What are the different stages of wound healing after cosmetic surgery?
A popular question asked by patients before surgery is what are the stages of wound healing like. Before undergoing any form of cosmetic surgery, or indeed any surgery at all, it’s important to understand the recovery process.
It’s vital to understand the recovery process firstly so you have some idea of what the post-surgery healing process is like. As well as this, knowing how to care for your scars and the best scar treatment after surgery is beneficial.
Why do we get scars?
Scar tissue forms when a wound closes and fibrous tissue forms. They often start off red and angry looking, but in most cases fade in time to a pink or even grey colour. They may feel raised and can be itchy in the first year or so after surgery.
They are totally normal although in most cases your surgeon will endeavour to make them as small and neat as possible. The key is to make sure you know what to expect and how to help the scars heal after surgery.
Do all procedures incur scarring?
In most cases, yes. If you’re undergoing a cosmetic procedure such as a tummy tuck or brachioplasty you should be prepared to have visible scars, although most patients agree it’s a reasonable trade to be rid of loose skin.
Breast augmentation scars can often be hidden in the crease under the breast, although with breast uplift surgery the scar may run long the nipple. Ask your surgeon for advice before committing to surgery.
Can I prevent scars?
Not really, but you can make sure you care for them. If you would like more advice on preventing scars or scar management please ask your medical professional.
What are the stages of wound healing?
The stages of wound healing vary patient to patient. However, most follow a similar pattern. The stages of wound healing proceed in an organised way and follow these four processes:
1. Hemostasis: wound clotting
2. Inflammation: controls bleeding and prevents infection
3. Proliferation: wound is rebuilt with new tissue made up of collagen
4. Maturation: when collagen is remodelled and the wound fully closes
What is the best scar treatment after surgery?
You can care for your scars by massaging them. There is a previous blog post on scar massage here you may find helpful.
I don’t like my scars. What can I do?
In most cases, cosmetic surgery scars are considered a trade for a reduction in loose skin or augmented breasts. If you don’t like your scars, or you are unhappy with the results of your after surgery, you should firstly speak to your plastic surgeon. He/she will be able to give you advice and reassure you.
In extreme cases, scar revision surgery can be offered, but this will still leave you with a scar.
If you would like to discuss undergoing cosmetic surgery procedures, scarring, and the best scar treatment after surgery please contact us. Booking a consultation would be the next step.