Will Scar Revision Permanently Remove My Chest Scar?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in scar revision surgery. Actually I would like it completely gone.  I have a 2 1/2 inch hypertrophic horizontal scar on my upper chest that is raised and tender. I would love to have it removed if possible. Here are the  some photos of it.  The scar is not a result of an injury or laceration. Suspected to be result of an ingrown hair follicle.

A: What you have is a hypertrophic scar and may be on the borderline of an actual keloid type scar. Its appearance and history suggests, in my experience, that may be ‘resistant’ to scar revision surgery. While it can surgically be excised into a fine line (there is no such thing as complete scar removal), its location on the chest gives it a high probability of recurrence, particularly with your darkly pigmented skin. That is the risk in doing it. When such a scar results from an otherwise innocuous event and remains painful for a long time and maybe even growing, this indicates that is exactly what will likely recur when it is surgically removed. The chest is a notorious place for poor scar formation. The best you can hope for is that the scar does not come back as wide as it once was. There will be some recurrent scar widening, it is just a question of how much.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana