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  • Writer's pictureDr. Yuksel Yurttas

Leg Lengthening Surgery Scars: Types, Differences & Treatments

Surgical scars caused by leg lengthening surgery are among the most frequently asked questions about the procedure. In this article, we will talk about leg lengthening surgery scars, the differences between scars according to methods, how these scars change over time, and how to make them less visible.


Leg lengthening surgery is performed by creating various incisions on the leg skin. Therefore, the formation of surgical scars on the leg is inevitable in any case. However, the size and number of scarring differ according to the method used and the surgical technique applied.


Surgery Scars in the LON Method


The LON method is a commonly used technique for cosmetic leg lengthening surgery that requires the use of an external fixator during the lengthening phase. In this method, each leg will have approximately 8 surgical scars, which include incisions for the procedure and sites for the external fixator's connection pins.


LON Method - Femur Leg Lengthening Surgery Scars
LON Method - Femur

After the removal of external fixator devices, these wounds gradually heal, and the scars become less visible over time.


LON Method Tibia Leg Lengthening Surgery Scars
LON Method - Tibia

If you opt for the LON method in leg lengthening surgery, it's crucial to keep the pin sites clean through regular dressing and bandage changes. This step is very important to minimize infection risks and reduce the chance of new scar formation. Read this article to learn more about the possible risks, complications, and side effects of limb lengthening surgery.


Scars formed after leg lengthening surgery on the tibia with the LON method.


Surgery Scars in Precice 2


For patients who want leg lengthening surgery but are worried about scars, the Precice 2 method is a great choice. This fully internal method only requires five small incisions, making it more aesthetically pleasing.


Precice leg lengthening scars
In Precice 2 and Precice Stryde methods, 5 small surgical scars are formed on each leg.

Like with any surgery, scars from the Precice 2 method are more noticeable in the first few months. They typically fade within months after the surgery. As the skin naturally renews over a year, these scars become even less noticeable.


Precice limb lengthening scars
Leg lengthening surgical scars - Precice 2 | 9 months after surgery

Unlike methods requiring external fixation, internal methods like Precice 2 lead to fewer scars. This is a key advantage over methods like LON, where scar visibility is more significant due to external fixators.


Precice 2 - leg lengthening scar comparison
Leg lengthening surgical scar comparison - Precice 2

Surgery Scars in Fully External Methods (Ilizarov & Holyfix)


The Ilizarov method, which was applied as the first limb lengthening surgery technique, is used with various cables and screws in the leg in addition to the circular external fixator device. In this method, where no intramedullary nail is used, the external fixator device remains for about 12 months until full bone consolidation. For this reason, many surgical scars will inevitably form on the leg. In addition to an uncomfortable lengthening experience, patients who have cosmetic leg lengthening surgery with the Ilizarov method also have a lot of aesthetic complaints.


The second method that leaves the most scars on the leg is the Holyfix method, a fully external method. There are no cable connections on the legs in the Holyfix method, which was developed later and used with an external fixator device. In this method, the external fixator device stays pinned to the legs for about 12 months. Although it is more comfortable and leaves fewer scars than the Ilizarov method, it is far from solving the aesthetic concerns caused by cosmetic limb lengthening surgery.


Tips for Minimizing Leg-Lengthening Surgery Scars


Choose the right surgeon


If you have decided to have limb lengthening surgery and have aesthetic concerns, you should make sure that you choose the right surgeon. Dr. Yuksel Yurttas and his highly trained operating team use minimally invasive techniques and aesthetic suture (subcuticular suture) techniques in this method. For this reason, the least possible surgical scar remains on the leg as if a plastic surgeon had done it.


Check out this article to find the best limb lengthening surgeons and limb lengthening surgery costs from all over the world.


Ask for a plastic surgeon


You can also ask your surgeon to arrange for a plastic surgeon to do the sutures for an additional fee. However, even if a plastic surgeon does your sutures, you should not expect a significant difference in the visibility of the surgical scars.


Laser scar treatment


Laser scar treatment uses photothermal energy to target intracellular and extracellular structures within scar tissue to improve color and stimulate the dermal remodeling process. However, although it is not possible to remove surgical scars with this method, it can help reduce the appearance of scars. Instead, the aim is to reduce the mental, physical, and cosmetic discomfort caused by the appearance of scars.


Remember, it is crucial to protect yourself from the sun before and after laser treatment. After you have a laser treatment, you'll need to protect your skin from the sun until your skin heals. If the sun's harmful rays hit your treated skin, you may develop another scar.


Quit smoking before your surgery


Smoking not only increases your risk of scarring but also slows your overall healing. Smoking is such a significant risk factor that some surgeons will refuse to operate on a patient who has not stopped smoking for at least two weeks before surgery. Quit smoking to reduce your risk of scarring and surgical risks.


Protein-rich and well-balanced diet


The building blocks of healthy skin are proteins. Therefore, you must provide your body with enough protein for your skin to heal. If you are vegan or vegetarian, you can eat lean protein-rich soy products instead of meat. As a result, eat a well-balanced diet rich in protein.


Take proper scar care


Taking the steps your surgeon recommends may be the most critical thing you can do to prevent scarring. Therefore, please stay away from ointments and other medications unless your doctor prescribes them.


Watch out for the infection risk


If you notice any infection signs, seek help from your healthcare provider immediately. An infection may impair healing and lead to new scarring.


Massage


Massaging an incision and surrounding tissue after it has healed can help reduce any bumps or lumps that have formed. You can learn how to massage scars at home with the help of your physical therapist. Use many vitamin-rich essential oils, aloe vera, and lotions so your fingers can glide across your skin.


Tattoo


Some patients who are uncomfortable with surgical scars prefer to have a tattoo. If you want to get a tattoo, have it at least one year after the operation and ensure a sterile procedure is applied.


Have questions or need further information about limb lengthening surgery and our services?

Book a free consultation now, and ask all your questions directly to our expert patient consultants and the surgeon.


WhatsApp +90 533 973 5289

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