Infant. Should Have Fought for a Plastic Surgeon. When Can a Revision Be Done? (photo)

My infant was scratched by a dog on his cheek and required an ER visit. The ER doctor felt that 1 stitch in the center of the cut to release the tension followed by dermabond would do the trick. Unfortuntely, where the stitch was is almost healed and the 2 sides appear to have spread apart in the healing. This picture is 2 weeks post accident. Can a revision be done and how long would I have to wait to do so?

Doctor Answers 1

Managing a dog scratch injury on an infant's cheek

Thank you for your question and clear photograph.

I can reassure you that although cuts to the faces of infants and children causes considerable stress and concern, it is unlikely that you will need to have revisional surgery done to your infant's cheek.

I see what you say about the area in the middle compared to the area at the sides. That said, the area does seem to be epithelialised and is not gaping. The location of the scar is in a favourable position with regards to natural skin tension lines. It is the colour of the scar that currently makes it particularly noticeable, and it has a normal colour for a 2-week injury. Infants have remarkable healing abilities and I believe it highly likely that over the next year you will be able to watch the scar disappear until it is almost impossible (or even impossible) to see.

If my prediction is not correct and you wish to pursue revisional surgery know that this is something that I would not recommend undertaking until at least age 4. Scar revision surgery is elective surgery and the risks of an anaesthetic in an infant outweigh any benefit of surgery. 

Melbourne Plastic Surgeon

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