Scar Revision / Scar Repair Questions and Answers Archive

May
2001

Q&A: What surgery and the cost will rid me of my extensive stretch marks from pregnancy?

Question:

Hi, I'm a 17 year old single mother of a 6 month old son. During my pregnancy I developed horrible strech marks that completely cover my stomach and go in circles around my belly button. I was wondering what type of surgery would best get rid of my battle scars and an approximate price. I would love to show off my stomach in a bikini again!

- Julie

Answer:

 Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon - LocateADoc.com

Dear Julie, If you have a lot of excess skin in addition to the stretch marks and plan on having no further children, a tummy tuck is still the best option. Despite the long, low scar, it is the best means of removing the stretch marks if a tummy tuck is needed for other reasons. If your skin is not loose and the muscle are still tight, successful treatment options are limited. Many have tried laser and microdermabrasion treatments with very limited success. New non-resurfacing lasers which stimulate collagen production may be useful but they have not yet been extensively tested.

-- Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon
Honolulu, Hawaii



Apr
2001

Q&A: I am a 21 year old African American women who has abnormal growth of facial hair. What can I do?

Question:

I am a 21 year old African American women who as of late has had abnormal growth of facial hair. At first I thought that I might have polycystic ovaries or it could be attributed to the 85 lbs I have gained these past four years at college. Others say that the hair is so thin that they can't see it. Nonetheless, I am very self-conscious about it. Is laser hair removal a safe alternative for me? I am not 'fair-skinned' and in my research I've found that the surgery is recommended for people with very dark hair, which I have, and light complexions. I have also heard that hormone replacements might do the trick. I believe that I have solicited this hair growth by removing hair when there was very little growth ( i.e. waxing, shaving, etc). Much to my dismay the hairs have grown back thicker. Which lasers would be best used on me? What is the scar risk? Alternatives? How much would the surger cost?

- BH

Answer:

Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon - LocateADoc.com

Dear BH, You are looking into this at a very opportune time since third generation hair removal lasers have just become FDA approved in the US. These lasers will remove the unwanted hair with very little risk (when used by the right laser surgeon) and give very good results after 3 to 5 treatments of an area. I would not suggest hormone replacements since they have far more universal effects on your body. Weight loss always helps since hormones are altered by fat in the peripheral tissue. The best lasers to use are long-pulsed YAG lasers of which there are several, the most effective, likely, being the LYRA laser by Laserscope. I would suggest that you find a laser surgeon in your area with this laser. Treatment costs vary across the country. My office charges $50 per square inch of facial skin treated per treatment. Scarring almost never occurs.

--Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon
Honolulu, Hawaii



Mar
2001

Q&A: Can salabrasion be used to remove the tattoo on mt shoulder blade?

Question:

I have a tattoo on my shoulderblade, and would like to have it removed. I am most interested in the method of salabrasion. Can you tell me exactly how it works and what would take palce during the procedure, and do surgeons use this method anymore?.

- johanna

Answer:

Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon - LocateADoc.com

Dear Johanna, Salabrasion is a method whereby salt is used as the abrasive agent for removing layers of skin and concomitantly, tattoo ink. It is no longer used except by those who do not have the ability to provide laser tattoo removal. The laser, does not take a layer of skin off but specifically removes the ink. This is preferred since there is little or no risk of scarring. I would suggest that you visit with a local physician who has laser tattoo removal capablities in his/her office to discuss this treatment further

--Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon
Honolulu, Hawaii



Jan
2001

Q&A: What should I do if I want to get pregnant and I was diagnosed with PCOS a year ago and did nothing about it?

Question:

I was told about a year ago that I had PCOS, but I just blew it off. Now My husband and I are trying to get pregnant but can't. What doctor should I got to, Or what should I do. I am really scared because I have all of the symptoms of PCOS. Should I see a gynocologist or a fertility doctor? Please help me

- Stephanie

Answer:

Fady I Sharara, M.D - LocateADoc.com

A Reproductive Endocrinologist would be best since we are more familiar with PCOS when conventional treatments (like clomid) do not work. Your husband would need to be investigated of course, you would also need an HSG and some other tests (thyroid, prolactin). Your gynecologist can start ordering these tests, but if you are not pregnant after a couple of clomid cycles you should see a fertility specialist, preferrably a board certified one. good luck

--Fady I Sharara, M.D
Annandale, Virginia



Jan
2001

Q&A: I am pregnant and should I tell my doctor that I take a narcotic and can I get into trouble with the law?

