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Scar Excision (In Stages) Advice

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#1 maggie07

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 08:48 AM

I recently went to a dermatologist (one of the best in the area) for a scar I have on my forehead near my eyebrow. One doctor was doing laser treatment on it, and I abruptly stopped going when I asked him if something like and excision would work better. He told me that it would leave a line, and he didn't want to do that to me. It pissed me off -- I felt like he had no idea how bad this scar ruined my self-esteem. It made me feel like he didn't really care about what I wanted. Even if he didn't think excision was a good option, he didn't even take the time to talk to me about it.

Anyways, the scar is about the size of a nickel, but it's deep and in the middle it is hypertrophic, Words cannot describe how much I hate it. I will never let anyone see me with my bangs pulled back.

So I went to see Dr. Obagi, who is a dermatologist and also v.p of the American board of plastic surgery. She told me lasers were out of the question, that the scar was too deep for any laser to help. And she said something to me that made me feel like she was there for me: Don't worry, we will help you here, trust me. She proceeded to tell me that she could excise the scar in 3 stages, once every 6 months. She couldn't excise the entire thing in one sitting because it would make my brow line looked unsymmetrical. So she would do a little bit at a time. And also in doing a little bit at a time, the linear scar wouldn't be so big either.

I am eager to start this procedure. But I don't know where I am going to get the money to do this. It is going to cost $750 per excision. That is a lot of money for me, money i don't know where I am going to come up with. BUT she also gave me another option. To have one of her assistants do the excision under her watch for half the price. See, that is more reasonable for me. But, I am nervous to have some newbie cut away at my skin.

I just want to know if anyone has gotten an excision done like I might undergo, in a few stages. I would take a line on my face any day over this disgusting scar I have now. Would you guys let her assistant do the procedure? I mean, Dr. Obaji would be there, but she's the one with all of the merit and that is why I went to her.

I just need advice about all of this -- it is a big decision for me. And it's something that is extremely hard to talk about to my family since they don't even know I have this scar (yes, bangs have been nice to me so far...but I can't hide the problem forever.)

#2 tricia

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 10:31 AM

I don't know, if her assistant messes up you will ultimately blame yourself forever, but there is a possibility you will not like the outcome no matter what, and then you will be out all that money too. She sounds likes she knows what she is doing, I think lasers are a waste of time for big scars so at least you have some good advice now. If you have good credit you could get a low interest rate. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

#3 Srananman

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 10:44 AM

Personally I would go for the best option and pay $750. Why? Because you're dealing with your face.

Apart from that, there is a lot of evidence that the skill level of a doctor can mean a great deal to the quality of your results!

Wishing you well!

#4 gbl

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 10:55 AM

hey. My story is a lot like yours- a huge messy hole in my forehead (mine was double the size of a nickel) which had dents and lumps and just a big mess. Like you, i covered it with my hair and also like you my family never knew

I had a surgical excision which changed the scar into something i could explain - you can make up any reason for a surgical line. Psychologically, a lot better.

But the line was so long (about 4cm) it was a big procedure all at once, and the edges of the line ended up uneven. so i had like a fold and unevenness.

bear in mind this was about 15 years ago.

I believe if i'd have had it done in stages, like your consultant has suggested, maybe the uneveness and 'step' wouldnt have been a problem.

i have spent the last few years trying to fix the uneven line scar that was left (you can see my latest treatment in my thread about Recell)

I think you should do it. But its a possibility you still wont be happy to wear your hair of the face because a scar is still a scar . Unless you get really lucky and end up with literally a hairline scar. Plus you'll need a story to tell you family. (my family still dont know)

#5 lady1983

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 03:04 PM

I recently went to a dermatologist (one of the best in the area) for a scar I have on my forehead near my eyebrow. One doctor was doing laser treatment on it, and I abruptly stopped going when I asked him if something like and excision would work better. He told me that it would leave a line, and he didn't want to do that to me. It pissed me off -- I felt like he had no idea how bad this scar ruined my self-esteem. It made me feel like he didn't really care about what I wanted. Even if he didn't think excision was a good option, he didn't even take the time to talk to me about it.

Anyways, the scar is about the size of a nickel, but it's deep and in the middle it is hypertrophic, Words cannot describe how much I hate it. I will never let anyone see me with my bangs pulled back.

