning, so the telltale surgery scars are often minimized by the advantage of careful incision placement.   This planning allows for specific design of scar placement and the application of technologies that contribute to reducing the appearance of most scars.    

I intentionally place any visible scars in such a way that they are either easily covered by the smallest bathing suit a patient is likely to wear or able to be concealed with makeup and/or hairstyle.   Elegant surgical design is possible when all these things are taken into consideration.   Having the time and experience in making preparations for the surgical plan offers the best opportunity to minimize noticeable scars following surgery.

Most notable of the new techniques are the recent advancements in endoscopic surgery and applications in “natural orifice surgery.”   Perhaps the most well-know cosmetic procedure using natural orifice surgery is  rhinoplasty  or cosmetic nose surgery.   This operation was developed at the end of the 19th century and is performed through multiple incisions located inside the nostrils.   The supporting structure of the nose is re-sculpted by addition and/or subtraction of tissue and grafts to give a more aesthetically pleasing shape to the nose without any visible scars.

More recently, the advent of  liposuction/liposculpture  has allowed the safe removal of extra fat deposits.  Liposuction surgery consists of multiple tiny incisions that are carefully placed and designed to be inconspicuous following the procedure.   In fact, once healed many of these scars are hard to find. Designing incision placement is critical in minimizing noticeable scars and skill of the surgeon is important.   The direction, location, and length are the keystones of this design.   Scar direction relates to normal skin creases and wrinkles and is an important consideration.   Generally, scars that parallel these natural lines heal better and are less apparent.   Minimizing the incision length understandably reduces scar size.   Avoiding sun exposure to fresh scars is also important, as permanent pigmentation may result from unprotected incisions.

Finally, as cosmetic surgeons, we want to place any visible scars in such a way that they are either easily covered by the smallest bathing suit a patient is likely to wear or able to be concealed with makeup and/or hairstyle.   Elegant surgical design is possible when all these things are taken into consideration.   Having the time and experience in making preparations for the surgical plan offers the best opportunity to minimize noticeable scars following surgery.

3 Responses to “Minimizing Surgery Scars”

  1. Andrea Says:

    I have a tattoo that I would like to have excised. I would like the neatest scar possible. I know that this will depend on the size and dimensions of the tattoo as well as the skill of the surgeon. Do you have an suggestions of recommendations for particularly skilled surgeons? I live in London but am happy to travel to a recommended surgeon.

    Thanks
    Andrea

  2. nipntuck editor Says:

    Andrea, thank you for your blog question. Tattoos can be removed with excision or laser treatments. As you have surmised, the quality of the scar is dependent on the size, location, and skill of the surgeon. The location is also critical in determining the outcome. Actually, in some areas of the body like the décolletage or cleavage, laser treatments might be a better choice. The surgeon can help you with that decision. In that regard, I suggest that you consult with three plastic surgeons in London. You may also contact my office via email at info@nipntuck.com to discuss this further.

  3. Top Ten Don'ts Before Cosmetic Surgery - Ralph Bashioum MD Says:

    […] Help minimize scars by not tanning because sun or artificial tanning may cause discoloration, making scars become more noticeable.  For more information on minimizing surgery scars click here. […]

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