Wound & Scar Management
The team at Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery are experienced, skilled and knowledgeable with a variety of dressings and techniques at their disposal to ensure that your wound and scar management is expertly handled. They are capable of promoting effective healing of anything from a post-operative scar to a complex chronic wound.
As a patient scheduled for a procedure with the Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery, it is imperative that you inform the Surgeon of any issues you have had with wound healing and unfavourable scars in the past. No surgery is scarless. Surgeons will make every effort to make a scar as invisible as possible by hiding the scar in more discreet areas and well-practiced and confident suture techniques.
Wounds and scars come in a variety of forms.
Normal wound healing occurs in four to fourteen days in which the stitches can be removed at that stage. However, the wound continues to heal and change from a wound to a scar over a six month to even two year period. A wound or scar will remodel, recolour and improve over several years.
There are some factors that affect wound healing and scarring appearance including:
Some people simply have the genetics to heal better and form neater scars than others. Similarly, genetics play a role in poor healing responses know as hypertrophic and keloid scarring.
These arise from an inherited genetic to form scars that, despite initial good healing, become red, raised and hard. Certain locations on the body will be more prone to hypertrophic scarring and tension and infection can contribute to their occurrence. It may take up to two years for this type of scar to flatten, soften and fade in colour.
Tend to grow red, raised and hard, even extending beyond the wound margins. Keloid Scars are triggered by a defect in the bodies healing where the scar does not know any boundaries on the skin. Scar continues to be produced when the wound has finished healing. The most prevalent risk factor for keloid scarring is family and even personal history. The darker your skin colour, the more at risk you are also. It is vitally important that if you suffer from keloid scarring that you make your Surgeon aware.
Wounds that become infected have limited healing capabilities which may lead to a greater scar. If an infection has triggered an unsightly scar, the option exists to have a revision procedure for the scar. This is only achievable after the infection has abated and the wound has healed.
Wounds and healing are reliant upon vitamin E, vitamin C and protein. Any patients deficient in these (which should be in ample availability in a healthy diet,) will be unlikely to heal. Taking above the recommended daily intake will not expedite the healing process.
Smoking and Nicotine:
Nicotine effects the body by constricting blood vessels and inhibiting blood flow and hence oxygenated blood to the wound area, which directly impacts on successful healing.
Your adherence to the wound and scar management regime:
You will be given guidance and advice for the management of any wound or potential scarring areas by the Surgeons at Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery. The patient also plays an important role in monitoring the scar after their treatment with the Surgery ends. Prevention is the key to scar management as it is far easier to rectify and manage troublesome scars as they develop rather than when they are fully developed.
Strategies to manage scars involve:
• Applying pressure to flatten the wound through a process of massaging or taping the wound.
• Keeping the healing area out of the sun and wearing UV 50+ sunscreen over the scar when it is suitably healed.
• Time can heal scars and patience will be required.
The surgeons at Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery will provide expert advice on how to positively manage the outcome of your wound healing and scarring process.