So I went to see Dr. Obagi, who is a dermatologist and also v.p of the American board of plastic surgery. She told me lasers were out of the question, that the scar was too deep for any laser to help. And she said something to me that made me feel like she was there for me: Don't worry, we will help you here, trust me. She proceeded to tell me that she could excise the scar in 3 stages, once every 6 months. She couldn't excise the entire thing in one sitting because it would make my brow line looked unsymmetrical. So she would do a little bit at a time. And also in doing a little bit at a time, the linear scar wouldn't be so big either.

I am eager to start this procedure. But I don't know where I am going to get the money to do this. It is going to cost $750 per excision. That is a lot of money for me, money i don't know where I am going to come up with. BUT she also gave me another option. To have one of her assistants do the excision under her watch for half the price. See, that is more reasonable for me. But, I am nervous to have some newbie cut away at my skin.

I just want to know if anyone has gotten an excision done like I might undergo, in a few stages. I would take a line on my face any day over this disgusting scar I have now. Would you guys let her assistant do the procedure? I mean, Dr. Obaji would be there, but she's the one with all of the merit and that is why I went to her.

I just need advice about all of this -- it is a big decision for me. And it's something that is extremely hard to talk about to my family since they don't even know I have this scar (yes, bangs have been nice to me so far...but I can't hide the problem forever.)



how did this go? I had excision done two weeks ago. i got the thin line, but since it is by my eye it is VERY noticable to me.. unlike the faint line he said it would be. Should I give it more time to fade out? I hope it does... Apparently some of these lines dissapear and some peoples do not.. I am not sure what to expect.

#6 gbl

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 06:57 AM

2 weeks ago?

It amazes me how people think they have the full result of a procedure after 2 weeks. Anything could still happen with your scar. It may fade, it could stretch, it could turn hypertrophic, it could disappear......2 weeks is nothing.

#7 lady1983

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 10:32 AM

2 weeks ago?

It amazes me how people think they have the full result of a procedure after 2 weeks. Anything could still happen with your scar. It may fade, it could stretch, it could turn hypertrophic, it could disappear......2 weeks is nothing.


Yeah 2 weeks might be nothing, but it was such a minor surgery, a very tiny little incision so it has been healing quicker. Trust me, it wouldnt be a big deal if it werent right by my eye. thats why I was curious as to what the end result would be. I dont see any signs of Hypertrophic or Stretching , hopefully that doesnt happen. This was a scar revision. I got rid of a deep pock mark. I'm getting that I still will see the incison line, I was just hoping it would fade out. I didnt want to turn to Lasers. Anyone expereince a laser? i keep hearing bad things but the doctors all recommend it?

#8 Dazarooni

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 05:38 PM

An excision can take up to a year or even longer to heal completely. I had a dermabrasion around 3 months after an excision and the excised scar was still red and raw looking up until then. The dermabrasion blended the scar in with the rest of the skin and I've had more dermabrasions since then and the excised scar is barely noticeable now.

#9 lady1983

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 10:47 AM

Did you experience a hole at all from the suture? does that heal?

#10 Dazarooni

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 04:31 PM

I can't remember, but allow your skin the adequate time to heal and for the scar to settle down.

#11 lady1983

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 12:44 PM

I can't remember, but allow your skin the adequate time to heal and for the scar to settle down.


Yeah it is def Suture holes. I only had the stitches in 4 1/2 days so my Doc says these will heal.. I am now 3 weeks post Op and I am hoping soon. they are noticable little holes. BUt i guess the skin keeps growing and will heal since he didnt leave them in long. So you had the dermbrasion 3 months after? how significant was the dermbrasion on the incision line? I have a consultation in 4 weeks... You said barely noticable, but Mine is already thin and light so i am hoping it gets to the point where i dont really see it in the mirror as much? How risky is a spot dermbrasion?

#12 Dazarooni

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 01:10 PM


I can't remember, but allow your skin the adequate time to heal and for the scar to settle down.


