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Category : General Advice, : Post-Operative Period, : Procedures

Thursday, November 8. 2007

There is No Such Thing as a "Scarless Surgery"

I recently spoke at a small internet based radio program called: letstalkrecovery.com. It was a fun experience and even after the show was over I was receiving calls on a variety of cosmetic procedures. I was also asked about scarless surgery.

My practice is in Los Angeles and I see a lot of advertisements for "Scarless Surgery". I have over 10 years of experience in Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery and can tell you with great cetainty that any surgical procedure which involves cutting the skin will (not can but will) lead to a scar. I usually convey that to my patients during the first consultation.

As a skilled surgeon one can do a lot to prevent unsightly or noticable scars, or reduce their appearence once they have already occured. Here is how ...

During a facelift, for example, the scar in front of the ear is placed in an existing wrinkle. The arrangement of the skin tension lines aid in figuiring out where the best plane of excision is. The incision is kept moist with frequent application of antibiotic creams (Bacitracin, Bactroban, Neosporin) and daily cleaning with hydrogen peroxide. Crusting is bad and can lead to infections and unsightly scarring. Oxygen therapy and frequent lymphatic drainage reduce swelling and bruising.

Two to three weeks after the procedure the scar is usually lasered to reduce any redness or tendency for thickening. The application of Vitamin E creams and Mederma is started at day 14 and continued as needed.

Every surgical procedure which involves cutting the skin will leave a scar. A skilled surgeon will try to minimize the scar and make it less visible.


I assume when you were on letstalkrecovery.com you spoke about the effects of drug and alcohol on the aging of skin. When were you on?


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