Scar tissue is an ever-present, unavoidable side effect of surgery. Besides the fact that most people find the raised, pinkish mark largely unattractive, scars can cause functional problems, as they doesn’t contain sweat glands or hair follicles, and large amounts of scar tissue or keloid can limit motion. Current methods of removing scars include surgery, drugs, and laser therapy, but none have been shown to be consistently effective and practical.
Researchers at Stanford University have developed a special wound dressing that significantly reduces the amount of scar tissue that develops post surgical incisions. Scar tissue forms when the edges of an incision are pulled taut by the surrounding skin. The new dressing, described as a “stress-shielding device”, removes the tension on the incision, allowing the wound to heal without forming scar tissue. It’s made of a thin and elastic silicone plastic that is literally stretched over the wound to provide uniform compression.
In a study released this week, Stanford researchers tested the wound dressing on nine females who had undergone tummy tucks. Half of their wound sites were treated with the special dressing, while the other half did not. A panel of judges consisting of plastic surgeons and non-medical personnel rated the side treated with the stress-shielding device 39.2 and 13.2 points higher than the untreated side (respectively), on a 100-point scale. The study also included testing the device on pigs. The result was a six-fold decrease in area of scarring and “nearly scarless closure” after eight weeks.
Article from Stanford University: New device could reduce surgical scarring…