Yeah it is def Suture holes. I only had the stitches in 4 1/2 days so my Doc says these will heal.. I am now 3 weeks post Op and I am hoping soon. they are noticable little holes. BUt i guess the skin keeps growing and will heal since he didnt leave them in long. So you had the dermbrasion 3 months after? how significant was the dermbrasion on the incision line? I have a consultation in 4 weeks... You said barely noticable, but Mine is already thin and light so i am hoping it gets to the point where i dont really see it in the mirror as much? How risky is a spot dermbrasion?


I had the stitches in around 6 or 7 days I think it was.

3 weeks is nothing, it'll take many months for the redness to subside and for the scar to settle down.

The dermabrasion definitely helped, it blended the scar in with the rest of the skin and looked less noticeable.

You ask how risky a spot dermabrasion is, well all scar treatments carry their risks and dermabrasion is no different. In fact, it probably carries more risks than most other treatments as it's an invasive procedure. It involves abrading the skin with a rotating metal wheel. if it's manual dermabrasion- an abrasive scratch pad or silicon carbide sandpaper is used.

Dermabrasion is more suitable for those individuals with light skin. Risks include hypopigmentation (loss of skin colour), additional scarring and infection.

#13 lady1983

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 01:16 PM



I can't remember, but allow your skin the adequate time to heal and for the scar to settle down.


Yeah it is def Suture holes. I only had the stitches in 4 1/2 days so my Doc says these will heal.. I am now 3 weeks post Op and I am hoping soon. they are noticable little holes. BUt i guess the skin keeps growing and will heal since he didnt leave them in long. So you had the dermbrasion 3 months after? how significant was the dermbrasion on the incision line? I have a consultation in 4 weeks... You said barely noticable, but Mine is already thin and light so i am hoping it gets to the point where i dont really see it in the mirror as much? How risky is a spot dermbrasion?


I had the stitches in around 6 or 7 days I think it was.

3 weeks is nothing, it'll take many months for the redness to subside and for the scar to settle down.

The dermabrasion definitely helped, it blended the scar in with the rest of the skin and looked less noticeable.

You ask how risky a spot dermabrasion is, well all scar treatments carry their risks and dermabrasion is no different. In fact, it probably carries more risks than most other treatments as it's an invasive procedure. It involves abrading the skin with a rotating metal wheel. if it's manual dermabrasion- an abrasive scratch pad or silicon carbide sandpaper is used.

Dermabrasion is more suitable for those individuals with light skin. Risks include hypopigmentation (loss of skin colour), additional scarring and infection.


Thanks for the info. I actually don't have much redness. I am noticing the actual incision line itself. It just doesn't seem flat where makeup covers it yet. Kind of needs to fill in.. and the two tiny holes. I am guessing this means it will 'settle' down and do that. thank you

#14 maggie07

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 12:23 AM

Hey guys, thanks for your comments and insight. I know it's been awhile, but I had the first stage of my excision today. It seemed like to took forever to get to this day! I decided to have one of her assistants do the excision while she supervised. Not only was it a money option, but I decided if the doctor I went to was one of the best, then her staff would be held up the highest standard.

I have this huge gauze/band aid thing on my forehead right now, and it is super annoying. The tape is itchy, and I'm dying to see what it looks like underneath but I have to wait 24hrs before removing it. I don't get my stitches out until the 18th...and I'm pretty nervous about it right now. She told me there are steri strips underneath the gauze, as well as tape, and I am not allowed to remove them. I have to keep them on until I go back to get my stitches out on the 18th. Also, most of my stitches are underneath the skin. If I would have known that in the beginning, I would have taken more time off of work. I'm pretty nervous to go to work with tape, etc., on my face. I can tell my hair will hide some of it, but the tape pretty much reaches down to the crease of my inner eye. I'm not sure how much/long the actual line is either. Ahhh, I want to see it so bad! I just don't know what to tell people when they ask me what happened. I can tell it's really swollen, and it really doesn't hurt as much as I thought it would. As long as I keep my head elevated I am okay. She has me taking bromelain twice a day to reduce swelling and inflammation.

Before I left though, she told me they were actually able to take out more than anticipated without disrupting my brow line, so a second stage MIGHT not be needed. I am trying not to get my hopes up too much...

I do have to say, that was such a weird experience. I was numb, so I couldn't feel anything. But I did hear my skin pop/crackle when she was using the scalpel. And feeling the tug as she put in my stitches was weird. It was the strangest 20 mins of my life, and I couldn't wait to be done with it.

