What is Scar Removal Surgery?

Scar Removal surgery, also commonly known as 'Scar Revision' surgery or 'Scar Reduction' surgery, is surgery to minimize a scar so that it becomes less conspicuous and blends in with the surrounding skin tone and texture. Scar Removal surgery improves the cosmetic appearance of the scar, and improves the associated self-confidence of those who feel self-conscious about the appearance of their scarring.

Scars are visible signs that remain after a wound has healed after trauma (e.g. due to burns, injury, Caesarean- section, surgery, self-harm, acne or chickenpox). Unfortunately, some scars heal better than others and once formed are hard to remove completely. In the case of large, visible scars they can be made less visible via Scar Removal surgery.

Scar Removal surgery, or Scar Revision surgery, is also an excellent option for the therapeutic (or medical) treatment of scars that are painful, itchy or restrict your movement.

What are the benefits of Scar Removal surgery?

  • Quick, effective surgical treatment 
  • Local anaesthetic, no general anaesthetic required 
  • Reduce or remove visible scars 
  • Treat painful or itchy scars
  • Improve movement in scar area
  • Improve emotional wellbeing

Who is suitable for Scar Removal surgery?

Scar revision surgery can be performed on people of any age and is a good option for you if:

  • You are bothered by a scar anywhere on your body
  • You are physically healthy
  • You have a positive outlook and realistic goals for your scar reduction surgery
  • You do not have active acne or other skin diseases in the area to be treated

Why have Scar Removal surgery?

Whilst there are a number of non-surgical methods available to reduce scar visibility, surgical scar reduction is typically the most effective means for reducing particularly prominent, complex or unsightly scarring.

Alternative non-surgical treatments include

Scar reduction treatments do not guarantee complete removal of the scar, but aim to make it less obvious. They can also help to reduce tightness caused by the scar tissue. The colour and type of your skin, your age and the type of scarring influence how much improvement you can expect.

Often a combination of treatments will be required to achieve the optimal outcome.

Before & After Gallery

Scar Removal Results

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Frequently Asked Questions

Scar revision is a highly individualized procedure and you should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else's desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image.

Scar revision can be performed on people of any age and is a good option for you if:

+ You are bothered by a scar anywhere on your body
+ You are physically healthy
+ You have a positive outlook and realistic goals for your scar revision surgery
+ You do not have active acne or other skin diseases in the area to be treated

Scars can be treated anywhere on the face and body

Some people produce better scars than others.

A 'good' scar fades significantly after appearing and blends in with the surrounding skin tone. A 'poor' scar, such as a keloid or hypertrophic scar, will stay visible and cause skin irritation for a number of months after formation. When these 'poor' scars fade they tend to whiten, flatten but, remain visible.

Good scars have the following characteristics:

+ Often caused by having the right genes. Some people simply scar better than others. Darker skin is more prone to make the worst scars, so too Celtic skin and those with red hair at the opposite extreme are also often poor scar makers
+ The scar is in the right direction in the lines of skin tension. Experienced trained surgeons will choose to position scars properly as for instance transversely across the abdomen rather than vertically downwards.
+ Located in naturally optimal areas, such as by avoiding the centre of the chest or tip of the shoulder
+ Scars may be hidden discretely below areas such as the breast, behind the ear, in the groin or in the armpit (axilla).
+ Influenced early by proper surgical care. Surgeons can influence the result by meticulous technique and using dissolving sutures or glue and removing other stitches early enough to avoid stitch marks.

Your scar revision surgery will be performed by one of our trained plastic surgeons and scar specialists. We are proud to have scar specialists trained in the military who are experts in soft, tissue reconstructive surgery and experts in the scarring process.

There is very little preparation prior to scar revision surgery, however, at your consultation with your surgeon you may be asked to do the following in advance of your treatment:

+ Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
+ Stop smoking well in advance of surgery
+ Avoid taking aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding

Scar revision surgery can last anywhere between 20 minutes to 1 hour, and is performed as a day case treatment under local anaesthetic.

We are passionate about scar treatment and scar management, and offer all types of Scar Revision treatment at the Cadogan Clinic.

These range from the surgical to the non-surgical (e.g. ICON Laser, IPL, Dermal Fillers, Enerjet etc.).

