The word scar brings to mind the irregular long hatched marks one remembers seeing on the tummy of some relative who had surgery, or ugly marks left after an accident or some cut which was stitched in haste by a doctor/ nurse in emergency. The word scar in medical language means any mark after any injury or surgery, however faint it may be. Plastic surgery is widely believed to be a scar less surgery. But do you really think any surgery can be performed without a cut- or without a scar? So what is the fact?
Plastic Surgery Scars differ from all other surgical scars because if well healed and matured, they look like fine line with no cross hatching. They are neither elevated, nor depressed and are skin coloured. The truth is that even plastic surgery involves cutting the tissues and thus a scar. Only difference is that plastic surgeons use special tricks to minimize the scar:
Concealed location: Plastic Surgeons choose deep creases or hidden areas to operate so that scar is not obvious even if it is there.
• In nose surgery cuts are made inside the nose. Sometimes cuts are made outside the nose but in places like where nostril meets the cheek. Being in the crease, the scars are not visible.
• Facelift scars are mostly hidden inside hair and behind the ear in the crease. A small portion of scar is on face at the place where cheek meets the ear. The scar is fine and thus inconspicuous.
• Eyelid surgery scars are in the eyelid crease and thus not visible.
• Chin surgery scars are under the chin.
• Lip reduction surgery scars are inside the lips.
• Breast augmentation scars are on undersurface of breast.
• Male breast surgery scars are cleverly placed in a semicircular manner at the junction of dark areola skin and normal chest skin.
Smaller scars: Liposuction Surgery can remove a lot of fat through 4mm cuts. Similarly gynaecomastia surgery can remove enlarged male breast through a very small cut.
Finer materials and techniques: Plastic surgeons use delicate instruments and fine suture material (threads), and fine needles. They also put a lot of absorbable stitches under the level of skin and sometimes avoid skin stitches altogether. Instead of using few coarse stitches on skin they use tens and hundreds of fine stitches, both under and on the skin. They use magnification to stitch exactly. These finer techniques are time consuming. Plastic surgery work can be equated to darning versus ordinary stitching.
Early stitch removal: Plastic surgery stitches are at multiple levels, therefore the outer skin stitches can be removed early, so there are no stitch marks. Sometimes there are no skin stitches at all, only stitches under the skin which need not be removed.
All scars are not alike nor are all scars ugly- especially not the plastic surgery scars. Only in exceptional circumstances depending on individual’s scarring tendency, can the scars be prominent. Usually scars fade with each passing year.