Question:

I am 37 weeks pregnant & have been taking lorcet plus (narcotic) the entire pregnancy. I have been going to all my prenatal visits & I have never told my doctor about taking this medication. I guess I just expected them to find it in the blood work, but they have never mentioned it. So far my pregnancy has been normal with no other problems. My ultrasound & other tests have come back normal. Now I'm getting worried about my baby being addicted at birth, among other things. I've tried to stop using on my own, but I haven't been able to. I really want to tell my doctor, but I am so scared. How will he react? What will he do? Can I get in trouble? Can he tell anyone else? Will it be kept private? What would be the best way to go about telling him? I'm embarrassed, but I know I have to tell him fo my baby's sake. This medication isn't prescribed to me. If you could help me, I would appreciate it so much! Thank you!

- Maggie

Answer:

Daniel Potter, MD, FACOG - LocateADoc.com

It is important that your Dr know about it. I would explain it in the same way that you did here. I am not sure what the laws of your state are but it is unlikely that you would get into any legal trouble if this is the only issue. Your baby may be born addicted and if that is the case, may have withdrawls after birth. THe prompt recognition and treatment of this condition in your baby will depend on you being honest and forthcoming wwith your Dr. Most of the time in life, the right thing to do is obvious. This is one of those times. Good luck. Daniel Potter, MD havingbabies.com

--Daniel Potter, MD, FACOG
Fullerton, California



Jan
2001

Q&A: What can be done about acne scars on your face and is laser surgery the way to go?

Question:

what can be done about acne scars and holes on your face? Is laser surgery the way to go?

- jamiescott

Answer:

David Ross, MD - LocateADoc.com

Laser surgery can be an excellent form of treatment for such problems. However, a consultation with a Plastic Surgeon is neeeded to determine if this is the best form of treatment. Call 1-800-635-0635 for the name of a qualified surgeon in your area.

--David Ross, MD
Chicago, Illinois



Nov
2000

Q&A: Is it at all possible I could become pregnant without invasive treatments?

Question:

Hi, I was wondering with high FSH levels of 15 and 17 if I could still become pregnant on my own? I've gone to an RE for months without any success doing clomid, injectables, iui's. I'm doing acupunture and herbs at the moment and feel so much better with this treatment than with the drugs. My insurance dosen't cover any infertility so I'm not able to go to the RE anymore. Is it at all possible I could become pregnant without invasive treatments? I have a two year old son that I had no problems conceiving. Thanks for your response!

- Ellen

Answer:

SCOTT ROSEFF, MD, FACOG, Director - LocateADoc.com

It's possible to conceive with your FSH levels, although the likelihood is low. Also, you would be at a very increased risk for miscarriage, due to diminished egg quality. I hope the acupuncture and herbs help! Good luck.... 

--SCOTT ROSEFF, MD, FACOG, Director
West Orange, New Jersey



Dec
2000

Q&A: Can a laser procedure even my skin color damaged by acne when chemical peel, micro-dermabrasion and accutane did not?

Question:

Hi. I'm a 30 year old African-American woman who has been battling acne and espcially hyperpigmentation associated with acne scarring since I was a teenager. I've been to dermatologists and aestheticians and received accutane, antibiotics and a couple of years worth of chemical peels and micro-dermabrasion with little results. I'm interested in getting rid of this problem once and for all! My question: Is a laser procedure a safe and viable option for Black skin with my condition and how much does such a treatment run? My complexion is medium-brown and I was told a couple of years ago that lasers were not recommended for my skin tone, so I'm wondering if the technology has improved since then. If not, what other options do I have?

- Rae

Answer:

Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon - LocateADoc.com

Dear Rae, Lasers procedures work very well on your skin color and I perform many. In my opinion, it is the best means of evening out your pigmentary problems as well as improving the scarring. The trouble is that not very many physicians have experience with non-white skin in laser resurfacing. I have presented my techniques at many national and international meetings and am currently publishing a paper on the matter. There is no question in my mind that you can be greatly improved with a laser resurfacing procedure.

--Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon
Honolulu, Hawaii