Category Archives: Surgical Concepts

Scars, Incisions, and Surgical Results for Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery: West Chester, Pennsylvania

How a scar or incision heals depends on factors such as the surgeon, the scar location, the operation, time, and individual human differences. These factors are discussed in this educational writing and it’s importance to cosmetic surgery results and plastic surgery scars.

A patient of mine from West Chester, Pennsylvania came to me and asked, “Get rid of my scars.” You unfortunately can’t. Scars are permanent. If a person has a laceration or an operation, the incision turns into the scar, and this scar is permanent. It will fade, however! It will become less noticeable, but it will always be there. Understanding this process is very important. Plastic surgery incisions eventually turn into scars.

The factors involved in scar fading, incision healing, and surgical results will now be discussed.

1- The Surgeon:

Everyone wants the best doctor or surgeon to sew up their cuts or lacerations. This is true of their cosmetic operations too. Usually this is the plastic surgeon. Plastic surgeons have extensive training focused on the best techniques to maximize the fading and healing of scars. The techniques used include gentle handling of tissue, meticulous hemostasis, small- delicate stitches, and precise approximation or suturing of the tissues. It is normal to want the best doctor to fix your lacerations or to perform your cosmetic operation. This will play a role in your healing. The plastic surgeon will use his extensive training to maximize the healing and the fading of the incision to give the best result.

2- The Location:

In real estate transactions, there is a phrase used often – “Location, Location, Location!!”
This applies to scars and incisions also. If we get accidentally cut or suffer a laceration, we have no choice of the location or where the cut or scar occurs. However, with operations we have a choice. The location is critically important. Certain areas on the body heal better than others. For example, the face tends to heal extremely well. I call it a “privileged” location. Face lifts, eyelifts, and other cosmetic operations on the face use incisions that almost uniformly heal exceptionally well. The incisions in these areas are placed in “privileged” areas and usually are difficult to see after healing. It is a characteristic of these operations that the scars heal extremely well. If they didn’t, these operations would not be so popular.

However, other locations don’t heal as well as the face. The back, for example, doesn’t heal as well as the face. The scars or incisions in this area tend to be thicker and wider than often desired. The knee or shoulder can heal with wider or suboptimal scars. Some areas of the body do not heal as well as others. Location is critical.

The breasts, like the face, tend to heal very well. Cosmetic surgery operations on the breast often have very nice scar fading and results because of this tendency. This is true also for the incision for an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck. These operations tend to have surgical results with nice incisions and scars that fade well with time.

3- The Operation:

Different operations will have different results and scar healing patterns. As discussed above, certain operations use incisions that are not in the best locations. Thigh lifts, body lifts, buttock lifts have incisions that might not heal as well as other operations. A person might have to except a scar that is not as good as desired or thicker or wider than desired. These locations might have a higher incidence or chance of poor healing. Other operative factors can play a role. For example, operations that have complications, infection, or delayed healing will effect the scar or the surgical result. Delayed healing beyond three weeks is often associated with hypertrophic or keloid scars. Therapy is available if this happens, so this can help the fading if it occurs.

4- Time:

Scars or incisions fade with time. It can take much longer than many people realize to see complete fading of the scar. A good rule of thumb is that scars fade over a year. However, it can take longer for some people. Scars sometimes can take 18 months or even longer. It is important to be patient. It most cases the scar will fade with time. The great majority of people will ultimately be happy about the appearance of the scar. The final surgical result awaits complete fading of the incisions.

5- Individual Differences:

Scar fading is not the same for everyone. Personal differences in skin type, quality, and healing abilities can make a big difference in the final appearance. Patients might have genetic differences that lead to better or worse healing. Some patients will be more prone to keloid scarring. If you know this is the case for you, make sure you tell me as things can be done to enhance healing.


Cosmetic surgery requires incisions. These incisions turn into the scars. The final result of the cosmetic operation occurs after the scars have faded to the greatest degree. Scars do not go away completely. They usually heal to the point where most people are very happy with the incisions. Factors that are involved in scar healing include but are not limited to: the surgeon, the location, the operation, time after surgery, and individual differences.

