This technique of surgically removing acne scars is used on deep scars such as icepick and deep boxcar scars. Punch Excision
This practice uses a punch biopsy tool which is basically a round, sharp “cookie-cutter” instrument that comes in diameters ranging from 1.5 mm to 3.5 mm. The size of the instrument is matched to the size of the scar to include the walls of the scar. Under local anesthesia the scar is excised with the punch tool and the skin edges are sutured together. The scar that this produces is much smaller and less noticeable, and often fades away. If it is noticeable, it is more amenable now to resurfacing techniques.
Punch Excision with Skin Graft Replacement
With this method the scar is removed with the punch device as above. Instead of suturing the skin edges together, the defect is filled with a punch skin graft usually taken from behind the ear. A texture and color difference may be noticeable, but further resurfacing techniques may be used to correct that.
This is a method that is used on the deep, wide boxcar scars that have normal looking skin on their bottoms. The biopsy tool is used to cut out the normal looking base, leaving the walls intact. The excised base is then elevated to the surface of the skin and attached with sutures, steri-strips, or skin glue called Dermabond. Surgeons generally prefer to use the glue when possible, as it scars much less than suturing. Reuse of the naturally occurring skin also lessens any differences in color and texture.
Costs, Results And Side Effects
As a surgical procedure, however small, punches are known to leave scars behind but with a more controlled healing process, the less acute scars can show better skin aesthetics. Potentially, it could take several weeks for punched and/or grafted areas to heal. The time it takes to recover will depend on both the extent of the surgery and the speed of the healing process. Your dermatologist will routinely prescribe the right medicinal ointment after the punch surgery.
Depending on the extent of the punches required, the doctor who performs the surgery and the location where the surgery is performed, punch scar removal costs will vary. As a general rule, each punch would cost in the neighborhood of $50. This affordability makes it one of the most popular methods for getting rid of pits or ice pick scars. As with any surgery, there are risks. But when performed by competent cosmetic surgeons or dermatologists, it’s a very safe operation and post surgery medication is prescribed to mitigate that risk.
So, now you know about punch surgeries. “Knowing is half the battle”!