There are many reasons for seeking scar removal treatment. Scars can be unsightly, which can cause embarrassment if they are in a prominent place.
They may also be uncomfortable, itchy or restrict your movement depending on their size and location. If you are considering undergoing surgery for scar removal, this is what to expect and how much it will cost you.
Is Scar Removal Surgery Effective?
Unfortunately, scar removal surgery cannot remove a scar completely and the act of surgery will, in itself, cause scarring. However, that does not mean that it is not effective. If you want to undergo surgery for entirely cosmetic reasons, then scar removal surgery will help to diminish the appearance of the scar and how noticeable it is. It can also be highly beneficial if your scar is causing you problems, such as inhibiting your movement.
What Does Scar Removal Surgery Involve?
Scar Removal Surgery Can Achieve the Following:
- Surgery can move the position of the scarring.
- Surgery can alter the shape of the scar, making it smaller or more regular in appearance.
- Surgery can release a scar which is restricting a joint to allow for freer movement.
What type of scar removal surgery you need will depend on the type of scarring you have. For example,with pitted scars – where there is a noticeable dip in the surface of the skin – laser resurfacing is often used. This stimulates collagen production, which will help to create layers of skin in the scar and diminish the pitted appearance. But for most types of scarring, the scar is repositioned using a scalpel.
The surgery will leave a new scar, although the surgeon will aim to make this scar as discrete as possible. The appearance of the new scar should improve significantly in the weeks following surgery, and the scar should be barely noticeable within a couple of years.
Using silicone gel or sheets immediately following surgery can help to lessen the appearance of the new surgical scar by facilitating faster healing.
Silicone sheets should be placed over the area which has been operated on for 12 hours a day, for a minimum of 12 weeks following the surgery.
The surgeon will be able to provide more advice on effective use of silicone treatments to mitigate scarring. The sheets must only be used on healing skin, and not open wounds.
Is Surgery Suitable For All Types Of Scarring?
Your doctor or surgeon will be able to give you further advice on whether your scar can be removed, as not all types of scars respond well to this type of treatment. With hypertrophic scars, for example, there is a significant risk that surgery will actually worsen the appearance of the scarring.
If you have a keloid scar, a surgeon may also be reluctant to operate. After surgery, the site of the scarring may over produce collagen and create a scar which is more noticeable than it was prior to the surgery.
How a surgeon mitigates this risk can vary. Some choose to prescribe oral antibiotics following the surgery to reduce the risk of a keloid developing. Others combine surgical treatment with corticosteroid injections.
Corticosteroid injections involve a series of small injections directly into the scar to reduce inflammation and swelling. This will flatten the appearance of the scar so that it becomes less noticeable.
Generally, the surgeon will re-administer these injections every 4 to 6 weeks and it can take several months to see a significant difference in the scar. Sometimes, if the results of the corticosteroid treatment is satisfactory, the surgeon will then agree to carry out surgery which will help to conceal the remaining scarring.
How Much Does Scar Removal Surgery Cost?
It is very difficult to give a definitive answer on how much scar removal surgery will cost. As with any surgery, your geographic location and the surgeon you are planning to use will influence how much you will pay.
With scar removal, there is also the added complication that scars are highly individual and can vary greatly in size, appearance and location on the body. How tricky the scar is to remove will have a significant bearing on how much the surgery will cost.
However, as a general guide, you will need to pay between $1,000 and $5,000 for scar removal surgery. Your insurance may help to cover this, depending on the terms of your insurance plan and whether the scar removal is essential or purely cosmetic.
The best way to find out how much laser scar removal surgery will cost you is to find a local clinic and arrange a consultation with a surgeon. The initial consultation is usually free of charge, and can help to clarify if you truly wish to proceed with the surgery.