I am a board certified plastic surgeon who practices exclusively cosmetic surgery. Please come in for a complimentary consultation. Details of your cosmetic procedure and your surgical plan will be discussed completely.

General Concepts about Facelift Surgery and Facial Rejuvenation

An important point to understand and to help us see the “Real-Reality” is to be able to get past the misinformation and false advertising that we are so constantly bombarded by in the media. It’s hard to pick up a magazine or watch television without being exposed to this misinformation. The new facelift cream that’s going to make us look 20 years younger was just discovered by Dr.” X.” It’s been proven to work through a scientific discovery. If a doctor says it is so, it must work, right? No! Absolutely not! The cream may very well not work as described. How about the new cellulite cream or the new facelift procedure that was just developed or “invented?” “Don’t they work?” “I saw it on TV.” “It was highlighted on a television show.” “I’ve heard respected Hollywood personalities have done it.” “It must work, right?” The first part of the education process and one of the first concepts that we must learn is that the great majority of these new inventions or procedures in cosmetic surgery do not work as described. Someone or some company is trying to make money, and it’s your money. They are misrepresenting the facts to take advantage of you. Have you ever heard of the expression, “there’s a sucker born every minute?” We all can be suckers if we’re not careful. The misinformation is typically presented as fact. The misinformation is typically based on “scientific evidence” or “discovery.” One of the first key concepts we must learn is the following, you can not believe everything you read in print. You cannot believe everything you hear on TV. It is not complex. You have heard this advice before. When you see advertisements related to cosmetic surgery, you should be very skeptical. Beware of the “used-car” sales pitch. Just like the proverbial used-car salesman, who tells you that the old car he is selling is great and will last for years. Maybe you should not believe him. You might be skeptical, because you realize he wants to make a buck on you. But many people are misled by the advertising and the television shows discussing the newest cosmetic surgery creams that they claim, “really work.” We must filter through this misinformation. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If it sounds hard to believe, it probably is.

Here is an overall guiding concept. Most of the time the best cosmetic results, cosmetic rejuvenation, or facial rejuvenation require an investment of time, energy, money, and recovery. Simple, easy things, such as creams or small office procedures, never give the results of big surgical procedures. Simple, easy cosmetic things tend to give small or minimal improvement. Cosmetic operations and surgery, with the expected longer recovery and downtime, give the rejuvenation or cosmetic improvement that is typically desired. It is not hard to understand this. Small and easy cosmetic procedures tend to give a small degree of improvement. These easy cosmetic procedures usually have minimal downtime and quick recovery. Bigger, more elaborate, and harder cosmetic operations or procedures tend to give more substantial cosmetic improvement. These bigger procedures, however, always require significant downtime and recovery. It is this principal concept that is frequently broken by false and misleading advertising. The claims are often the simple cream that will give you a facelift. The claims are often for the easy operation or procedure that will give you a facelift, with no downtime and no typical facelift recovery. You can not get a facelift without surgery. Although we may wish it were true, it just does not work this way. It is hard to pick up a magazine or other news outlet without being exposed to potentially wrong or misleading information about cosmetic surgery. Once we understand this misinformation, we can avoid being misled by false or inaccurate advertising. We can understand the truth more clearly. Once we are not misled by the “smoke and mirrors” of television shows, or the Internet, we can understand completely how real surgery has realistic results and realistic expectations. It is through this type of understanding that we will be able to see clearly the “Real-Reality” of cosmetic surgery.

Dr. Saunders is a board certified plastic surgeon who practices exclusively cosmetic surgery. Delaware cosmetic surgery, West Chester cosmetic surgery, and Media cosmetic surgery patients are encouraged to come in for a complimentary consultation and to check out Dr. Saunders’ deluxe state licensed surgical center.
If you are interested in facelift surgery, facelift cost, facelift recovery, or any aspects of facial rejuvenation please call for a complimentary consultation. Please also see the facelift before and after photos on our web site!