Whether it’s a child or an adult who needs a cleft rhinoplasty, the procedure comes with its own set of worries. Yes, the surgery can improve how the mouth and lips function and assist with how well people eat, speak, hear and breathe. But it also comes with a lengthy healing period and the risk of visible scarring around the mouth, nose and lips.
The fact is that any facial surgery, whether it’s medically necessary or cosmetic, leaves scars. The trick is to minimize their appearance by starting scar-reduction treatment as soon as possible after surgery and by choosing a craniofacial surgeon with enough experience to make scars less visible.
Finding a Craniofacial Surgeon With an Artist’s Touch
When it comes to plastic and craniofacial surgery, a good surgeon is more than the person who repairs the facial feature; they’re also the artist who gives it a functional and symmetrical shape. A qualified and experienced surgeon can perform a cleft rhinoplasty, making cuts in places where scarring is less noticeable (such as around the edges of the nose and lips) and securing the skin back together in a way that minimizes scarring.
During an initial consultation, ask to see before and after pictures of previous patients and look to see how significant their scarring is — this can tell a lot about a doctor’s experience and artistic eye.
Understanding How Scars Form and Fade
Anytime skin is cut and mended, a scar forms. This is inevitable and essential to the healing process. A fresh scar often appears raised and red, as the body floods the area with nutrient-rich blood to help the skin heal. For most people, after several months, the scar softens, flattens and fades in color. As time progresses, most scars continue to lighten and fade, but not all do.
Regardless of how the scar heals, once the skin has closed and the wound is no longer open, scar-reduction treatment can begin. Although scars don’t disappear completely, their appearance can become less noticeable when given the proper care and attention.
Start by ensuring the body has the right nutrients and minerals to heal by eating a healthy diet filled with real whole foods such as fruits, vegetables and lean meats. Ensuring that the body is as healthy as it can be allows it to heal faster and more effectively.
Another way to minimize cleft rhinoplasty scars is to protect the surgical area from the sun and its UV rays. Sun exposure increases pigmentation in the skin and can make scars darker and more vivid. Using sunscreen and wearing wide brim hats can reduce sun exposure and provide protection for scars.
Scar massage can also reduce visibility. Gently massaging the scar between the fingers breaks up the scar tissue, making it flatter and less noticeable. Adding a topical healing agent such as aloe vera can also minimize the appearance of scars. Another option is topical silicone, which has shown promising results in healing cleft rhinoplasty scars.
Find Your Craniofacial Surgeon at Wellspring Craniofacial Group
We at Wellspring Craniofacial Group are well-equipped to help your family get through this. If you need a specialist in cleft rhinoplasty, call us today at (512) 600-2888.