What can I do to achieve a better scar?

Patients with chronic disease need to be in the best possible condition ahead of surgery. For instance, diabetes should be well controlled to avoid infection, anaemia should be treated to speed healing. Nutrition should be good. Obese patients tend to heal poorly and suffer more infections, whilst undernourished patients may be short of vitamins need to assist healing and recovery.

Our patients are generally fit and well-nourished and are unlikely to be deficient in vitamins or other elements and need not adjust their diet. Smoking is always bad for healing and patients undergoing facelifts, breast reductions and lifts and abdominal reductions should stop smoking three weeks before surgery.  If smokers are also overweight then the risk is greatly increased. 

Scars tend to be sun sensitive although healing is not delayed.  It is patients with olive or darker skin who need particularly to avoid sunshine or to use a factor 50 sunblock.  All our patients should be using the silicone dressing supplied to them which incorporates a sun factor (Kelocote SF). 

Exercise will tension the wound and should therefore be reduced within the first two weeks, however some patients will be prepared to sacrifice the quality of the scar in order to maintain exercise.  These will include our professional athletes who need to be back within days.  Patients who wish to go back to the gym early should discuss this with the Surgeon before so they can accommodate and adjust the type of suture material used. 

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