Plastic Surgeon Questions Plastic Surgery

Can plastic surgery remove scars from previous surgeries?

I underwent a surgery and it has left a scar over my abdomen, which really bothers me. Can plastic surgery help to remove it?

10 Answers

Old scar can be problematic and unsightly. Plastic surgery, which involves cutting out the old scar and meticulously stitching the edges together in layers, can help improve the way the scar looks and feels. No surgery or laser can permanently remove a scar. They can only improve it.
Plastic surgery may be able to improve the scar, but there will always be some residual sign that the scar was once there.
A surgical scar revision is something plastic surgeons do all the time and results are typically good. Having said that, one can never get completely rid of scars, but most times we can make them look significantly better.
All scars are to some degree permanent. If your scar is thick, wide, and/or darkly pigmented, a scar revision by a plastic surgeon could help to improve its appearance.
Unfortunately scars are permanent. A plastic surgeon can cut out the scar and make the appearance improved, but it also depends on if you are prone to keloid scars. With Keloid scars there can be little to no improvement, and can form new keloids.
Plastic surgery can improve but never totally remove a scar. Using special techniques, most scars can be improved-some more then others. It all depends where it is, direction of the scar and quality of the surrounding skin. Make sure you understnd this prior to undergoing revision.
Some scars can be “revised” to make them smaller or smoother. There are also a few treatments with resurfacing lasers and RF (radio-frequency) energy devices that can improve existing scars.

No one can remove scars completely. There are many options to improve the scars. All depend on how the scars look. Examples: laser and surgical scar reversion.


Dr. Saed Alhabib
Thank you for the question. Plastic surgery can help by making the scar less noticeable by excising the previous scar, and performing a nicer closure of the skin. Unfortunately, once there is an incision, there will be a scar.

Luis A. Laurentin-Perez, MD, PhD

Scaring after surgery can be problematic after any surgery, especially if the patient is prone for it. During an office exam, these would be my questions to you: how long ago was your surgery? What, if any, treatment has been done? Have you seen your surgeon? Can you show me other scars on your body? Based on your answers, we would formulate a treatment course. If you are early on after surgery, various products are on the market, usually silicone-based, that help with redness and scar hypertrophy. It can be injected, lasered, or, if the scar is mature (12 months or more), it can be surgically revised. Given that the skin stretched, there is no vertical tension (upward pull) on the new suture line, so chances are it would heal much better. Please remember that you should see your surgeon first.
Good luck.