ANONYMOUS SAID:

Hello, I wanted advice on whether to look into some types of cosmetic procedures I could have done to my old scars or not? When I was born I was born prematurely. I had open heart surgery which left me with a zipper, a trake which scared my neck, and a feeding tube scar on my stomach along with two other small insicions. They are not severely noticable or dark since I’ve grown. But I have always been very self conscience and disliked my scars very much. Now I am 20 years old and am considering having something done, if anything possible, to minimize or better the appearance of them. Healthwise since then, I just have some asthma, emphysema, and those not so pretty scars. Maybe I should just stop being so self-conscious and be thankful because they could have been worse- I know the old saying, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it…” because it’s all about how I look at myself, it’s not like there’s anything medically wrong? But I would love so much for my scars to be much less noticeable. I would feel so much better about myself. Need advice?

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4 Answers

  1. Dr. James Wethe wrote on :

    Hi… read your question and I understand your concerns. The basic answer to your question and thoughts is that scar revision usually does offer a chance to minimize the visibility of the scar and decrease the effect it has. However, there are multiple factors to consider. First, you have to realize that there really is no way to “eliminate” a scar. When doing scar revision we are seeking to improve the scar but there is no way to remove a scar. With any scar revision there are 3 possible outcomes… better, worse, or the same. No one wants worse, or the same, and everyone wants “better”. In a consultation with a plastic surgeon they can examine you, determine if the scars of interest have the potential to be improved and set up a plan to do so. The emotional impact of minimizing a scar is tremendous and I would encourage you to make an appointment with a plastic surgeon to explore the options. I see these types of cases and issues all the time and it is one of my favorite problems because commonly the issue CAN be improved and a smile placed on the patient’s face. Schedule a consultation with a local plastic surgeon! Hope this helps.
    J. Wethe, M.D.

    Reply
  2. Dr. Julio Garcia wrote on :

    I think that it is possible that a plastic surgeon can reduce the scars in width to make them look less visible, but you will always have scars. I would suggest seeing a couple of plastic surgeons for an in-person evaluation.

    Reply
  3. Dr. M. Bailey wrote on :

    A personal examination by a board certified plastic surgeon is the way to get the best advice regarding scar revision. For example, photos of a trach. scar do not show how tight the tethering of the scar is to underlying structures, and how much movement occurs with swallowing and speech. Having said that, in my experience of 20+ years, the great majority of tracheostomy and heart surgery scars from childhood can be improved with careful excisional scar revision (cutting them out and re-repairing them). As they bother you so much, I would encourage you to take that first step and consult a board certified plastic surgeon.

    Reply
  4. Dr. Curtis Wong wrote on :

    You should invest in a consultation and see a local plastic surgeon for options. Once that is done, you can get additional opinions by posting on realselfdotcom if you’re willing to attach your photo to your questions (or concerns). Scar revisions are anticipated to help improve the appearance of your scars but on rare occasions, they an end up being worse. You have to be accepting of this risk to have this done.

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