Neil J. Zemmel, MD, FACS * †
Megan J. Goff, PA-C
Rachel M. Duke, NP, CANS
Caitlin M. Roop, LME
Short Pump Office
11934 W Broad Street, Suite 200
Richmond, VA 23233

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Laceration Repair

Repair of lacerations throughout the body is one of the most common services provided by Plastic Surgeons. Dr. Neil Zemmel, founder of Richmond Aesthetic Surgery, is pleased to offer laceration repair to the greater Richmond, Virginia community.

Most lacerations occur in the settings of falls, motor vehicle accidents, sporting injuries, dog bites, and work related injuries.

The areas treated by our surgeon includes:

  • Head, neck, and scalp
  • Nose, ears, lips, eyelids, and cheeks
  • Chest, breast, shoulders, and back
  • Abdomen and buttocks
  • Arms, hands, and fingers
  • Legs, feet, and toes

Laceration repair requires a number of steps to allow the wounds to heal in an optimal fashion. The quality of your healing depends on a number of factors, some of which can be helped during treatment, while others cannot. Our board-certified plastic surgeon will go over each detail with you during your treatment to ease your worries and to give you as much information as possible. This will allow you to heal in the best way possible. The most important factors that influence wound healing are:

  • Your own intrinsic healing capacity: At the most basic level, each person has unique characteristics or genetic influences that affect wound healing. Some patients may heal with a barely perceptible scar, while others may heal with a thicker, more visible scar that requires further treatment.
  • Smoking: People who smoke heal at approximately half the rate of non-smokers. Furthermore, smoking increases the risk of severe scarring, infections, and failure of the wound repair.
  • The mechanism of injury: Lacerations that occur in a straight line typically heal better than more jagged lacerations. Sharp lacerations typically heal better than avulsions (i.e. tears).
  • Your medical history: Certain medical conditions such as diabetes mellitus and certain medications such as chemotherapy agents inhibit wound healing and can increase the risk of infection and less than optimal wound healing.
There are a number of different methods to repair lacerations. As a a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Zemmel use only meticulous plastic surgery techniques. This includes gentle handling of tissue, careful tissue approximation, and the use of fine sutures for wound closure.

During your treatment, the following steps will typically be performed:

  • Cleansing of the wounds with several liters of antibiotic solution
  • Removal of foreign bodies and devitalized tissue
  • Closure of the deep layers with absorbable sutures
  • Closure of the skin edges with non-reactive sutures for small defects
  • Rearrangement of tissue for the closure of large skin defects

While infection is rare, you should expect to have some evidence of the laceration in the future (i.e. a scar). Our surgeon has a number of techniques to help minimize post-treatment scarring, including topical medicines such as Mederma™ and Scarguard™, non-invasive laser treatments, compression garment therapy, and later surgical revision if necessary. Scar maturation takes between 12 and 18 months to complete. During this period you will see the scar change from slightly firm, red, and raised, to a flat, soft, lighter scar. Your surgeon will guide you through the entire process to ease your worries and to ensure you heal to your best capabilities.

“I wanted to personally thank Dr. Zemmel for the extraordinary care he provided to my daughter, Alexandria, in the ER at St. Francis after she suffered a dog bite to the face and left arm.
I can assure you, that my family has never experienced such a caring and compassionate doctor and staff. My daughters wounds are healing beautifully and I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that it due to Dr. Zemmel’s expert care. No only did you all take such good care of her but you followed up with new medication that would help to reduce the scarring. My mother, husband, and I were shocked that Dr. Zemmel thought of Alex to recommend this medicine too.

We truly can’t thank you enough for everything and Dr. Zemmel is the only doctor that I have ever recommended to my friends and family.”

Thank you so much!!!!!!!
Steve and Lisa*

*Individual Results May Vary

Contact Richmond Aesthetic Surgery

If you require the services of our team at Richmond Aesthetic Surgery please contact us and make an appointment by calling (804) 423-2100 during normal business hours (5 pm). If this is an emergency after hours, please call the office number and follow the telephone prompts to speak to the on-call physician.