Scar Revision Surgery in Auckland New Zealand
Whether due to injury or surgery, skin tends to heal with a scar. In some instances “over scarring” may occur causing Keloid or Hypertrophic Scars. The extent of scarring varies on the basis of genetics, skin type and anatomical location-for example incisions in the sternum and deltoid areas often result in prominent scars.
Scars are a way for our skin to heal itself after injury and, unfortunately, they sometimes become disfiguring or have an unpleasant appearance. They can be a result of surgery or trauma, and their formation is pretty much unavoidable. Some scars are more annoying than others, and this largely depends on their location, size, and healing process. Abnormal healing can lead to scars that are raised or depressed compared to the surrounding skin, making them more obvious.
There are different treatment options to remove scars and these include scar revision surgery as well as other procedures that aim to fade out the scar and make it properly blend in with the surrounding normal skin. If you’re looking for scar treatment in Auckland, New Zealand, then Dr. Mark Gittos would be your top choice. Dr. Gittos is one of the top plastic and reconstructive surgeons in the region, and he offers treatment for a wide variety of conditions, including scar revision surgery. Treatment is perfected to ensure you the best cosmetic outcome so that you regain the natural beauty of your skin and satisfaction with your body image.
The good news is that in many cases unacceptable scars (and tattoos) can be significantly improved by means of plastic surgical techniques, laser therapy, steroid injections, massage and silicone gel pad pressure therapy. Where appropriate scars may be hidden by hair follicle transplantation and cosmetic camouflage makeup.
What are the different types of Scars?
Scars are made from fibrous tissue your body produces to heal skin wounds. They can have different sizes, shapes, colors, and textures, and may sometimes grow abnormally. In addition to the usual scar, doctors have classified scars into several types:
- Irregular surface or discolored skin: An example is facial skin after treating acne vulgaris. The skin might sometimes end up having an irregular contour with numerous pits and defects that fall below normal skin level. Some scars might show abnormal discoloration and can become darker or lighter than surrounding normal skin.
- Hypertrophic scars: These are scars that grow abnormally to rise above the normal skin surface. They can become red and grow wider with time. Hypertrophic scars can be lighter or darker than surrounding skin.
- Keloid scars: These are similar to hypertrophic scars, however, they can grow to become larger and can extend beyond the edges of the initial wound. Keloids can sometimes itch and become painful. They are more common in people of African descent, and on areas of the skin where there’s minimal underlying fat.
- Contractures: This is the term used to describe scar tissue that forms over a large area of the body, usually over a joint, in a way that restricts normal body movement. These are commonly seen after severe burns.
Treatment options for scars
Dr. Mark offers different treatment options for those looking to deal with unwanted scars:
- Injectable treatments: These include injectable fillers, steroids, and fat transfer. Fillers are used to fill the defects (the pits) in scars that are depressed below normal skin level. This is a very simple and quick procedure, however, the results are not permanent and injections need to be redone every few months. Fat transfer is the transfer of fat from other sites of the body and injecting it as a filler in the defect, and the results usually last longer.
- Exfoliative techniques: This includes dermabrasion, chemical peels, and laser therapy. Laser therapy uses high energy light to slough off the outermost layer of the scar, promoting new skin cells to form. This helps the scar fade into the surrounding skin and can rejuvenate the surrounding skin and remove imperfections.
- Surgical scar excision: W-plasty and Z-plasty are surgical techniques that might be used by Dr. Mark to remove the old scar surgically. Naturally, a new scar will form, however, the new scar is smaller, less noticeable, and fades in with the surrounding tissue. The procedure is usually done under local anesthetic, where Dr. Mark will inject the anesthetic around the scar so that you don’t feel any pain.
- Skin grafting: If the scar is large, Dr. Mark might decide to replace the defect after excising the scar with a skin flap. A flap is a thick piece of skin that’s taken from another site of the body (usually one that’s hidden under your clothes) and grafted at the site of the old scar.
- Tissue expansion: A balloon is inserted under the skin near the scar and then it’s gradually inflated to expand the overlying skin. When enough skin has grown, the scar is removed and covered with the excess skin.
The Scar Revision Procedure
Dr Gittos will carefully examine and assess your scar, before deciding with you what options meet your requirements.
If the simple treatments such as gels, pressure garments or massage do not seem to be an effective choice, we may use special Plastic Surgical Techniques known as ‘W’ or ‘Z’-plasties operations to solve the problem. ‘W’ and ‘Z’ plasties are surgical flaps used to minimise visibility, reduce tension and realign scars.
The use of normal aesthetic junctions to hide scars-such as the groove behind the ear-is another classic Plastic Surgical technique.
Laser treatments like the V-Laser may also be effective in de-pigmenting red scars.
Recovery after Scar Revision Treatments or Surgery
After surgery we will tape the incision for six weeks to stop scar stretching and to apply pressure. Following his phase we recommend scar massage for another three months and avoidance of sun exposure for the same length of time.
You should expect the healing process to take 1 to 2 weeks, during which you might experience some pain, bruising, and swelling at the site of injury. Dr. Mark will instruct you on how to change the wound dressing and will tell you when you should come in to remove the stitches (if there are any).
After the initial phase of healing, the treated scar will gradually improve and fade in better with the surrounding tissue until reaching its final appearance. This happens over a few months, and the results are usually permanent.
Scars are a natural part of the wound healing process, however, they can become cosmetically unappealing. If you’re looking for scar revision treatment or surgery in Auckland, New Zealand, you should come to see Dr. Mark Gittos. Dr. Mark is a plastic surgeon that’s specialized in treating different skin conditions and offers scar revision surgery. Call us to set up an appointment with Dr. Mark to get a full assessment of your scar.
Medical Sources and Further Reading
Complications and Risks of Scar Revision Surgery
Scar Revision surgery incurs risks and complications like all surgery. Dr Gittos will make you aware of potential complications during your consultation. This includes anaesthesia risks, bleeding (Hematoma), infection, wound healing, deep vein thrombosis, scarring and numbness. Always stay informed and healthy, do NOT smoke before or after your procedure and read & understand your risks of surgery.
Finding the best Scar Revision Surgeon in Auckland
For many men & women in New Zealand suffering from unsightly scars, having scare revision surgery is a life-changing experience. There are many qualified doctors and plastic surgeons, but it is always best to find one who is experienced in scar revision surgery procedures. Find an experienced plastic surgeon who you feel comfortable with and have a look at their online reviews and patient testimonials to find out what their past patients say.
Why Choose Dr Mark Gittos?
Dr. Mark Gittos is a plastic surgeon in Auckland, New Zealand who has extensive experience in treating unsightly scars. Call us to book an appointment or to learn more about the services we offer. Dr Gittos has a current FRACS membership and significant scar revision surgery experience. You should consider these factors when searching for a top Surgeon in NZ.
Make an Appointment for a Scar Revision Consultation with Dr Gittos
If you would like a scar revision consultation then please call to make an appointment with Dr. Mark Gittos in Auckland, New Zealand. Come visit us to get a full assessment of your condition and learn about your treatment options.