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.
Facial Scar Treatment Frequently Asked Questions | Dr. Malena Amato
Scars are your body’s way of healing damage to the layer of connective tissue below the epidermis. The body responds to close the wound by creating fibrous bands of collagen. These fibers differ from normal skin by being stronger and with a different texture to the skin around them.
With time, scars may smoothen and even become pale and easily to conceal with cosmetics. However, scars caused by burns, injuries, surgery, or other trauma may be raised, discolored, pitted, or sunken, and much more challenging to hide.
Your scar treatment will depend on how deep the scar is and whether it interferes with the way the skin or muscles around it function. To explore your options when it comes to scar treatment, you may have many questions to which you need answers.
If your scars are becoming a source of embarrassment affecting your quality of life, you can learn more about the scar treatment options offered by our experienced, board-certified facial cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Malena Amato, in Austin, TX, by contacting her online.
When the layer of connective tissue below the epidermis experiences damage, the body responds to close the wound by creating fibrous bands of collagen.
Raised scars, known as keloid or hypertrophic scars, can form when the healing process creates too much collagen. Pitted scars can result from a loss of muscle tissue or fat below the skin due to injury.
With the normal shedding and re-growing of the dermis, superficial scars often disappear on their own. However, when a scar has grown deep into the dermis, normal cellular renewal doesn’t reach its layers. In these cases, scar revision therapies can play a role in completely rejuvenating badly damaged skin.
No. It’s now possible to treat most scars by using noninvasive therapies such as a steroid or 5Fu injection, topical steroids, or other treatments such as laser skin rejuvenation. However, deep scars may require surgery.
Scar tissue consists of collagen, the same tissue found in normal skin. However, it is different from healthy skin because the collagen fibers in scar tissue form into a “cross-stitch” pattern. In contrast, healthy collagen has an easily recognizable “woven” pattern.
The different kinds of scars are as follows.
- Hypertrophic scars: These appear when the body produces too much collagen in the form of red bumps covering the scarred area. Typically, these develop in form, shape, and size a month or two after the wound heals.
- Keloid scars: Not always forming from a wound, this type of hypertrophic scar may show as red bumps on the skin and often extend beyond the original wound site. They do not tend to diminish in size over time.
- Contracture scars: These scars, often seen with burns, tighten the skin, which can constrain someone’s ability to move. These scars may also extend deeper and affect muscles and nerves.
- Atrophic scars: Causing the skin to appear sunken, this type of scar is generally the result of losing fat or muscle from an area of the body. Acne scarring or surgical scars are examples of these.
- Stretch marks: These may be the result of rapid weight gain or loss, often due to pregnancy or childhood growth spurts. Stretch marks are also usually more of a cosmetic concern than a medical issue.
- Acne scars: Almost any type of acne can leave behind scars, and these can be shallow or deep.
If you have any concerns about treating your facial scars with a cosmetic scar revision, Dr. Malena Amato would be happy to answer any questions you might have. Contact her at Eyelid & Facial Plastic Surgery Associates in Austin, TX, and arrange a free consultation.
Not all wounds form scars, especially if they are only a simple knee scrape or scratch. On the other hand, a deeper wound, especially if it takes longer for your skin to heal, will be more likely to create scar tissue.
After an injury or surgical procedure, proper wound care is vital in preventing the formation of raised, uneven scars and darkened tissue. After sustaining a deep wound, it is essential to seek immediate medical attention and to make sure to have the injury closed quickly. Scar prevention measures tend to be more effective when a wound is still fresh.
During cosmetic surgery like that performed by Dr. Amato, small incisions, laser, and endoscopic surgical methods minimize the risk of scarring. In the unlikely event that scarring does occur, she will provide scar revision treatment, which rejuvenates the skin and restores a smooth and blemish-free surface.
There are a variety of options you can consider when treating scars, some of which may be more effective than others.
- Topical solutions: These products, which are available both over-the-counter and by prescription, include creams, gels, or ointments, which may reduce scars caused by surgical incisions or other injuries and wounds. You can ask your doctor for recommendations. Should your scars be sensitive and cause itching, treatment options could include antihistamine creams or corticosteroids. You can use pressure dressings or silicone gel sheeting to prevent acne scars, as well as to treat existing scars.
- Surgery: Several options exist when it comes to this category. These may include skin grafts, as well as surgery to remove problematic scar tissue.
- Injections: Steroid injections can flatten protruding scars such as those found with hypertrophic scars or keloids. These injections can be helpful as a stand-alone treatment or in combination with other therapies.
- Laser surgery: During laser scar revision, applying a Co2 laser to the bands of collagen can encourage the healing of the scar from within the dermis. This treatment stimulates the skin to regenerate itself. Over time following treatment, healthy skin cells gradually replace damaged cells, and the distribution of the collagen evens out. The Co2 fractional laser Amato uses is a specialized medical laser that’s ideal for cosmetic treatments, including scar revision.
- Surgical scar revision: Generally, this is a solution to remove the abnormal scar type called a keloid, or to address fat or muscle loss due to injury. Typically, this creates a pitted scar. To perform surgical scar revision, Dr. Amato typically makes an incision around the scar and then follows this by closing the incision with layers of self-dissolving sutures. The sutures provide structural support for healing tissues and keep the layers of fat, muscle, and skin appropriately aligned so the wound closes correctly.
- Skin grafting: Sometimes, covering unusually large or deep scars might require a skin graft. Typically only needed after severe injury or Mohs skin cancer surgery, skin grafting involves the removal of skin from a donor site of the patient and the transplantation of that skin over the disfigured area.
- Exfoliation, chemical peels or dermabrasion: It’s often possible to remove a scarred layer of skin and lighten the appearance of a scar. However, during your consultation with Dr. Amato, you’ll be able to discuss whether this type of procedure can help your particular situation.
- Fillers: While not permanent, fillers can introduce normal collagen into an atrophic scar. You may need to repeat the procedure every few months to maintain your desired results.
For your cosmetic scar revision or complex reconstructive surgery, Dr. Malena Amato can help you restore your confidence and quality of life. Learn more about the excellent scar revision techniques she offers by contacting her at Eyelid & Facial Plastic Surgery Associates in Austin, TX, or by calling 512-501-1010 to arrange a free consultation. She’ll be happy to answer any questions you have about scar treatment.