Benign tumors (such as certain beauty spots) can at times evolve and become cancerous. It is therefore logical to remove them as a preventative measure. Other lesions which are simply benign can be removed because they are bothersome, perhaps because of friction or rubbing, or simply for aesthetic reasons.
These are skin cancers which of course must be removed as often surgery is the only treatment which can provide for a complete recovery.
The plastic surgeon’s work is to remove these tumors in their entirety but also to achieve the best possible aesthetic result following the operation. What is removed is systematically sent for anatomo-pathological analysis (under microscope) so as to confirm the diagnosis and to corroborate the need for the lesion to have been removed in its entirety.
A scar is the visible part of the skin lesion once the tissue has been repaired following an incision made during a procedure or after a wound.
It is impossible to make a scar disappear completely, whether by surgery or by any other means (cream, tatooing, exfoliation, laser treatment..). The aim of surgical recovery of a scar is to correct or to replace an anomalous scar with a new one, which is hoped to be less bothersome and more discreet.
In the majority of cases, scars can only be treated according to their own natural evolution, ie from 6 months to 2 years following a procedure. In fact, scarring occurs in 3 stages. The first phase begins several days after the procedure with a nice, fine scar. Then, over the course of 1 to 2 months after the operation, the scar becomes redder, harder, blistered and itching can be frequent. This phase lasts on average between 3 and 6 months. In the final phase the scar begins to turn white and soften. At the same time, any itching disappears. At the end of this process, which is rather long and unpredictable, the scar is permanent, white, soft and insensible.
It is important to understand that the treatment of a normal but large scar can be very uncertain since it is often enlarged as a result of a problem in the scarring itself, which is specific to the patient and has nothing to do with the surgical procedure.
In the simplest cases, it is sufficient to remove the problematic scar and to reclose with a perfect suture technique in the hope of obtaining a more discreet new scar. Often, it is necessary to make a special incision, aimed at breaking the main axis of the initial scar, so as to reorient the scar according to the natural tension lines in the skin and to diminish the tension exerted over the edges of the wound.
Skin expansion is a technique which is sometimes used. Inflatable balloons are placed under healthy, adjacent skin which allows the skin to stretch and swell over several weeks or months with a view to using the skin available following deflation of the balloons to cover up the scarring.