Average Time for Scars to Flatten After Plastic Surgery?

I know everyone's healing process varies, but from what you've seen in follow ups from your paitents, whats the average time for a scar to flatten? Thanks

Doctor Answers 4

Surgical Scar Maturation Time

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Not all scars are the same because our tissues heal differently in different skin types, in different areas of the same body (skin type), with different mechanisms of injury (surgery vs. trauma) and depending on the actual way the tissues were brought together.

All plastic surgery scars start flat. Although a minor raise in the scar profile is sometimes seen, it usually flattens by 6-8 months. If YOUR scar is raised past this point your scar may be considered to be "hypertrophied" and may need to be treated for it.

Dr. P. Aldea

Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Maturing Time for Scars After Cosmetic Surgery

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All surgically repaired wounds go through three different phases of healing-inflammatory, proliferative and remodeling. Each of these phases overlap the next to some extent. The inflammatory phases happens immediately after the wound is closed and is marked by the influx of cells for the clotting process and to bring in cells for collagen production.

After 2-5 days cells that make collagen, the primary constituent of skin, come into the wound. By 6 weeks the primary acute phase is over the the remodeling phase is well under way.

The remodeling phase changes the collagen that initially fills to the wound to the permanent type. In addition during this phase the wound softens and the collagen lenghtens. This phase will last a minimum of a year and occasionally up to 2 years.

So after all that it will be at least a year to see the final scar result.

Scar flattening or maturation

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After a full thickness skin injury, a cascade of events is initiated that results in the creation of tissue rich in collagen at the injury site over a period of several months. This is visible as increases in height (like a bump on the skin surface), firmness, and redness (vascularity). The scar then stabilizes for a variable length of time, typically 6 to 9 months, before it begins to flatten, soften, and become paler. The process of flattening etc. is called scar maturation.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

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Scar flattening is a function of individual wound healing tendencies, health and age.

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It really takes about 2 years for a scar to reach a fully stable and f;lattened appearance. However, this does vary with age. Scars in younger individuals tend to take longer whereas scars in older patients may flattten as early as 3 months.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.