I really wish I would have taken a before photo before I went to track my progress, but I didn't think of it until after all was said and done. Well, I will keep those who want updated within the next week...

#15 DainBramaged

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 01:20 PM

Avoid skin tension now and you won't regret it. Wear steri trips all the time, even after removing the stitches, for at least a week.
meh

#16 maggie07

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 08:52 PM

i got my stitches out yesterday, and she did tell me to keep steri strips on for another week. i saw what it looked like, and i was sooo pleasantly surprised. There was a bit of scarring left, but it really wasnt that bad. she did get most of the scar out. I am nervous right now as well, because i can see a bit of line where the steri strip isnt on. it looks sorta depressed. i hope it didnt pull apart. or maybe its a little bit left of the old scar too. you would think that if it was part of the incision line, that shes cover that up with steri strips as well. i'm really freaking out. i don't want it to pull apart...i'd be so devistated, esp after seeing how good it looked. I have been increasing my intake of vitamin c and vitamin a as well...

http://imageshack.us...googlecomd.jpg/

there is a picture of what it looks like now. you can see the little depressed mark at the bottom. like i said, i was supposed to have up to 3 excisions on it since it was big. but luckily for me, she was able to get a ton of the scar out. there is still some scar left but the worst part is out. until these strips fall off i'm nervous about it. maybe i did start to get my hopes up....

Edited by maggie07, 19 January 2012 - 10:15 PM.


#17 DainBramaged

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 12:50 PM

i got my stitches out yesterday, and she did tell me to keep steri strips on for another week. i saw what it looked like, and i was sooo pleasantly surprised. There was a bit of scarring left, but it really wasnt that bad. she did get most of the scar out. I am nervous right now as well, because i can see a bit of line where the steri strip isnt on. it looks sorta depressed. i hope it didnt pull apart. or maybe its a little bit left of the old scar too. you would think that if it was part of the incision line, that shes cover that up with steri strips as well. i'm really freaking out. i don't want it to pull apart...i'd be so devistated, esp after seeing how good it looked. I have been increasing my intake of vitamin c and vitamin a as well...

http://imageshack.us...googlecomd.jpg/

there is a picture of what it looks like now. you can see the little depressed mark at the bottom. like i said, i was supposed to have up to 3 excisions on it since it was big. but luckily for me, she was able to get a ton of the scar out. there is still some scar left but the worst part is out. until these strips fall off i'm nervous about it. maybe i did start to get my hopes up....


this picture is not clear enough, it would be good if you posted a better one.
It is always possible that there will be a depressed scar, the best you can do is to avoid it spreading.
meh

#18 ForeverAndPatience

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:09 AM

Bump

#19 DC-girl

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 05:45 PM

i got my stitches out yesterday, and she did tell me to keep steri strips on for another week. i saw what it looked like, and i was sooo pleasantly surprised. There was a bit of scarring left, but it really wasnt that bad. she did get most of the scar out. I am nervous right now as well, because i can see a bit of line where the steri strip isnt on. it looks sorta depressed. i hope it didnt pull apart. or maybe its a little bit left of the old scar too. you would think that if it was part of the incision line, that shes cover that up with steri strips as well. i'm really freaking out. i don't want it to pull apart...i'd be so devistated, esp after seeing how good it looked. I have been increasing my intake of vitamin c and vitamin a as well...

http://imageshack.us...googlecomd.jpg/

there is a picture of what it looks like now. you can see the little depressed mark at the bottom. like i said, i was supposed to have up to 3 excisions on it since it was big. but luckily for me, she was able to get a ton of the scar out. there is still some scar left but the worst part is out. until these strips fall off i'm nervous about it. maybe i did start to get my hopes up....

 

 

How did you excision turn out?
Can you see the scar very much; is it noticeable? 

I'm at 8 weeks after mine and already know I have to have it redone; it went terribly wrong; it opened up about a week afterwords.

Anyways I'm wondering how soon I can have it redone, does anyone know?



#20 hope27

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 06:38 PM

I say do it use a credit card and pay for it full price.  and tell ur family about ur scar they might be able to help not only with money but with advice on what you should do . u should be able to trust you family if not who else will you count on ..