Scar Revision

No matter where it’s located or how big it is, a scar can make anyone feel uncomfortable and self-conscious. If you are troubled by the appearance of a scar, you may want to consider scar revision surgery or other available options.

While scars are a natural part of healing, their development is unpredictable. Scar revision surgery is intended to minimize the appearance of the scar so that it less noticeable and more easily concealed.

Types of Scars

  • Hypertrophic scars are thick, red and raised.
  • Keloids are thick clusters of scar tissue.  They are usually larger than the initial wound and may be painful or itchy. Keloids generally occur on individuals with darker skin.
  • Contractures are scars that occur when a large amount of skin is damaged and lost, as in a burn.  They can also occur when a wound crosses a joint. These types of scars can limit movement.
  • Subtle scars are discolored skin and surface irregularities, as in acne scaring and scars from minor injuries.

How are scars treated?

Depending on your type of scar and desired outcomes, there are different options for improving the appearance of a scar.  

  • Surface Treatments – Dermabrasion, chemical peels and micro-needling are effective in smoothing the surface of a scar as well as reducing pigmentation and stimulating new skin cells. 
  • Injectables – Fillers can temporarily improve the appearance of sunken scars.  Depending on the filler used, the results may last a few months to a few years.
  • Excision – Excision involves surgical removal of a scar. The different excision surgeries include:
  • Scar Revision – With revision surgery, the scar is excised and the incision is reclosed using plastic surgery techniques.
  • Z-plasty – Z-plasty is a flap technique that involves cutting along the sides of the scar and creating angled flaps so the skin and direction of the scar can be repositioned.
  • Tissue expansion – A tissue expander is placed under the skin near the scar to expand the healthy tissue.  Once the skin has expanded, the expander is removed and the new skin replaces the scarred tissue.  
  • Skin grafts/Tissue Substitutes – This procedure is used when there is not enough healthy skin around the scar to effectively close it.  The graft will come from healthy skin on another place on ypur body, such as the thigh. A skin substitute may also be used.

Am I a good candidate for scar revision?

Scar revision can be performed at any age and may be a good option for you if you: 

  • Are bothered by your scar.
  • Are physically healthy.
  • Are realistic about the outcomes.
  • Do not have active acne or other skin infections in the area that will be treated.


Recovery time is dependent of the procedure used to revise the scar.

  • Surface Treatments have relatively no down time. Chemical peels will cause the skin to peel over a few days and it will be important to stay out of the sun as much as possible and wear a sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or more.  Micro-needling will cause redness that will diminish within a day or so.  Neither procedure would require you to take time away from work.
  • Surgical revisions will take more time to heel and, depending on the location and extent of the surgery, may require time off of work. Our plastic surgeons will discuss the healing process with you and how long you may have limitations.