When you have your appendix removed, it is generally done as an emergency surgery. This can often leave you with a large, unsightly scar. In some instances, the scar can have indentations or can have overhanging skin. The scar can even cause physical pain or be itchy. An unsightly scar can often make you have low confidence and dislike that area of your body.
Fortunately, appendix scar reduction can help to reduce the appearance of the scar. An appendix scar reduction aims to improve the appearance of your scar, leaving you with a more aesthetically pleasing scar.
It is important to note that appendix scar reduction will not leave your skin bare with no scar; rather, a new scar will be created which will be much smaller and less noticeable.
Who is an appropriate candidate for appendix scar reduction?
Those who can have appendix scar reduction are those who:
- Have an appendix scar which they are unhappy with and would like to have it improved and altered
- Are at least 18 years or older
- Have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or lower
- Are in good physical and mental health
- Have reasonable expectations of what the procedure can achieve.
How is appendix scar reduction completed?
There are numerous different methods for scar revision surgery. The method used will vary depending on your scar, its size, whether or not there is any indentation, what outcome you’re wanting and your preference for treatment.
Prior to having any surgery, you will have a consultation with a surgeon, who will be able to assess the appendix scar and recommend the best method for scar reduction.
Appendix scar reduction options include both surgical and non-surgical options.
Non-surgical appendix scar reduction options include:
- Laser treatment: this targets the blood vessels in the scar tissue in an attempt to reduce the appendix scar. The laser removes the top layer of skin, stimulating collagen growth in the deeper layers of the skin.
- Steroid injections: this is appropriate for some keloid and hypertrophic scars. Steroid injections aim to reduce and flatten the scar. In some instances, you will need multiple rounds of injections, which can be administered weeks or months apart. This will give surgeons enough time to assess whether or not your body and the scar are responding to the steroid injections.
- Microdermabrasion: this uses minute sterilised crystals and a vacuum to remove the top layer of the skin. Unlike laser treatment, microdermabrasion does not involve the use of heat to remove the skin. This will often involve multiple sessions to achieve the best result.
- Dermal fillers: this can help to alter the appearance of scars which are pitted. However, dermal fillers are not a permanent solution and will require multiple injections to maintain the altered look.
If you would like to opt for the surgical route instead, there are numerous options available, including:
- Scar removal: the old appendix scar is cut out and the skin is stitched back together, creating a new, but more aesthetically pleasing scar.
- W-plasty: this trims the edges of the scar in a W pattern, the scar is then stitched in a zigzag pattern
- Tissue expansion: a silicone balloon is placed beneath the skin, which causes the area to stretch and grow. Once the skin has been expanded to the right height, the balloon is removed and the new skin can be used in place of the scar.
- Skin grafts: this involves removing the skin from one area of the body and placing it onto another.
Any surgical option will be performed under a local anaesthetic. You will be awake for the procedure but will be unable to feel any pain or discomfort. Operation times will vary depending on the method that is being undertaken but should generally take between one to two hours.
What will the recovery period be like?
This will vary depending on the size and condition of your original scar, and whether you undertook a non-surgical or surgical procedure.
Non-surgical procedures will have little to no recovery time. You may experience some swelling and redness around the injection sites, which will subside over the next few days.
If you undertook a surgical option, you will be able to leave the same day as the procedure, once the effects of the anaesthetic have worn off.
It is normal to experience some bruising and swelling, as well as some pain and discomfort around the incision site. This can be managed by taking the appropriate pain medication.
You may have to wear supportive dressing or garments around the incision site, which will help to speed up the recovery time.
You may have to take up to one week off work in order to recover. You will need to avoid any vigorous physical activity for at least six weeks.
It is also important to take care of the scar, particularly when you are outdoors in the sun. Ensure you cover the scar with clothing or apply sunscreen.
Are you interested in appendix scar removal? This is a procedure Centre for Surgery currently offers. Contact us today to find out more about the procedure or to book a consultation with one of our surgeons.