Practical Tips for Scar Reduction
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are over 51.4 million surgeries performed in the US annually1, four million of which are open abdominal surgeries.2 Abdominal surgery skin closures are often performed using staples, which produce track marks and scarring.
Without much data available regarding the psychological impact of scars, a group of clinicians used semiquantitative surveys to question 97 patients about post-surgical scar concerns.3 The results showed that regardless of gender, age, ethnicity or geographical location, patients were dissatisfied with scars resulting from surgery. Ninety-one percent of patients would value even small improvements.3
In the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery, Updated Scar Management Practical Guidelines for Non-invasive and Invasive Measures suggest that strategies to minimize the risk of scar formation are applicable to all types of scars.4 (See Table 1.) Reducing skin tension is one of the recommended strategies.
Table 1. Scar Practice Management Guidelines 4
- Minimize risk of scar formation before, during and after surgery
- Employ measures to reduce skin tension
- Prevention of abnormal scar formation should be priority following surgery
- Scar prevention measures should be initiated during or even before surgery
- Carefully consider the position and the lengthof the incision line, which should be parallel to the relaxed skin tension lines
Practical tips for reducing skin tension include the following:
- Use subcutaneous sutures to relieve tension from the overlying skin4
- Use wound-closure strips to reduce tension as well as block transient bacterial contamination5
- Use Mastisol® Liquid Adhesive for improved peel-off strength and ensure wound-closure strips stay in place5
There are some distinct benefits of using Mastisol. First, clinical data shows that not only is the adhesive capability of Mastisol stronger than Tincture of Benzoin—another primary adjunctive adhesive used in securing wound-closure strips—it also has a lower incidence of postoperative contact dermatitis and subsequent skin discoloration.6 Additional benefits of using Mastisol with surgical dressings include that it’s non-water soluble, will not stain patient skin or hospital linens, and it helps minimize the risk of infection by creating a lasting occlusive dressing barrier.
And remember, Detachol® Adhesive Remover can help remove the wound-closure strips easily, gently, and painlessly.
For more information about Mastisol® and Detachol® please contact your sales consultant or Eloquest Healthcare®, Inc., call 1-877-433-7626 or visit www.eloquesthealthcare.com.
Minimizing infection risk is an essential part of optimizing “The Triple Aim” of the Affordable Care Act. Eloquest Healthcare is committed to providing solutions that can help you reduce the risk of conditions like a central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) and postoperative wound contamination.
Come back for more important information about scar management in our next blog.
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention. www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhds/4procedures/2010pro4_numberprocedureage.pdf. Accessed 11/14/2017.
- Rahbari NN, et al. Current practice of abdominal wall closure in elective surgery – is there any consensus? BMC Surg.
- Young VL, Hutchinson J. Insights into patient and clinician concerns about scar appearance:
semiquantitative structured surveys. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2009;124:256-265.
- Monstrey S, et al. Updated scar management practical guidelines: non-invasive and invasive measures. J Plast Reconstr Surg. 2014;67:1017-1025.
- Yavuzer R, et al. Reinforcement of subcuticular continuous suture closure with surgical adhesive strips and gum mastic: is there any additional strength provided? Am J Surg. 2005;189:315-318.
- Lesesne CB. The postoperative use of wound adhesives. J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1992;18:990.