A plastic surgeon will try to minimize the disfigurement involved with a scar or tattoo. Some unsightly scars or tattoos can be removed and closed in such a way as to minimize their appearance. Burn scars may be removed and replaced with skin grafts to allow the skin's surface to have a more natural look. A Hypertrophic or elevated scar may be treated with steroid injections or Silicone sheets.
While scars cannot be completely removed, Mr Uppal can improve their appearance and make them less obvious. Many factors affect the severity of scarring, such as the size and depth of the wound, the blood supply to the area, the thickness and colour of your skin, as well as the direction of the scar. So, if you are considering scar or tattoo removal it is important to consult a qualified plastic surgeon such as Mr Uppal who will help you determine the procedure that is best for you.
What are the common benefits of scar revision?
Scar revision minimizes and improves the appearance of unsightly Keloids, facial and Hypertrophic scars. It can also relieve the discomfort of contractures, caused by burns or other injuries, which can restrict movement of muscles and tendons.
Will insurance cover my scar revision procedure?
It depends. In some cases if it is performed for reconstructive reasons then some insurance companies will cover it. Mr Uppal will support you if it is indeed a reconstructive procedure by contacting the insurance company.
How is scar revision or tattoo removal performed?
There are several effective procedures for scar revision and tattoo removal. The specific procedure used will depend on the type of scar and the results you wish to achieve. For instance, keloids are usually injected with a steroid injection to reduce redness, itching and burning. But both Keloids and Hypertrophic scars, which usually improve without treatment, may also be treated surgically. The scar of a contracture is usually cut and replaced with a skin graft or a flap. It can also be treated with Z-plasty, a surgical technique that repositions a scar to more closely conform it to the natural lines and creases of the skin. Facial scars can be treated with creams and laser resurfacing, which can significantly improve their appearance.
Skin grafting and flap surgery are more involved than other methods of scar surgery. Mr Uppal specialises in these techniques. These can be performed with you asleep or awake by numbing the area.
Skin Grafting involves transferring healthy skin from another part of the body to cover the injured area. Flap surgery, in contrast, is more complex and involves moving skin, fat, blood vessels and muscle to the injury site. Mr Uppal can help you determine which procedure is best for you.
How long does simple skin surgery take?
The time required for scar revision depends on the type of procedure. Mr Uppal will advise you of the time required for your specific procedure.
What can I expect after skin surgery?
You can expect some discomfort, swelling, bruising and redness in and around the area treated. Any stitches are usually removed in 5-6 days. Bandages may be required for up two weeks and creams may also be necessary to improve the healing.
What is the recovery period like?
During the recovery period your skin will require time to heal. You will usually be asked to limit your activity to lessen any stress on the area of treatment and to use cold compresses to reduce swelling. It is important to remember that scar tissue can take as much as a year or more to fully heal. Mr Uppal will monitor your progress, as well as advise you on what activities to avoid.
How long before I can return to normal activity?
You will be able to move about within minutes for most simple scar revisions and skin removal. Most people go back to work the next day. A small plaster will be applied which stays on for a week. After 1 week you can wash normally and get the area wet. After 1 week, light make-up should completely hide the scar and you can return to normal life. The scar matures and continues to fade slowly for 6 months to 4 years after surgery.
For more complex procedures, Mr Uppal will advise you to gradually resume your normal activities.
During your initial consultation, your surgeon will evaluate your health and explain the surgical technique he feels will be best for you or your child. Your initial consultation is also the time for you to discuss the results you are looking for. Mr Uppal will explain the surgery and the risks which include bruising, swelling and asymmetry.
You should expect some discomfort during the first one or two days after your surgery although Paracetamol will be enough to control any pain or discomfort. The surgery usually takes about 45 minutes and patients go home a few hours after the surgery. The stitches need to be removed 5-7 days after surgery at the clinic.