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How to Reduce Scars After Weight Loss Surgery



Weight loss surgery gives patients the opportunity for a fresh start to regain their health and live their life to the fullest. Through bariatric procedures such as laparoscopic gastric sleeve, endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty or revision surgeries, patients are provided with a life-saving tool that enables them to lose excess body weight.


While the long-term effects of bariatric surgery include significant weight loss and improvement or remission of weight-related diseases, there is one potential result from these procedures that does not excite patients: scarring.


No matter what type of weight loss surgery procedure one may take, the chances of experiencing scarring during and after the procedure are immensely-high (if not inevitable). Although it may seem disheartening to hear that scarring is impossible to avoid with weight loss surgery, there’s no need to worry yet because there are a few effective measures you can take to minimize the resulting scars.


The good news is that while scarring does occur as a result of weight loss surgery, the scars are very tiny. Since Dr. Korman performs laparoscopic procedures where only a few (0.5-1.5cm) incisions are made, scarring is minimal.


Why does scarring happen?


Scarring is a mechanism that your body uses to fight off any germs or infection that could affect any open wound or incision caused by a surgical procedure. Through the immediate preventive measures carried out by white blood cells, an open wound becomes pink or red. It can swell up or become tender to the touch. The body then grows new tissue on the wounded area. Scars get their appearance due to the collagen linking itself to form granular tissue to cover the wound, which in turn forms a rather different appearance from the rest of the skin’s smooth surface.


Minimizing Scarring


To help reduce scarring, here are a few important do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:


DON’T:

- Pick at the wound. Although it might seem tempting, remember that frequently-picked scabs can lead to the repeated healing process, which, in turn, can lead to the appearance of a scar.


- Smoke. Smoking prevents oxygen from getting to the scarred area, which impedes it from improving. Smoking can even cause wounds to re-open, which results in even larger scars.


- Drink alcohol and avoid caffeine. They dehydrate the body which impedes the healing process.


DO:

- Ask your doctor before the procedure to close out any incisions made with stitches. This aides the healing process by preventing excess collagen at the entry spots.


- Gently wash with soap and water - no scrubbing!


- Use sunscreen. Often, most scars tend to grow worse in appearance over time due to overexposure to the sun’s rays. However, with sunblock, a scar spot can be covered with the right amount of protection while nourishing it at the same time.


- Rest. It is your body’s natural way of speeding the healing process.


While scarring may be a slight deterrent for patients considering weight loss surgery, the benefits from the procedures highly outweigh the slight cosmetic negatives, (which can be fixed or reduced by a plastic surgeon).


To learn more or schedule a consultation with Dr. Korman, contact us here or call the office: 310-577-5540.

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