Scars after cosmetic surgery are visible reminders of the body’s remarkable ability to heal. But, whether large or small, surgical scars can have a significant impact on one’s self-esteem and overall well-being.
It is essential to remember that scar appearance varies largely in the population; despite using the same surgical techniques, different patients will have different scar appearances due to a multitude of factors. Often, this is the biological tendency of that patient for scarring, but also, other modifiable factors such as chronic diseases and smoking can affect your ability to heal and, in turn, will result in different appearances of scars.
It is essential to remember, however all scars will remain to some degree for some people forever. However, advanced scar management techniques can help minimise the appearance of scars, promoting healing and improving the overall aesthetic outcome.
Scar Management Techniques
- Application of skin glue
Dr Rory uses special skin glue in order to help support your wound directly after surgery as well as most often dissolvable stitches. This skin glue acts to support your skin and act as another dressing layer in order to support the skin as it heals.
- Wearing splashproof patches
The splashproof patches are essentially patches that are placed on top of skin glue in order to keep the glue protected and keep the wound dry and away from any potential infection and contamination risk. After surgery, these splash poof patches are applied to the incisions to keep them intact and away from moisture and infection. These are important in dressings and are replaced in your follow-ups for dressings.
- Wearing your support garment to keep dressings in place.
After surgery, you will be given a compression garment. These keep the dressings in place and thus effectively manage post-operative swelling and fluid retention by improving blood circulation.
Surgical garments also reduce discomfort, bruising, and pressure on the incisions, ultimately minimising visible scars. They also protect wounds from infection risk and support during the healing process.
- Limit movement
Limiting movement reduces the tension on scars and also delicate surgical wounds and therefore now since it heals without the risk of them eithe being pulled apart or extract scars during the recovery period plays a crucial role in allowing surgical wounds to heal quickly, without complications, and with the best aesthetic outcome.
Following post-operative instructions carefully and avoiding excessive tension or strain on the wound edges promotes proper wound healing. Collagen fibres form during the initial phases of healing. Pressurised movements could potentially impair wound healing.
- Post-operative scar management (after wound healing)
Post-operative scar management involves a multi-faceted approach, including scar massage, taping, and the application of nourishing creams or oils.
Dr Rory applies rollers that are widely used for facial massage They are especially good at applying firm pressure on surgical scars without the application of topical treatments such as creams or gels.
Scar massage, using moderate pressure and a slow, circular motion with your fingertips, helps produce paler, flatter, and softer scars as they mature. It is recommended to massage the scar at least once a day for a minimum of five minutes to achieve the desired results.
The treatment most advised for scar management is silicon gels and patches; these carry the most evidence-based for reducing the appearance of scar. Other treatments include other modalities.
- Limit sun exposure.
Premature exposure of scars to sunlight, particularly during the first three to six months post-op, increases the risk of hyperpigmentation and scar thickening. UV radiation from the sun can cause the new skin or scar to burn easily, leading to a darker pink or brown discolouration and increased visibility.
To protect the scar from harmful UV light, it is best to cover the area with clothing and limit direct exposure. When direct exposure is unavoidable, applying SPF 30+ sunscreen with zinc oxide to all uncovered skin is essential. Taking care of the scar and preventing sunburn will contribute to smoother, flatter, and less visible scars.
Scar visibility depends on various factors, and they diminish at different paces. Understanding what influences scars visibility will help you keep the right expectations post-surgery.
Understanding what influences scar visibility?
Scar visibility is influenced by several factors:
- The surgeon’s expertise and surgical technique
Dr Rory prioritises scar minimisation and selects the most suitable operation and meticulous surgical techniques for each patient. He uses extensive internal stitches that support the wound from within, reducing pressure on external incisions.
Dr Rory uses dissolvable small and fine sutures and doesn’t disturb skin’s healing, minimising scarring.
Taking good care of yourself after surgery can significantly impact the outcome. Following post-operative instructions, limiting movement, maintaining a healthy diet, getting proper rest, and wearing your support garment can make a substantial difference.
- Other factors beyond the control
Certain factors that affect scar visibility are beyond your control, such as your biological tendency for scarring can be good, average, or poor. Lighter skin tones tend to recover scar better, while older skin or skin that has been stretched due to weight loss may impact scar formation.
Splashproof dressings for scar treatment after cosmetic surgery
Waterproof or splashproof glue or dressings are applied on incisions to aid in faster recovery by preventing contamination and providing support and protection to the scar. These splashproof adhesive films are made from medical-grade material that acts as a protective layer over the skin.
Dr Rory uses these waterproof dressings as a deliberate scar management technique to reduce the appearance of scars from plastic surgery. Patients who underwent breast reduction surgery experienced noticeable improvements in appearance, pain levels, and overall quality of life after using these dressings than traditional ones.
By employing these scar management techniques in cosmetic surgery, individuals can promote optimal healing, minimise scarring, and enhance their overall aesthetic outcomes.
Dr Rory McGoldrick is a highly professional plastic surgeon who employs the best surgical techniques for optimal recovery and scar management. Following these guidelines and working closely with Dr Rory, you can confidently embark on your journey towards a minimised scar appearance.