Q:

Is scar tissue formation after surgery normal?

A:

Quick Answer

After surgery or an injury, scar tissue forms as skin heals, says MedlinePlus. Factors such as age, skin qualities, heredity and pigmentation determine the amount of scarring, as well as wound location, depth and size.

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Full Answer

Some factors that affect scarring after surgery are beyond control, but there are some things patients can do to prevent or minimize scars, explains About.com. Smoking should be avoided because it slows down healing and increases the risk for scars. Drinking alcohol after surgery is detrimental because it dehydrates both the skin and the body. Protein is essential for healing skin, so a balanced diet rich in protein is beneficial. Preventing infections and taking care of the incision help prevent postsurgery scarring.

Other scarring that can occur after surgery includes adhesion, which is the term for scars that develop between two parts of tissue that aren't normally joined together, such as in the stomach, the pelvis and the heart, notes WebMD. Up to 93 percent of people who have abdominal or pelvic surgery experience abdominal adhesions, which are usually painless and cause no complications. Pelvic adhesions happen after surgery and may involve any organ within the pelvis. Adhesions form in the membranes around the heart and reduce functionality. Other causes of internal scar tissue include radiation, infection and trauma.

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