What Type Of Scar Revision Do I Need For My Abdominal Scars?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I need scar revision or some type of treatment on two stomach scars that are pretty bad. When I was a baby I had surgery where an incision was made across my stomach. As I grew and have gotten older (I am 24 years old now) it has  grown increasingly worse in the way it looks. It is stuck down to my muscles and has made a big groove across my stomach. The surrounding skin has grown up around and over it and the top part hangs over the scar. I also have a lower stomach below my belly button which runs up and down and it is very discolored. That scar needs to be lightened. Attached are some pictures of my scars.

A: Scar revision is frequently beneficial for abdominal scars from prior pediatric surgery procedures done as an infant or child. The ‘infant surgery’ abdominal scar is exactly what I would have predicted to see. They all look like that when done very early life, the scar adheres down and the fat grows around it creating this classic appearance. It needs to be completely cut out, released and put back together as a fine line scar that is level with the surrounding skin.

While the lower vertical abdominal scar has a different origin and is not stuck down to the abdominal wall, there is no non-surgical therapy that is going to lighten the scar. Like the upper abdominal scar, it needs to be cut out and reclosed into a fine line scar to remove its dark discoloration.

t would obviously make the most sense to do scar revision on both abdominal scars at the same time during the same procedure.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana