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Published a few days ago, Plastic Surgery Scars 101 offered an overview of what scars are all about and how to factor them in if you’re contemplating plastic surgery. This time, you can read about minimizing the appearance of scars.
Dr. Kevin Mayfield, an Ohio plastic surgeon, offers excellent information on his website about how a plastic surgeon and patient can work together to ensure scarring is minimal. One key is in the preparation for surgery. Mayfield discussed pre-op strategies, such as stopping smoking and getting proper nutrition. He also explained the importance of post-op care, including restricting activities that may stress the wound site and caring for incisions properly. During your consultation with a plastic surgeon, you should talk over these steps. It’s up to the doctor to outline them for you, and it’s up to you to commit to following them (Mayfield 1).
Mayfield also discussed plastic surgery techniques for minimizing scarring. These include: planning the incisions carefully, handling tissues very gently, employing multiple layer closures and using tiny stitches (sometimes dissolving sutures). These are approaches you can discuss with your plastic surgeon to help you gain confidence that he or she will do everything possible to limit the impact of scars from your procedure (Mayfield 1).
There are a few more strategies you and/or your surgeon can rely on during post-op healing to help avoid dramatic scars. One important step for you to take together is to immobilize the wound site to prevent scar widening. Ask your plastic surgeon if he or she will use special adhesive closures to support the wound, and be sure you’re ready to limit movement and straining around the site (Mayfield 1).
Another vital step for you is to keep your scar out of the sun—use a Band-Aid or sunscreen. Sunlight can darken scars permanently (U.S. National Library of Medicine 1).
There are still other recommendations your plastic surgeon may have. Some will advise patients to massage the scar for a time.