Scar Tissue in Gynecomastia Surgery and Beyond
We have written a few posts recently about the healing process for the benefit of patients seeking gynecomastia surgery in New York and the online community. We would like to dive a little more deeply into one of the most important components of the male breast reduction post-op period: scar tissue.
In a way, scar tissue gets a bit of a bum rap. Unless you are a very rare individual who has suffered no physical trauma in your life–whether planned or accidental–you owe the integrity of your skin, the body’s largest organ, to scar tissue. When you think about it, the human body’s ability to act quickly to heal wounds of all kinds is actually pretty amazing.
How Does Scar Tissue Form?
When surface skin and layers underneath are injured, the body first produces a blood clot to seal the wound. On the outer layer of your skin the clot dries and becomes a scab. Underneath, cells called fibroblasts invade the clot and begin to produce collagen fibers. Working with “growth factors” inside the clot, the fibroblasts move around and pull the fibers about, ultimately knitting the edges of the wound together.
Scar tissue inevitably looks a little different than surface skin. Pigmentation, texture and the ability to grow hair are all inferior to those same characteristics of normal skin. This is because the collagen fibers in a scar are not woven together smoothly in all directions. Scar tissue tends to consist of new fibers that all grow in approximately the same direction, leaving a kind of “track” on the skin. Underneath the surface, scars can become bumpy and push on outer layers so they look uneven.
Why Is Scar Tissue So Variable?
Behavior of fibroblasts is somewhat unpredictable – that’s why the ultimate look of scars and impact of scar tissue underneath surface skin is difficult to forecast. Sometimes fibroblasts are especially vigorous and produce a type of scar called “hypertrophic,” one that is dark and raised, or even a “keloid” scar that extends beyond the boundary of the original wound.
You can find a good overview of the different kinds of scars at the “Scar Information Service” of Smith & Nephew, a British medical equipment manufacturer.
What Can Be Done About Unattractive Scars?
When we perform gynecomastia surgery in New York, the incisions we make are no larger than little nicks in the skin, and sometimes tiny cuts along the edge of the areola. Therefore, very few of our patients are concerned about scars once the healing process is complete. Take a look at our before and after gynecomastia photos and you’ll see what we mean.
In the rare case of an unacceptable scar resulting from male breast reduction, one or more cortisone injections can usually help.
It is very rare indeed that a more drastic measure would be needed, such as scar revision surgery. We sometimes work with patients who have had a difficult experience with another type of surgery or who have suffered violence – revising scars in these cases is rewarding for both patient and surgeon. Thirty years of successful cosmetic surgery in New York have prepared us for even very challenging cases.
We very much enjoy our relationships with men dealing with moobs and all patients, female and male alike. Even if all you need is scar improvement, we invite you to send us an email or give us a call at 212-570-6080 today.