Mr Nigel Horlock

Consultant Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon

New device could minimise cosmetic surgery scarring

When patients undergo surgical cosmetic surgery, one of the biggest concerns is scarring. All cosmetic surgery procedures involve incisions made into the skin so you will always be left with a scar, which will hopefully flatten and fade over time but will never disappear entirely. Now, researchers from the Binghamton University, of the State University of New York, have come up with a new device which could help to minimise scarring from cosmetic surgery.

cosmetic surgery scarring

So, what is this new device and how likely are we to see it on the market?

The device is said to be able to determine the orientation of skin tensions lines. Skin tension lines are used to aid cosmetic surgeons to make the least conspicuous cuts. If a cut is made in the wrong place or direction, it could lead to the development of keloid scarring. However, if cuts are made in the right place, it helps the wounds to heal quicker and scarring will be minimised. That is where this new device comes in.

It is able to accurately measure the skin’s tension lines. While there are other devices which can currently do this already on the market, they typically need more than one measurement. The devices which do only require one measurement, are also limited to measuring an accuracy of 45 degrees. So, this new device is considered much more accurate and reliable than the existing methods.

The new device is capable of providing accurate measurements, unique to each individual patient, within just a few seconds.

How can it help with cosmetic surgery scarring?

At the moment, surgeons rely upon either manual manipulation or skin tension line maps. There are a lot of different skin tension line maps to choose from and manual manipulation can be inaccurate

However, there is still a way to go before the device will hit the market. Further trials involving an increased number of patients will be required to determine just how effective it is. Researchers are then hopeful that it will enter the mainstream market, becoming a commonplace piece of equipment in operating theatres.

In the meantime, there are certain steps your cosmetic surgeon will make to minimise scarring.

How your cosmetic surgeon minimises cosmetic surgery scarring

During your consultation, Mr Nigel Horlock will take a full medical history to rule out any pre-existing medical conditions, such as certain thyroid problems or diabetes, that could affect the body’s ability to heal. He will also ask how previous scars have healed as some patients suffer from keloid scarring; this is where the scar tissue grows excessively, and the scar is red, raised and larger than the original wound.

Your cosmetic surgery procedure will also be carefully planned, particularly in terms of placement of the incisions. If possible, they will be sited in the natural creases and folds of the body, but also Mr Horlock will take into account the skin tension lines to ensure optimal scarring.

He will also advise wearing a specially designed compression garment in the post-surgery period as they support the integrity of the wound as it is healing and helps to prevent the overgrowth of scarring tissue.

During your pre-surgery consultation, Mr Horlock will discuss the potential scarring that you can expect as well as give advice on how best to promote the healing process and minimise scarring. Call 02380 914504 to arrange your cosmetic surgery consultation.


Mr Horlock's NHS practice is based in the regional plastics unit at Salisbury District Hospital. He covers Salisbury, Southampton and Dorchester. He sees patients in his private practice at Southampton, Salisbury, Dorchester.

CONTACT MR HORLOCK
Spire Southampton Hospital
Chalybeate Close,
Southampton,
Hampshire
S016 6UY
CLINIC APPOINTMENTS: 02380 914 504
Julie Martin: 02380 764 969
info@nigelhorlock.co.uk