Key highlights

  • Scars may be wide, thick, raised, depressed or pigmented.
  • Scars are also more obvious when they fall at an unnatural angle to the skin crease lines. A depressed or elevated scar will cast a shadow which will accentuate its visibility.
  • Scars may be painful reminders of a childhood burn, a fall off a bike, botched surgery, a car accident or an abusive spouse.
  • Facial scars may be more visible in social situations such as the gym when your hair is tied back off the face and neck or other events which require camouflage make-up.
  • Scars may affect how we feel in a social situation.
  • Scars on the body may affect how we dress, avoiding swimsuits, crop tops, shorts or sleeveless blouses.
  • Scar revisions make scars less visible and may improve function.
  • Scars can contract and causes distortion of a facial feature such as the mouth or an eyelid or may limit the mobility of the neck or a joint.

When to Consider Surgery.

Reasons for scar revision surgery are a scar that is noticeable, limits clothing choices or restricts mobility.

Information for Kirwan Plastic Surgery Patients.

The best decisions are informed decisions. Dr. Kirwan can help you learn more about scar revision. Dr. Kirwan can also discuss other treatment options and provide more personalized answers based on your individual needs. You can schedule a consultation for surgery in Norwalk with Dr. Kirwan.

Preparing for the Procedure.

After making your decision and choosing Dr. Kirwan, the next step is a consultation. Be prepared to discuss your goals and expectations for surgery, your medical history, previous procedures, and a history of any prior keloid scar. During your consultation, Dr. Kirwan will examine you. And take photos of the scar to review and help you understand the technique, resulting scar and possible benefits of surgery. Dr. Kirwan will also show you examples his own surgical results.

What Happens During Surgery.

Surgery is normally performed under local anesthesia. Dr. Kirwan will perform the surgery as discussed in your consultation.

Procedure Options.

Dr. Kirwan may perform one of several techniques, such as

1. Scar Excision.

  • If there are no other associated problems. This is commonly performed for a wide scar that can be reduced in size with a resultant scar that is in a favorable direction.
  • Deep stitches are used to keep the wound supported until the scar matures.
  • Plastic dressings are often used so that you can shower.
  • Length of surgery depends on size of scar.
  • Outcome: Ideally, removal of an unsightly scar and a thin scar that fades over time.

 2. Z-plasty or W-plasty.

  • Ideal for patients who would benefit from re-alignment of the scar so that the new scar now falls into natural skin creases.
  • Length of surgery varies.
  • Outcome: Ideally, removal of an unsightly scar and a thin scar that fades over time.
Z-Plasty and W-Plasty Scar Revision

Results and Recovery.

It will take some time to fully recover and see your final results. However, patients can usually return to work   or within 24 hours and may resume other activities like working out, in approximately 3 to 4 days, depending on the specific surgery, and activity. Contact sports should be avoided for at 2-6 weeks. If the surgery incision is traumatized, it may open, requiring further surgery. All scars are red after surgery. Scars usually fade to a thin white-line scar over 6-18 months. It is important to protect the scar with a sunblock during the healing period to make sure that the scar does not become pigmented. Dr. Kirwan recommends a sunblock and scar cream to promote healing and help a keloid scar. After surgery, there is a small amount of bleeding for 24 hours. You may have swelling and bruising. To reduce swelling and bruising, you can use ice packs for the first 48 hours. Be sure to follow the instructions provided by Dr. Kirwan and his staff before and after your surgery to ensure a smooth surgery and recovery.


Before & After Photos