Scar revision is a surgery to improve or reduce the appearance of scars. It also restores function, and corrects skin changes (disfigurement) caused by an injury, wound, or previous surgery. 
Scar tissue forms as skin heals after an injury (such as an accident) or surgery. The amount of scarring may be determined by the wound size, depth, and location; the person's age; heredity; and skin characteristics including color (pigmentation).
Depending on the extent of the surgery, scar revision can be done while you are awake (local anesthesia) or sleeping (sedated).
Scars shrink and become less noticeable as they age. You may be able to wait for surgical revision until the scar lightens in color, which can be several months or even a year after the wound has healed. For some scars, however, it is best to have revision surgery 60-90 days after the scar matures.
There are several ways to improve the appearance of scars:
  • The scar may be removed completely and the new wound closed very carefully Massive injuries (such as burns) can cause loss of a large area of skin and may form hypertrophic scars. These types of scars can restrict movement of muscles, joints and tendons (contracture). Surgery removes extra scar tissue. It involves a series of small cuts (incisions) on both sides of the scar site, which create V-shaped skin flaps (Z-plasty). The result is a thin, less noticeable scar, because the way the wound closes after a Z-plasty more closely follows the natural skin folds.
  • Skin grafting involves taking a thin (partial, or "split thickness") layer of skin from another part of the body and placing it over the injured area.
  • Skin flap surgery involves moving an entire, full thickness of skin, fat, nerves, blood vessels, and muscle from a healthy part of the body to the injured site.
These techniques are used when a large amount of skin has been lost in the original injury, when a thin scar will not heal, and when the main concern is improved function (rather than improved appearance).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What are my other scar revision options?
Other options include dermabrasion, laser resurfacing, and Fraxel Laser treatments to remove scarred tissue and improve the skin texture.
Do I have to have surgery?
This varies based on the scar. Scars are improved with new suturing techniques, as well as potentially redirecting the scar to fall in wrinkle lines which typically heal better.
Does a plastic surgeon get a better scar?
Plastic surgeons concentrate on the skin closure and work on the skin almost all the time. Other surgeons concentrate on the “inner tissues” and may not focus on the skin area to the same degree.