Reconstructive Surgery

Scar Revision Surgery: Erasing the past

Introduction to Scar Revision Surgery

Scar revision surgery is a procedure aimed at reducing the visibility of scars, improving their texture and color, and helping them blend more naturally with the surrounding skin. Every deep cut to the skin leaves a scar, and sometimes, the way we scar can cause problems with day-to-day function or appearance. Scar revision surgery can address these issues.

There are several techniques used in scar revision, including:

Surgical Excision

In this method, the scar is surgically removed, and the surrounding skin is carefully reapproximated to create a thinner, less noticeable scar.


This technique involves rearrangement and closure of the skin around the scar in a Z-shaped pattern. Z-plasty can help reposition the scar, change its direction, or make it less conspicuous.


Similar to Z-plasty, W-plasty involves creating small triangular incisions on both sides of the scar. However, the closure is done in a W-shaped pattern, which can help break up the scar and reduce its visibility.


This technique involves the controlled removal of the top layers of skin using a rotating brush or diamond wheel. Dermabrasion can help smooth out the surface of raised or uneven scars.

Laser Resurfacing

Laser technology is used to remove the outer layers of the scar and stimulate collagen production, promoting the growth of new, healthy skin. Laser resurfacing can be effective for improving the texture and color of scars.

The specific approach used in scar revision will depend on factors such as the scar's location, size, type, and your individual characteristics. While scar revision can significantly improve the appearance of a scar, complete elimination of a scar is not always possible. However, the goal is to achieve a scar that is less noticeable and blends better with the surrounding skin.

Key Details of the Procedure

  • Duration: 30 minutes upwards
  • Cost: $2000 upwards (may be ACC funded if related to previous injury)
  • Anaesthetic: Local anaesthetic or general anaesthetic
  • Length of stay: Day surgery

Post-Surgery Care and Downtime

  • Showering: You can shower the wounds 48 hours after surgery.
  • Exercise: Light exercise can be resumed 1 week after surgery, while strenuous exercise should be avoided for 4 weeks post-surgery.
  • Driving: You can drive on the day of surgery if local anaesthetic is used, or the day after surgery if general anaesthetic is used.
  • Work: You can return to desk-based work 1 day after surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions about Scar Revision Surgery

What is the purpose of scar revision surgery?

Scar revision surgery is primarily performed to reduce the visibility of scars, improve their texture and color, and help them blend more naturally with the surrounding skin.

What can I expect during recovery?

After surgery, you may experience some discomfort and swelling in the surgical area. These symptoms can be managed with prescribed pain medication. Specific recovery timelines can vary depending on the type of surgery performed.

Will there be visible scarring after the surgery?

The goal of scar revision surgery is to make the scar less noticeable. While some form of scarring will remain, the techniques used aim to make the scar thinner, less noticeable, and more in line with the natural lines and creases of your skin.

What are the potential risks and complications of scar revision surgery?

As with any surgical procedure, scar revision surgery carries potential risks and complications. These can include infection, bleeding, delayed healing and changes in skin sensation. Mr Butler will discuss each of the potential risks with you in detail during your consultation.