It is vital that you speak to one of our specialists to develop the right programme for you.

Scar revision surgery is most commonly performed to improve the cosmetic appearance of a scar, however it is also frequently performed for functional reasons as well.

This is most commonly the case in the instance of 'contracture'. This occurs when the formation of a scar interferes with the movement of the underlying muscles and joints, such as when a shortening or tightening of the skin causes a corresponding tightening impact on the underlying muscles. Contractures may interfere with a range of motion and other aspects of joint functioning, as well as deform the shape of the scarred body part or affect key muscle groups, such as the muscles in the face responsible for controlling facial expressions.

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.

Scar Revision takes place under local anaesthetic. You should not feel any pain during the procedure, and pain should be minimal during the healing process.

You may have a little swelling or bruising after treatment, as well as minor skin colour changes. These may last for 1 to 2 weeks after your surgery.

It is not uncommon to experience altered sensation following your treatment. This may either manifest in increased sensitivity (apart from the early discomfort of surgery), or the reduction in feeling around the treated area. These changes in sensation usually last for a month or so following surgery.

There is very little downtime after scar revision surgery. Most patients will be able to return to work the same day or the following day. Your surgeon will give you clear instructions at your consultation.

We strongly recommend that you do not sit out in strong sunlight for the first 2 weeks after surgery.

Once fully recovered and the scars are matured you may expose areas on the body or face that have been treated as per normal.

Scar quality is extremely important to us and to our patients. To mitigate the risk or impact of scars, we take a proactive scar management approach to all of surgical activity done on site.

All patients undergoing surgical procedures with us are eligible for this treatment, but this will be of particular interest to patients who could potentially have larger scars in areas of the body where they could be an issue. In particular after breast surgery, abdominal reduction and face lifts.

Our care programme includes:

+ Bespoke, tailored advice from our post-operative wound care nursing team
+ 24 – hr access to our on call nursing team to answer any questions
+ Access to core follow up treatments such as; Silicone gel or sheets, ICON Fractional laser treatmentLED light treatment 
+ Some patients may be advised to also undergo:

PRP: healing factors (platelet rich plasma) are taken from your own blood and injected them under the scar to promote healing and tissue rejuvenation.
Micro-needling or 'collagen induction therapy'. This involves using fine needles to create hundreds of tiny, invisible puncture wounds in the top layer of skin. These micro injuries are virtually painless and stimulate the body's natural wound healing processes resulting in increased collagen and elastin production, tissue regeneration and skin repair
Steroid Injections: A highly effective treatment for lowering and taking inflammation out of established active scars and for those at risk of developing keloids.
Irradiation for keloids: a treatment via superficial radiotherapy to prevent keloids from forming post surgery. In the case of existing keloids, they can be excised and the new wound treated with irradiation to prevent a new one from forming.
Repair cream (Ticalfate, Cicaplast): a useful adjunct, but given for patient comfort rather than efficacy.

Whilst we cannot guarantee a perfect scar, we can guarantee that our scar management programme will give your body the very best chance to heal and recover properly.

The most important aspect of long-term aftercare is protecting the affected area from the sun because the surgical scar will take about a year to mature and is only about 80% as strong as undamaged skin. Sunlight can cause burns, permanent redness, loss of pigment in the skin, and breakdown of the collagen that maintains the skin's elasticity.

Aftercare following the use of skin grafts or flaps is slightly more rigid. You will be scheduled to return to the Clinic at regular intervals so that your graft sites can be monitored. If artificial skin has been used you must keep the site(s) completely dry until advised otherwise – this may require specific restrictions around bathing or showering as well as clothing choice, i.e. wearing loose comfortable clothing can help reduce the disturbance to the treated area.

Massaging the treated areas after surgery when comfortable enough to do so (usually 2 weeks following surgery) is a very important part of the healing process and helps to soften your skin, adjacent tissue, and helps accelerate healing - you will be given exact instructions about aftercare and which movements when massaging would be best.

Skilled surgeons can influence the quality of the scar by choosing the optimum position and orientation of the scar during surgery.

