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Glossary Terms


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Z-plasty is a plastic surgery technique that is used to improve the functional and cosmetic appearance of scars. It can elongate a contracted scar or rotate the scar tension line. The middle line of the Z-shaped incision is made along the line of greatest tension or contraction, and triangular flaps are raised on opposite sides of the two ends and then transposed. The length and angle of each flap must be precisely the same to avoid mismatched flaps that may be difficult to close. Some possible complications of z-plasty include flap necrosis, hematoma formation under the flaps, wound infection, trapdoor effect and sloughing of the flap caused by high wound tension.