After Scar Removal
The period after a scar removal is extremely important. It is during this period that your body gets to heal from the procedure. The things you do during your recovery period will help to determine what your skin will look like from here on out. Be sure to follow all of your doctors orders in order to get the best results possible.
Immediately After The Procedure
After your scar removal, you will likely be allowed to return home the same day. Most scar removal procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, meaning that there is no need for an overnight hospital stay. However, if you are getting extensive skin grafts or some other very invasive form of surgery, there is the chance you will have to stay overnight.
After your surgery is finished, the surgical staff will monitor your condition. Once they have determined that you are stable and well enough to return home, you will be discharged. Exactly how soon you can go home will depend on what sort of anesthesia was used. Most scar removal methods use local anesthesia. If you choose a method which requires general anesthetic, you will have to stay at the surgical center for an hour or two longer.
You will likely be unable to drive after your scar removal, so you should arrange for someone to drive you to and from your surgery. This person should remain with you for a day or two after the surgery to make sure that you are all right. Of course, if you choose one of the less invasive options, this might not be necessary.
After your scar removal, you should do your best to live healthily. Get plenty of rest so that your body will have the energy it needs to heal. Eat healthily and strive to have a balanced diet. Use your pain medication only as prescribed. If you end up having uncontrollable pain, speak with your surgeon. Do not merely self-medicate, and do not take over the counter pain medications unless they have specifically been okayed by your surgeon. Certain pain medications can actually be dangerous just after a surgery, because they have properties which can increase bleeding.
Don't drink alcohol or smoke for the first few weeks after your surgery. Drinking can interact with your pain medications, and it can lead to increased fluid retention. Smoking is bad for a host of reasons, and it can severely increase your chance of having negative complications.
If your scar removal procedure was invasive in the slightest, you are likely to experience some amount of discomfort, bruising, and swelling. You may also have an incision site or two. If so, keep these clean according to your doctor's orders. Keep your incisions dry for at least the first 24 hours, or as your surgeon directs. Also, try to avoid bumping or otherwise irritating your surgical site, as this can lead to complications, infections, and worsened results. Some amount of bleeding from your incisions is possible, and it is not typically a cause for concern. Slight pressure with sterile pads can help to control this.
Some forms of scar removal commonly lead to a crust forming at the surgical site. This is fairly normal in procedures such as dermabrasion and some types of chemical peels. If you experience this, it is probably not a cause for alarm. Do your best to leave it alone, and don't pick at it. The crust will come off of its own accord. Picking at it is something like picking at a scab: although it might be appealing, its' usually a bad idea and it could lead to scarring and other unfavorable side effects.
The Recovery Period
Exactly what you should do after your scar removal will depend to a great degree on the exact procedure which was performed on you. However, there are a number of general guidelines which are useful in most circumstances. For more specific information, ask your surgeon. Also, if anything your surgeon says contradicts something said here, follow your surgeon's orders. The advice given here is generally useful, but your surgeon's orders are specifically tailored to your unique situation. Your surgeon knows how to keep you safe and healthy, so trust him.
Although you may need to take it easy as you recover, gentle walking can be a very good idea. Start walking as soon as you can. Walking helps to move fluids around your body, and it will help you to reduce unnecessary swelling. Also, it will help to reduce your chances of developing dangerous blood clots.
Contact your surgeon if you notice any unusual side effects. As you recover, if you notice yourself being feverish, or if you notice strange and foul-smelling discharge coming from your incisions, this could be a sign of infection, and you should speak with your surgeon immediately. Other signs that you should contact your surgeon include severe or increasing pain, increases in the level of bruising and swelling, increased redness at the incision, and severe bleeding. In general, your symptoms should be getting better as time goes on, not worse. Also, if you find you're having negative side effects to your medications, speak with your surgeon to see if there are any alternative pain killers that you could use.
If your surgeon has instructed you to wear a bandage or support garment, you should definitely wear it as long as you are directed. This will help you to heal in the very best and most attractive way possible. While some forms of scar removal do not require any sort of support garment, others (like skin grafts) can require support garments to be worn for months.
You should keep your incision sites out of direct sunlight as you recover, and some sources even say that you should protect your scars from sunlight for as long as a year. When exposing your scars to sunlight is unavoidable, use a strong sunscreen to help protect them. Speak with your surgeon about when it is safe to start getting sun, and when it is safe for you to apply sunscreen to the surgical site.
If you had incisions that require stitches, they will likely be removed within about a week or two of your surgery. At this time, your surgeon will probably give you a check up to see how you're doing. Be honest and forthright at this checkup.
As you begin to add new activities back into your routine, make sure that you do it slowly. You don't want to put sudden or undue strain on your body or on your surgical site. If you have any questions about specific activities, ask your surgeon.
If you are on pain killers, make sure that you don't drive until you have stopped taking them. Driving while on medication can be dangerous and illegal.
Although scar removal surgeries are typically over very quickly, it can sometimes take a little while for the final results to appear. With many forms of scar removal, you will continue to gradually heal for as long as a year after the surgery. For example, with dermabrasion, it will only take a few weeks or months for the swelling to go down and the new skin to appear. However, this skin will typically be very pink, and it will take at least three months for this pinkness to go away. Even then, the skin may be lighter than the surrounding tissue, and it may take six months or more for the pigmentation to entirely normalize. The good news here is that if you're not entirely satisfied with your appearance directly after the surgery, it's likely to keep getting better and better.
On the other hand, some forms of scar removal show results quickly and without much of a recovery time. For example, injecting fillers into a sunken scar will typically give results pretty much immediately.
Exactly what your own recovery and final results will be like will depend on your own circumstances and on the specific treatment which you pick. However, you can expect a few things. One of these things is that you will be able to see great improvement. If you have picked the right surgeon and the right procedure, you can do a lot to minimize a scar. This can help you to have better skin and a more appealing appearance. Another thing that you can expect is that your scar will not be entirely eradicated. Completely removing a scar is very difficult, because even the act of removing a scar is likely to cause a small amount of scarring.
Patients typically are the happiest when they don't expect perfection from their scar removal procedures. If you can be be happy with significant improvement without being obsessed with finding perfection, you are likely to be very satisfied with your results.
For more specific information about exactly what you'll look like after your scar removal please speak with a surgeon in your area. He or she can tell you exactly what scar removal can do for you, and how long it will take for your results to appear.