A new bandage appears to reduce scars after plastic surgery based on study results. Developed by plastic surgeon Dr. Geoffrey C. Gurtner, the device was tested on nine patients after they underwent tummy tuck surgery.
Results published in the Annals of Surgery found a statistically significant difference in the ratings of the scars by both plastic surgeons and lay people between the treatment and the control group, with the treatment group getting better ratings for scar appearance.
Gurtner said, “In none of the cases was the treated scar worse than the control scar, which I think is different than some of the biologic agents weâ??ve seen over the last few years.”
Gurtner and his colleagues developed the bandage so that it isolates the wound from the movement of the skin around it. One reason scars form is that skin movement around the incision pulls at the new skin tissue that is growing as the wound heals, causing the scar tissue to thicken and spread out.
The incision is covered by the bandage, which is held on by adhesive strips that run parallel to the wound. Gurtner said that they transfer the stress of movement away from where the skin is growing back together.
The bandage could be used for more than just scars from plastic surgery. For example, Gurtner reported there is interest in it from orthopedic surgeons who perform knee replacements.
Scar Reduction Options
There are a variety of ways to reduce scarring after plastic surgery, including:
- Topical treatments such as gels, tapes or external compression can help in wound closure and healing.
- Surface treatments can reduce uneven pigmentation and soften surface irregularities. Surface treatment options include dermabrasion, laser resurfacing, chemical peels and skin bleaching agents.
- Injectable treatments can be used to fill depressed or concave scars.