The Subunit Principle in Scar Face Revision

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Abstract

Facial scaring is considered one of the most difficult cosmetic problems for any plastic surgeon to solve. The condition is more difficult if the direction of the scar is not parallel to relaxed skin tension lines. Attempts to manage this difficult situation included revisions using geometric designs, Z plasties or W plasties to camouflage the straight line visible scaring. The use of long-lasting resorbable sutures was tried too. Recently, the use of botulinum toxin during revision improved the results. Fractional CO2 lasers, microfat grafts, and platelet-rich plasma were added to the armamentarium. The scar is least visible if placed in the junction between the facial subunits. The aim of this study is to investigate the use of the subunit principle to improve the results of scar revision. Four patients were included in this study. Tissue expansion of the intact part of the subunit allowed shifting the scar to the junction between the affected subunit and the adjacent one. Tissue expansion, delivery of the expanders, and advancement of the flaps were successful in all patients. The fact that this is a 2-stage procedure and sacrifices some of the intact skin from the affected facial subunit, makes this technique reserved to patients with ugly facial scars who are ambitious to improve their appearance.

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