Any break in the integrity of the skin surface results in scar formation. This can occur as a result of accidental injury, such as cuts, bites on burns or may arise from prior surgeries or other medical procedures. Irrespective of the mechanism of their creation, unsightly scars can arise during the healing process. In rare situations, ‘keloid’ scars may form in certain locations. These are characterized by excessively raised, exhuberant scar formation which extends beyond the original wound margins. Alternatively, undesirable scarring may result in a relatively depressed or ‘indented’ contour. Furthermore, scars which cross a joint crease or body fold may progressively shorten and tighten, creating a ‘scar contracture’ which can result in functional restriction due to a limitation in body range of motion. Due to their diverse background and training, including a detailed understanding of wound healing principles, plastic surgeons are uniquely qualified to address undesirable scarring.
The management of scar deformities invariably begins with a detailed patient history and physical examination, including general patient characterizations (such as age, coexisting medical illnesses and medication usage) as well as specific characteristics related to the scarring (including scar location, dimensions, orientation and mechanism of its creation). Based upon this comprehensive assessment, your plastic surgeon will then formulate a rational treatment plan. Although there is no single technique which is universally applied in the treatment of undesirable scarring, your treatment may range from non-invasive (eg. use of topical agents, anti-scar gel patches or ultrasound) to minimally invasive (eg. steroid injections) to surgical scar revision (eg. scar excision with local tissue rearrangement or skin graft application). These scar revision procedures are most appropriately performed on an outpatient basis in a State Licensed, Nationally Accredited Ambulatory Surgery Center (see ‘about Keystone Surgery Center’) as a brief outpatient surgery utilizing a combination or intravenous sedation and local anesthesia.
When considering scar revision, be sure to select a qualified, experienced plastic surgeon, certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). As a board certified plastic surgeon with over 15 years of clinical practice experience and member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (The Mark of Distinction in Cosmetic Plastic Surgery® ASAPS), Dr. Robert Kimmel welcomes the opportunity to provide comprehensive scar management in order to optimize both function and cosmetic appearance.