Scar Revision / Therapy (Thousand Oaks)
Scarring is the inevitable result of surgery or certain skin injuries. Unfortunately, they can be a constant reminder to us of these past events. Some people scar excellently (elderly), whereas others have very poor scars (teenagers). Some parts of the body heal with very little scar (the eyelids), and other parts heal with bad scars (shoulders and upper back).
The scarring process
A normal scar takes 1-2 years to completely heal, or mature. It is usually red for the first 4-8 months, then it darkens slightly, followed by lightening after the first year. Scars are often initially raised, and then flatten with time. How a scar heals depends most of all on how your wound was closed by the surgeon. Other contributing factors include your genetics, and what happened to the scar after the surgery (e.g. infection, stress on the incision, etc). Abnormal scarring is quite common. Raised, red and unsightly scars are termed hypertrophic scars. Scars that grow outside the border of the original wound are termed keloid scars.
Is scar removal realistic?
The short answer is “no.” Although a scar can be improved, sometimes significantly, it can never be completely removed. Scarless healing is the “holy grail” of plastic surgery research. In the future, complete elimination of scars may be a possible. Any product or procedure that claims to eliminate scars completely is false advertising.
Who is a candidate for scar revision or scar therapy?
Do your scars bother you? Do you think they can be improved? A free consultation with one of our surgeons may be the answer you are looking for. Almost every scar can be improved. Especially scars that are less than two years old, since a scar this young has not fully “matured” and can often be improved. Older scars may require surgical revision (usually a minor office procedure). Keloid scars are extremely difficult to treat, and generally require specialized treatment, such as steroid injections or radiation therapy.
Does insurance cover scar revision?
Insurance rarely covers these procedures. The exception are scars that cause real symptoms, such as limiting the motion of a joint or severe itchiness. If your scar is symptomatic, our staff will do everything possible to get your procedure approved by your insurance.
What we offer at the Kryger Institute
Treating scars is our passion. Dr. Kryger spent a year in a research fellowship, studying how scars form and how to treat abnormal scars. He also trained with the world-reknowned plastic surgeon, Thomas Mustoe MD, one of the foremost authorities on scarring. Dr. Kryger has published several important papers in peer-reviewed journals on this topic. He will work closely with you to formulate a customized plan to improve your scars. Treatment approaches range from external pressure and topical silicone therapy (Kelo-cote) to complete surgical revision of the scar. All of the methods he uses are based on published scientific studies and years of experience. Please contact us today for a consultation.