plastic surgery procedures

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cosmetic surgery procedures
  • BOTOX Cosmetic
  • Restylane
  • Perlane
  • Juvederm Ultra
  • Juvederm Ultra Plus
  • Radiesse
  • Sculptra
  • TCA Chemical Peel
  • Cosmelan Mask
  • Refinity Peel

Healing and Scars

introduction and phases of wound healing
personal factors that affect wound healing - nutrition, fluids, smoking
personal factors that affect wound healing - diabetes, movement, steroids, alcohol, stress, sun exposure, other factors
surgical and post operative factors that affect wound healing
healing supplements - arnica
healing supplements - bromelain, vitamin K cream
scar formation and treatment
hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Wound healing is a complex, delicate process during which time many factors can affect your outcome. Anything which creates trauma or injury to the skin can create a wound.

In cosmetic surgery, this can be as limited as a surgical incision or more extensive such as laser skin resurfacing. Fortunately, you don't have to rely completely on good genes or your surgeon's technique to improve your chances at timely, aesthetically pleasing results, although those two factors do help considerably.

Phases of Wound Healing
There are three phases to healing: the inflammatory phase, the proliferative phase, and the remodeling or maturation phase. The inflammatory phase begins immediately and lasts 2 to 6 days, during which time bleeding stops, white blood cells fight bacterial infection, and collagen formation begins. (Collagen is what scars are made of and what holds wounds together). In this phase, the wound is usually warm, red, swollen, and painful.

After a few days, the proliferative phase takes place, and continues for about 3 to 4 weeks. (To proliferate means to grow by rapid production). In this phase, collagen continues to be produced, pulling the edges of the wound together, and new capillaries (tiny blood vessels) are formed to aid in healing.

This can cause visible thickening of the skin edges and new red, bumps called granulation tissue in the shrinking wound. Cells that help to keep the wound clean can cause the wound to be wet, weeping, and white or yellow in appearance. (If thick, white pus is present, this is a sign of an infection and should be treated).

Finally, the maturation phase begins, and continues for a period from several weeks to several years. This slow process entails the formation of even more collagen to strengthen the wounds, and then scar "remodeling" to break down excess collagen in the scar. Scar remodeling is what can change a thick, red, raised scar to a thin, flat, white scar over a period of months to years.

To Next Section - Personal Factors That Affect Wound Healing: Nutrition, Fluids, Smoking

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