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The UCLA Division of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

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The UCLA Scar Treatment Program

UCLA Scar Treatment Program

The UCLA Scar Treatment Program is a multi-modality subspecialty service with a focus on treatment of all types of scars including burn scars, keloids, hypertrophic scars, surgery related scars, contracture related scars, trauma related scars, and minor scars.
 

For more information or to schedule a consultation:

Phone: (310) 825-8927
Fax: (310) 206-7579
Email: plasticsurgery@mednet.ucla.edu
 

Physician Referrals:

In CareConnect: refer to Dept 60420
Physician Referrals: (800) 825-2631
To Fax a Referral: (310) 301-5391
Email: access@mednet.ucla.edu
 

Our location:

The UCLA Division of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
200 UCLA Medical Plaza, Suitea 465
Los Angeles, CA 90095 
 

What is Scar Revision?

Patients may have a scar caused by an accident, injury, surgery (including c-section), and burns. 

Patients may desire a scar revision because of the way it looks (cosmetic/aesthetic reason) or because the scar causes contracture or disfigurement.  Scars may have symptoms such as itching, discomfort, or tightness.  Scars may limit the range of motion of the affected area of the body.

Scar revision involves various modalities such as surgery, steroid application, compression garments, silicone gel sheeting, or laser skin resurfacing to improve symptoms.
 

Procedures available:

Upon initial consultation, your surgeon will personalize and tailor treatment options based on the type of scar and the individual needs of the patient.

Laser Skin Resurfacing

Various lasers are available to improve the uneven surface of scars.  UCLA Medical Center is one of the few institutions on the West Coast to offer Ultrapulse CO2 resurfacing of scars.  Laser skin resurfacing can be used with other modalities described below.  Other types of laser are used for hyperemic or red scars.  Therapy is individualized depending on the patients' needs and goals. 

Z-Plasty

Z-Plasty and related tissue-rearrangement techniques are available to re-orient and reposition scars.  Z-plasty can be used to improve contractures, or areas of tightness along affected areas.

Tissue Expansion

A "balloon" is placed beneath normal adjacent skin and is used to stretch normal skin over a period of time by filling the tissue expander with saline solution.   After weeks or months, the skin is adequately stretched, and the scar is then surgically removed.  The stretched skin is used to close the scar defect.   

Skin grafting

A thin layer of skin is taken from a healthy part of the body and is transplanted to the scarred region.  Skin grafts may not appear identical to the surrounding skin with regard to color or thickness; however, they provide an option to restore function to severely affected scar regions.

Dermabrasion

This modality is used to smooth out surface irregularities by removing the topmost layer of skin.  In essence the top layer of the scar is 'sanded' with a wheel or rotating wire brush until the desired depth is achieved.

Collagen Injections

Collagen is a natural protein, and is injected to fill in areas of depressed scars.  The purpose is to fill in uneven areas to improve the appearance of a scar.  The results of collagen injections are immediate, but are not permanent and the scar will eventually need to be retreated.

Fat grafting 

Much the same as collagen injection, fat grafting uses a patient's own fat to transfer to an affected area that is depressed or sunken in.  The purpose is to fill in uneven areas to improve the appearance of a scar.  Like collagen injection, the results are immediate.  However, these treatments often require multiple applications to achieve the desired result.

Steroid application and injection

Steroids are used to flatten and reduce the activity of hypertrophic and keloid scars.  Steroids can be injected into the scar tissue in clinic, can be used at the time of surgery, or can be used topically with laser modalities. 

Silicone Gel Sheets

Silicone gel sheets can help flatten hypertrophic, keloid, and active scars.  They are placed on the scar daily and typically worn for 24 hours.
 

How can I get my scar treated?

The first step is to schedule a personal consultation with the plastic surgeon.  Your medical history, scar-related symptoms, and personal goals will be assessed.  A complete physical exam will be performed.  Your surgeon will discuss the options available and expectations, tailored to your specific goals.  
 

Our values

Open communication and accessibility for patients and referring physicians.  We offer personalized therapy tailored to the needs and goals of each individual.

Evidence-based practice.  Patient care founded on the best and latest medical science.

Patient education: To provide patients with the knowledge of the options available to their specific scar-related need.
 

How can I get an appointment?

Call (310) 825-8927 or email us at plasticsurgery@mednet.ucla.edu and our coordinator will provide you with options for a personal consultation.
 

Preparing for your surgery:

Many treatment options are available in the clinic.  Other options may require outpatient or inpatient surgery.  You will be given specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, guidelines on eating and drinking, and taking medications and dietary supplements.  You should arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery.  Patients may require further care at home after surgery depending on the type of procedure done. 

Where will my surgery be done?

Your procedure can be done at the UCLA Outpatient Surgery Center in Westwood or at the UCLA Surgery Center in Santa Monica.  Combined surgery-laser cases are done at the Westwood site.

What type of anesthesia is needed?

The anesthesia choice will depend on the type of scar treatment needed.  You will remain comfortable throughout the entire procedure.  General anesthesia, sedation, and local anesthesia are options depending on the procedure.
 

After Surgery:

You will be given detailed instructions regarding wound care and dressings.  You will have follow-up with the plastic surgeon and we will continue to assess your long-term results.

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