Taking Care of Post Operative ScarsPosted on Mar 20, 2007
Scars are a common occurrence following any type of invasive surgical procedure, including those performed in cosmetic surgery and liposuction. While the experience and skill of the practicing cosmetic surgeon is key to minimizing, and even eliminating, a resulting scar from an incision made during surgery, patients may also help in reducing the development of scars.
What is a scar?
A scar is formed when there is damage to tissue anywhere on the body, whether internally or externally. In the case of post operative scars, the damage is caused by either trauma, which the surgery aims to correct, or an incision/invasive technique required to perform the procedure.
The body reacts to any damage to tissue by growing excess tissue that is referred to as “connective”. Connective tissue is one of the four primary types of tissue of the human body, and is quite fibrous. It can be soft or hard, like bone.
When connective tissue grows in response to damage, it is known as scar tissue. It is typical for scar tissue to be of poorer quality than the skin surrounding it. Hair and sweat glands are few or even non-existent, and the area is extremely sensitive to ultraviolet radiation.
Types of Scars
Scar tissue appearance can be almost invisible, blending in well with the colour and texture of the surrounding undamaged tissue. This is ideal for most patients who have undergone surgery, as it does not adversely affect the appearance and function of the treated area.
However, there are times when scar tissue does not blend in with the surrounding area. In this case, it may be noticeable by appearing bumpy, discoloured, and generally unappealing. When it is on the body in a place that is generally visible to others, such as the face, this can be embarrassing.
Post Operative Care
For this reason, it is important to follow the post operative care instructions detailed to you by your surgeon or doctor, and protect the area from sun exposure with sunscreen and clothing. They will tell you how to take care of the incised area. Additionally, you may also want to increase Vitamin E intake, as it assists in skin care. Foods such as green vegetables and eggs can help in repairing damaged tissue and reducing development of scar tissue. Preventing further damage and infection can also reduce scar tissue.
Unfortunately, other than the aforementioned, there is not much that can be done to prevent scarring. Once a scar has developed, only avoiding sun exposure will prevent further development.