How we scar after surgery varies widely from person to person. For one person who may have a surgical procedure, they can have virtually no scarring, while another person may have a more notable amount of scarring.
Whenever the skin sustains damage, there is the possibility of scarring. But if you are having surgery, and your surgeon is highly skilled in their field such as Dr Matthew Peters, the outcomes can be aesthetically that much better than undergoing surgery performed by a less skilled surgeon.
According to Dr Matthew Peters, “Producing the best possible scarring is a result of joint considerations, from a surgical perspective during the procedure, and patient factors.”
Dr Peters further explains, “Surgeon factors include scar placement and gentle handling of tissue to minimise additional trauma. For patients, nutrition, activity modification, and following the advice provided by your Specialist Plastic Surgeon are the best ways to support healing and optimal scar development.”
Below Is an Outline Of Some Suggestions to Ensure a Visually Minimal Scar as Possible from Surgery:
- Choose a highly qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon such as Dr Matthew Peters if you are undergoing surgery – this especially applies if your surgery is elective.
- Know your Risk Factors for scarring. These can include:
A. Your Age (including how much sun damage your skin has).
B. Your current state of health.
C. Lifestyle factors, such as whether you smoke, your fitness and your alcohol intake.
D. Inherent factors, such as your natural skin colour – those with darker skin may notice that their scars are darker than the surrounding tissue.
E. Genetic factors. You may have inherited skin that tends to scar more heavily than others.
Any or all of the above risk factors (as they apply to you) should be discussed with your surgeon prior to surgery.
What YOU Can Do to Minimise Surgical Scarring:
- Follow all instructions for both pre-surgery and post-surgery.
- Go into surgery in the best possible health you can. This includes eating well, not smoking and not drinking alcohol immediately prior to or after surgery.
- Eating a balanced diet that has plenty of protein as this will aid your recovery, including any incision healing and scarring.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before and after surgery (the colour of your urine is a good indication of how hydrated you are – the clearer, the better).
- Watch your weight. You do not want to be carrying too much excess fat, especially for body surgery as the fat can distort the scarring. It is also important that you maintain a healthy weight, again to prevent excess fat distorting the incision site and scar.
- Strictly follow your wound care instructions. This includes preventing any infection, as this is one of the best ways to prevent scarring after surgery.
- Rest. Take as much time as your surgeon suggests. Take even longer if you feel you need to. Rest is one of the best ways to recover. And absolutely do not return to strenuous physical exercise before your surgeon gives you the okay.
- Avoid sun damage / sunburn. If your surgical scar is difficult to cover, such as your face, invest in a good sunscreen. Your surgeon can tell you when it is safe to apply ointments, but it is usually safe to do so when the sutures are removed, or the incision has closed completely.
- Wound treatments. There are now effective products on the market that assist in scar management. Discuss with your surgeon what products are suitable for your scar.
- Massage. More and more surgeons are recommending massaging the incision / scar site. But not until your surgeon gives you the go ahead, which is usually when the wound has fully closed and healed.
These photographs of before and after results are examples only, and do not constitute an implied or any other kind of certainty for the result of surgery or a non-surgical procedure. All surgery carries risks, you should seek a professional opinion before proceeding.