St Augustines W - 031-201 1019 |
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon
MBChB [UCT] FC Plast Surg [SA] Fellow [Oxford-UK]
Obtaining an imperceivable scar depends on a few factors
1. Patients innate healing ability which is dependent upon genetic factors,age, and co-morbidities eg diabetes and vascular diseases
2. Type of wound-eg a surgically created sterile wound, heals much better than a crush with contamination and infection
3. Anatomical location-eg wounds on the face heal better than wounds on the back
4. Pre operative-as per my pre op instructions-avoid certain medications/do not smoke
5. Post operative instructions
There has been intense research as how to avoid problematic scars [stretched, inflamed, hypertrophic and keloidal scars] and although in some patients, it is unavoidable, we do everything in our power to prevent this occurrence.
The skin is “sealed” on day 3, and I recommend keeping the area dry for at least 3-5 days post op unless it becomes heavily soiled. Some degree of wound ooze is expected.
From day 3-5, pain subsides, and it is during this period that patients may tend to overexert themselves, and the wound is still quite weak.
I recommend taping the wound with Micropore tape, and changing it every 3-5 days-and this should be continued up to 6 weeks. The tape sticks quite well even after it is wet, should it come loose, please reapply over the wound.
Stitches will be removed by 7-10 days/or will be self absorbable["dissolving"]
There are many formulations to assist wound healing eg Scar science, or RegimA, and these can be lightly applied to the tape without soaking it.
Direct sunlight must be avoided, as it tends to make scars darker.
Healing occurs up to 6 weeks – whereby tissue strength approaches 90%.
Many strange sensations could be experienced, eg electric shocks, or itch, but it subsides thereafter.
Please bring all your dressings on your post op visit.
Should you be discharged with drains, complex wounds, I will refer you to a nursing sister to assist you.
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