Scar Revision in Austin – Laser and Surgical Scar Treatment
Most people who are interested in cosmetic surgery worry about the possibility of scarring. Fortunately, modern surgical techniques can limit, or even entirely prevent scar formation. Austin ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Malena Amato uses small incisions, laser and endoscopic surgical methods to minimize the risk of scarring associated with eyelid, brow, and facial surgery. In the unlikely event that scarring does occur, she provides scar revision treatment in Austin to rejuvenate the skin and restore a smooth, unblemished surface.
Dr. Amato also treats scars that her patients developed as a result of injury, severe acne, or reconstructive surgery. Scar revision is frequently integrated into reconstructive eyelid surgery. The procedure can be performed in an office procedure room or operating room under local or IV sedation, depending on the extent of the scar.
What Causes Raised or Highly Visible Scars?
When the dermis (the layer of connective tissue below the epidermis) is pierced, the body responds by creating fibrous bands of collagen to close the wound. These collagen fibers are thicker and stronger than normal skin, so scars have a slightly different texture and appearance than the skin around them. Sometimes, this difference is minimal; many scars gradually fade over the years until they’re pale and smooth, making them easy to ignore or conceal with cosmetics. In other cases, however, scars can become either raised and discolored or sunken and pitted. Raised scars, medically known as hypertrophic scars or keloid scars, form when the body produces too much collagen during healing. Pitted scars occur when fat or muscle tissue below the skin was lost due to injury.
Superficial scars often disappear on their own because the epidermis is constantly being shed and regrown. When a scar has grown into the dermis, however, its deeper layers remain untouched by normal cellular renewal. Scar revision therapies are designed to access the dermis and induce the complete rejuvenation of badly damaged skin.
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Scar Revision Techniques with Dr. Malena Amato
Scar treatment varies depending on how deep the patient’s scar is and whether it interferes with how the skin or muscles around it function or with eyelid closure. Most scars can be treated using noninvasive therapies like a steroid or 5Fu injection, topical steroid or other treatments, and laser skin rejuvenation, but deep scars may require surgery.
What is Laser Scar Revision?
During laser scar revision, a Co2 laser device is used to treat fibrous bands of collagen and stimulate healing within the dermis. Tiny beams of light enter the skin, creating thousands of microscopic punctures that extend into the deep layers of the tissue. This prompts the skin to start regenerating while leaving enough healthy tissue in place to give it ample support. Healthy skin cells gradually replace damaged cells in the weeks following treatment, and collagen distribution becomes balanced. With one or more treatments, laser therapy can gradually fade raised or darkened scars.
Dr. Amato uses a Co2 fractional laser to perform most scar revisions. This specialized medical laser is frequently used for cosmetic purposes including scar revision. With an experienced eyelid surgeon, Co2 laser scar treatment can be safely used to treat eyelids and the area around the eyes, making it an excellent choice for eyelid scar revision.
What is Surgical Scar Revision?
Surgical scar revision is generally used to remove an abnormal scar called keloid, or when fat or muscle have been lost due to injury, creating a pitted scar or problems closing the eyelids creating eye problems. It’s also necessary when the muscles below the skin have healed improperly, resulting in a reduced range of motion. To perform surgical scar revision, Dr. Amato makes an incision around the scar, then closes the incision with layers of self-dissolving sutures. These sutures provide structural support for healing tissues, keeping the layers of fat, muscle, and skin aligned properly so that the wound closes correctly.
In some cases, skin grafting is needed to cover particularly large or deep scars. This is usually only required after severe injury or Mohs skin cancer surgery. Skin grafting involves the removal of skin from a donor site and the transplantation of that skin to cover the disfigured area.
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Preventing Scar Formation
After an injury or procedure—including scar revision—proper wound care is vital to preventing the formation of raised, darkened, or uneven scars. When you sustain a deep wound, seek immediate medical attention to make sure the wound is closed quickly. If you’re worried about the cosmetic impact of your wound, see a plastic surgeon soon after seeing a doctor. Scar prevention techniques are most effective when a wound is still fresh.
When having cosmetic surgery, always choose an experienced board-certified Eyelid & Facial Plastic surgeon who uses minimally invasive surgical techniques wherever possible. You should also discuss wound care with your surgeon before surgery. Dr. Amato will give you thorough aftercare protocol to follow and prescribe pain medication as needed, and ophthalmic eye ointment for scars around the eyes, designed to expedite healing and reduce scarring. Make sure you follow her instructions precisely: Use any creams you are given as directed and don’t remove the surgical tape, bandages, or other wound coverings on your own.
Finally, understand that it’s very important to protect healing skin from sun exposure. UV damage during healing frequently leads to the permanent darkening of scar tissue. You should keep your incisions covered whenever you go outside (even on cloudy days) until they are no longer pink in color. Sun protection is also essential after having laser scar revision; your skin will remain sensitive to UV damage for three to four weeks after any laser treatment.
Arrange a Scar Revision Consultation in Austin, Texas
Whether you need cosmetic scar revision or complex reconstructive surgery, Dr. Malena Amato can help you improve your confidence and quality of life. To learn more about the scar revision techniques Dr. Amato offers at Eyelid & Facial Plastic Surgery Associates in Austin, contact her online or by phone. She’ll be happy to answer any questions you have about scar treatment and help you arrange a personal consultation.