Z-plasty is a surgical technique used to reposition a scar so that it will more closely conform to the natural lines and creases of the skin, where it will be less noticeable. It can also relieve the tension caused by a contracture. Not all scars lend themselves to Z-plasty, and A-plasty requires an experienced plastic surgeon such as Dr. Lesavoy to make such judgments.

In an example of the procedure, the old scar is removed and new incisions are made on each side, creating small triangular flaps of skin. These flaps are then rearranged to cover the wound at a different angle, giving the scar a “Z” pattern. The wound is then closed with fine stitches, which are removed a few days later. Z-plasty is usually performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia.

While Z-plasty can make some scars less obvious, it will not make them disappear. A portion of the scar will still remain outside the lines of relaxation.

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