It's something many of us have -- but we no longer want: a scar.

Stanford doctors have developed a new way to dramatically minimize the appearance of scars. Its designed to minimize pressure on the wound while maximizing healing.

Every year in the u.S. 80 million people have surgery. And they're left with a lifelong reminder--a scar.

At Stanford University School of Medicine Dr. Geoffrey Gurtner hopes a bandage he helped develop, will make patients' scars less visible.

Doctors placed the new stress relieving bandage on one half of a patient's scar. The other half was treated with a conventional dressing. After nine months the difference is amazing.

This is essentially a cast for an incision it prevents it from having a bad scar formation and allows it to heal perfectly, Dr. Geoffrey Gurtner, Stanford Professor of Surgery said.

The special dressing prevents the wound from suffering mini traumas that trigger inflammation which leads to scarring.

In a recent study doctors were asked to evaluate photos of the scars.

They reported a dramatic improvement in the appearance of scars treated with the new bandage. And while it hasn't been studied yet, patients are also reporting another big benefit.

Anecdotally it seems the pain is less because of the splinting effect, Dr. Geoffrey Gurtner, Stanford Professor of Surgery said.

The bandage also allows patients to move more freely without pulling on their scar. The fda is now deciding whether to approve the new bandage. If it does it could be available in u-s operating rooms as early as next year.

Another clinical trial is now underway. A hundred patients will test the effectiveness of the new bandage... The department of defense is supporting this research. The hope is it may one day help minimize the scars solders suffer during combat.

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