For instance, a vertical scar in front of the ear will be a good scar, while a transverse scar across the cheek will be a poor scar. Our Surgeons aim to keep the scar as short as possible and to repair the wound with appropriate stitches. Any conventional stitch through the skin will need to be removed early to avoid stitch marks. In many areas of the body the Surgeon will choose use dissolving suture materials under the skin, thus avoiding stitch marks altogether.

Any signs of slow healing or infection are treated promptly by our expert team. Prolonged redness or raised keloid scars are treated early, as well as patients with olive or darker skin may develop extra pigmentation around the scar, called post-inflammatory inflammation (PID).
Why are we so passionate about scar management at the Cadogan Clinic?

At the Cadogan Clinic we are passionate about scar management. This is because with due care and consideration, a far superior outcome can be achieved on a patient by patient basis, if the right process is adopted from the outset of treatment and the right treatments applied.

We have the skills in-house to dramatically improved patient outcomes, and we are passionate about delivering them to the widest possible audience via our programme.

At the Cadogan Clinic we are passionate about scar management. This is because with due care and consideration, a far superior outcome can be achieved on a patient by patient basis, if the right process is adopted from the outset of treatment and the right treatments applied.

We have the skills in-house to dramatically improved patient outcomes, and we are passionate about delivering them to the widest possible audience via our programme.

Obstetricians are clever at creating high-quality Caesarian Section scars, but cannot avoid all potential problems. They try to place the scar transversely low on the abdominal wall below the bikini line.

However, the low scar through pubic hair is also wherein a small proportion of patients risk keloid scars. We now have a genetic test to assess this risk before surgery and can treat the scar itself with Cadogan Scar Management.

The bigger problem is swelling above the scar which bulges through tight clothing. The cause is tethering of the healing scar to deeper structures as it heals and is difficult for the Obstetrician to avoid. It is a problem for even the skinniest patient but becomes more significant for plumper patients. We can surgically revise these scars very effectively at the Cadogan Clinic removing the bulge (Cadogan Caesarian Section scar revision), either under local or general anaesthesia as a day case.

Patients with stretched loose skin and more subcutaneous fat will often benefit from a mini-abdominoplasty, which includes the removal of surplus skin and liposuction of the lower abdominal wall.

Patients, who have Caesarian sections performed in a hurry, often undergo the  Classical Caesarian Section with a vertical midline abdominal scar. The scar is not only difficult to hide but also of lesser quality. Cadogan Scar management becomes a more likely option.

Patients who have multiple caesarian sections sometimes end up with multiple scars. We can revise these to replace them with a single good quality scar.

What to expect

Free Consultation with a Patient Advisor

We offer a free, no-obligation 30-60 minute consultation with one of our Patient Advisors. They will work with you to understand your objectives and the results you want to achieve, talk you through the procedure and answer any questions you may have. If you decide that you would like to proceed to the next step and see a surgeon, your Patient Advisor will be happy to arrange this for you. At this point, you will be required to pay a consultation fee.

Surgical Consultation

The next step is for you to meet your chosen surgeon at the Cadogan Clinic. Your surgeon will use this time to make a comprehensive medical assessment of you, your condition, and your expectations before making a recommendation and personalised treatment plan for you. You will then discuss the outcomes you can expect to see and ask any questions.

The Procedure

On the day of your procedure you will be welcomed at the Cadogan Clinic by your Patient Advisor and dedicated nursing staff. Following a brief medical check, you will meet with both your surgeon and anaesthetist to run through the details of your procedure one final time and answer any last questions you may have.

Recovery

After the procedure, you will recover in the capable hands of our aftercare team. As we are a day-case facility you can expect your recovery to be complete within 2 to 3 hours. If your surgeon is happy with your results, you will be able to be discharged from the Clinic the very same day. In some cases, patients may wish to stay locally in our exclusive partner hotel the day before or after your procedure in order to be close to their surgeon. Talk to us about these options if this is for you.

After Care & Support

Our care and support continues in the days and weeks following your procedure with our complimentary aftercare programme. This comprised of a series of appointments made with your surgeon and nursing team to monitor your progress and recovery. They will also introduce you to several scar minimization techniques and bespoke products to aid your progress. Our team are also on call to answer any questions you have around your surgery at any time you are concerned.

What can I expect from my surgery?

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