In most cases, if you remove something from the body or cut the skin deep enough, a scar will replace it. The visibility of the scar depends on your skin color and type. However, there are a few ways to minimize scarring:
Research limited incision techniques
Oftentimes there are techniques available that minimize the appearance of scars by using smaller incisions. However, there is a slight trade off with this; when incisions are smaller, the doctor is not able to see or manipulate muscles and tissue beneath the skin as easily. For example, some surgeons prefer an open rhinoplasty utilizing a larger incision rather than a closed rhinoplasty with a smaller incision. An open rhinoplasty allows the surgeon to more concisely restructure the nose in order to achieve the desired result. Similarly, the transumbilical technique for breast augmentation involves a small incision in the navel and leaves a well-hidden scar, but the surgeon must move the implant up through a rigid tube to the breast. This limits the type of implant to saline, and the implant can only be placed above the chest muscle instead of having the option to place it below. You must ask yourself, is this smaller scar worth the risk of poorly placed implants and a compromised result?
Also called “minimally invasive surgery,” this type of surgery allows for smaller incisions with the use of an endoscope. This long, flexible tube with a camera and light attached is inserted into the body and allows the surgeon to watch what he is doing on a screen while operating. Incisions are usually small since they only need to be large enough to insert the surgical tools into the body. Incisions can be as short as ⅓ of an inch in length, which means much smaller and less noticeable scars. Endoscopic surgery is used for cosmetic procedures, including facelifts and forehead lifts, and this technique can also be used for some reconstructive procedures as well.
Take care of yourself after surgery
You can minimize scarring by following your surgeon’s post-operative instructions. You should keep the incision area clean and dry for 48 hours following surgery. Change your dressings every one or two days and check for any redness, swelling, discharge, or undone stitches. You should also keep the dressing clean and dry while it is on the incision, and wash your hands before and after changing or touching it. Avoid hot baths, tubs, and pools while your incision heals.
If you are considering cosmetic surgery in the Los Angeles or Pasadena areas and would like to learn more, contact Pasadena Cosmetic Surgery today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Martin O’Toole.