News / Health

New Bandage Designed to Reduce Surgical Scars

Volunteer patient who had abdominal surgery, with the left side showing the incision closed normally and the right side showing the incision closed with the new scar-reducing bandage
Volunteer patient who had abdominal surgery, with the left side showing the incision closed normally and the right side showing the incision closed with the new scar-reducing bandage
Art Chimes

If you've had major surgery - or know someone who has - you may know firsthand that a trip to the operating room can leave a lifelong souvenir... a scar. Now, researchers in California have developed a new kind of bandage that they've shown reduces scar formation.

Stanford University plastic surgeon Geoffrey Gurtner admits that, despite his skill, some of his patients end up with unattractive scars.

"Even doing the best I can," he admits, "patients still end up with scars, and it's somewhat unpredictable. Some people have very bad scars, and some people have better scars. So there hasn't been a simple way to really get the scar as good as it possibly can be."

One reason scars form is that skin movement around the surgical incision tugs at the new skin tissue that is growing as the wound heals. This mechanical stress causes scar tissue to thicken and spread out. The result can be a raised, rope-like scar.

So Gurtner and his colleagues - including both surgical and materials experts - developed a kind of bandage that would isolate the wound from the movement of the skin around it.

The bandage covers the incision, held on by adhesive strips that run parallel to the wound. Gurtner explains that they transfer the stress of movement away from where the skin is growing back together.

"If you're moving around or doing jumping jacks, actually all the mechanical forces go to the skin, and then they go over the incision through this elastomer and go back on to the other side," he said. "So that the area underneath the bandage doesn't feel any mechanical forces."

Tests on laboratory animals and a very small number of humans volunteers show reduced scarring compared with ordinary bandages.

Gurtner is a plastic surgeon, but he said it's not just face lifts and tummy tucks where this device might be used. It could help after Caesarean sections, for example. Or open-heart surgery, which requires a big incision down the center of the chest that's subject to mechanical forces from breathing that can make scarring worse. "And so we think it would be very useful there.

"There's actually been a lot of interest from orthopedic surgeons," he continued, "who are putting in knee replacements, and obviously under a lot of mechanical stimulation 'cause your knee bends and pulls on that every time you walk, so there's a lot of interest from the orthopedic surgeons in using this device to minimize those scars."

Gurtner describes his invention in the journal Annals of Surgery.

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid