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Scar Healing

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 16 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Scars After Surgery Scar Healing Scar

When people are asked if they have any questions regarding surgery they are about to undergo, one of the most frequently asked questions is, “will it leave a scar?” Whilst a number of years ago, the answer to this question would virtually always be a categorical “yes”, since the introduction and increased use of keyhole surgery, today it may well be that your operation will leave no trace of a scar whatsoever or it will be so minimal that you can barely see it, let alone be affected by it.

Open Surgery

If you require open surgery, then it’s almost inevitable that you will be left with some kind of a scar although a surgeon will always try to keep this as minimal as possible. Even advancements in the way in which open incisions can be closed these days has also become more technically advanced with, for example, the use of dissolvable stitches which can reduce the visibility and improve the appearance of a scar.

Nevertheless, if you are in need of having open surgery, then it’s important that you realise that you’re probably going to be left with some kind of scar as a result. Naturally, this can be distressing to some people, particularly so, if the operation is on an area which is always more visible to others and can’t be concealed by clothing - your face for example.

However, your surgeon will be able to answer any questions you might have relating to scarring prior to your operation. They will also be able to explain why keyhole surgery, if available for your procedure, might not be possible in your own case or may not be the best option for your own individual surgery and they’ll even be able to show you pictures or photographs of what your scar might typically look like following your surgery.

Scarring as a Natural Result of The Healing Process

The fact is that a scar is the natural result of the healing process of a particular wound or incision. This can be demonstrated by considering other injuries or wounds you may have suffered in the past which have not required any kind of surgery, many of which will have left some kind of scar as a result of your body’s natural healing process when it comes to an open wound, even if the scar is not that particularly noticeable.

It’s also the case that even with a surgical scar from a specific procedure, they won’t all necessarily look the same. They form differently depending upon both the exact location of the injury or incision and the age of the person affected or undergoing the surgery.

Scar Treatments

There are certain types of cosmetic and other kinds of treatment you can undergo to reduce the visibility of a scar or to make it appear less obvious. Not all treatments can be used to treat every type of scar damage however but treatments include:

  • Silicone gel scar treatment
  • Pressure garments (sometimes used in severe burns cases)
  • Chemical peels
  • Steroid or collagen injections
  • Dermabrasion
  • Laser surgery and low dosage radiotherapy

However, it’s important to consider any of these treatments very thoroughly and seek expert opinions and even second opinions before opting for a particular treatment as it may make the appearance of the scar even worse and cause other complications and it’s also true that not all scar removal treatment claims have yet to be scientifically proven and the reality is that it’s impossible to actually physically completely remove a scar.

Yes, in certain instances, some treatments will dramatically improve the appearance of a scar and make it less noticeable but you should be under no illusion that a scar can ever be completely removed to leave the skin totally unblemished and to seek sound advice first.

Your Own Positive Attitude to Scarring Will Help

And remember, although some people are psychologically affected by being scarred, many people adopt an attitude of becoming quite proud of their scar as proof of overcoming a particular surgical procedure or recovering from an injury and it often empowers them and they get quite attached to their scar as marking them out as representation of their own unique individuality.

It’s probably this healthy attitude to any scars you may incur that is far better than having some risky and unproven scar treatment that will help you overcome any negativity towards scarring which, after all, is a natural part of the body’s healing process.

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