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New Advancements in Surgical Scar Revision

Article

In a shared session at AAD, Ramona Behshad, MD, FAAD, will present a hands-on surgical scar revision workshop using cadavers.

At the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) Annual Meeting, held March 17-21, in New Orleans, Louisiana, Ramona Behshad, MD, FAAD, will be 1 of 4 presenters at a workshop, "Hands-On: Scar Revision". This session is geared toward advanced dermatologic surgeons and will offer small group, hands-on experience practicing a variety of surgical scar revision techniques, with faculty engaged in teaching at each table. Behshad spoke to Dermatology Times® about why this topic is so important in the dermatology space, and how advanced scar revision techniques have come in recent years.

Ramona Behshad, MD, FAAD: My name is Dr. Ramona Behshad. I am an associate professor of dermatology at St. Louis University. I'm really excited about this upcoming scar revision hands-on course that we have coming up at AAD.

Dermatology Times: Explain the importance of surgical scar revision to patients.

Behshad: I think dermatology has changed a lot over the last probably 50 years. Before, we did a lot of in-office, medical-based dermatology, and now we are becoming much more procedural. So a lot of dermatologists do much more surgery; they do cosmetics. And that really creates a nice balance, where people are both taking care of medical issues, but also, you know, doing procedures. And one of the things that is a 100% side effect of surgery is a scar, that's what people get. And it's been interesting through COVID, and watching how people's perception of scars has changed. Through zoom, facebook, social media, etc, people are constantly taking a look at photographs of themselves. And while maybe at one point scars were not as big of an issue to patients, now it's incredibly important. And it's something that we're expected as dermatologists to not only treat [the cancer], but also to have scars that are very natural appearing. So the beauty of this workshop is it's hands-on. So everything that we talked about in terms of revising scars; this would be a scar that you'd had from a procedure surgery. And now you want to fine-tune it; you want to make it look better. So this session will have several speakers and we have several specialties represented. So in addition to dermatologists, we even have an ocular plastic surgeon coming to give us some pearls about how he goes about revising scars around the eyelids, which is a place where scars can actually be problematic. And who better to teach us about that than someone who does it for a living? We go over scars that are too thick, and covering scars that are too short or too long. You can certainly sit in an audience and read or listen to a talk and you can read about it in a textbook. But really, I think the best way to learn any procedural is to do it yourself. So we'll have cadavers and essentially all the tools set up. And so we'll have short PowerPoint presentations, where we talk about the particular scar issues. So we can diagnose the scar problem, and then learn how to fix it. Then you get to sit at your own cadaver and practice. And there are faculty that will be circulating throughout. So I can't think of a better way to actually learn some of these techniques. And when I look at the lineup of other meetings, this is a topic that's not touched on very much. So I think it's great that AAD has decided to put this on the agenda and to continue putting it on the agenda. Because it is a really, really important topic.

Dermatology Times: What is the success rate of surgical scar revision?

Behshad: So the surgical, which is what this session is going to focus on, you know, methods, we have to treat scars really can probably by 50 plus percent, improve the way a scar looks. I'm sure we'll be talking about lasers that you can then add on top of the surgical things we do, I think you can make scars that really people cannot see. So I think that that is a homerun and something that all of us are constantly trying to accomplish. But the success rates with just surgery on their own can be very, very high. When you start to add additional things that many of us have access to, whether it's sanding or lasers, you really can get scars that almost completely disappear, especially if there's a little makeup. I just I'm so glad that the AAD is one of the unique organizations that has put together such a wonderful lineup of sessions. And this one in particular, I think is something I hope people will attend because you're not going to find this stuff at other meetings. So I'm thrilled and excited. And there's always a very international group that attends this workshop, as I've seen in previous years. So it's a topic that everyone's interested in not just even our colleagues in the US, but people everywhere on social media and they want to make sure their scars heal as nicely as possible.

This transcript has been edited for clarity and length.

"Hands-On: Scar Revision" will be held Monday, March 20 from 9:00 AM -12:000 PM CDT. Behshad will be joined by Adam Reed Mattox, DO, MS, FAAD, Jerry Brewer, MD, MS, FAAD, and Katherine ML Given, MD, PhD, for this demonstration and workshop.

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