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Dr. Edward B. Lack

Dr. Edward B. Lack : Communication and Early Intervention for Better Scar Treatment

September 16, 2009

Certified in Dermatologic Cosmetic Surgery by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology by the American Board of Dermatology, Dr. Edward B. Lack was named president elect of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery in January 2006. He also serves as acting chairman of oral examinations for the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery.

Lack received his medical degree from the University of Missouri and studied dermatology at the University of Illinois. He trained with renowned physicians including: Dr. Gary Fenno, known as the father of modern cosmetic surgery; Dr. Jeffrey Klein, known as the father of liposculpture; and Dr. Pierre Fournier, co-inventor of liposuction and lipofilling techniques.

Noted as one of the developers of the “weekend facelift,” Lack is a renowned dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon, and noted trailblazer in the areas of tumescent and laser-assisted liposculpture. He can often be found teaching his expert techniques to other physicians and aspires to dedicate more and more time mentoring and consulting with his peers.

Lack’s unparalleled expertise includes travels to Europe, where he evaluated ultrasonic lipos culture as a member of the delegation of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery. Lack also co-authored “Liposuction and Patient Safety,” published in the American Journal of Cosmetic Surgery.

Dr. Edward Lack believes that successful skin care and scar treatment stems not only from medical experience but also from a strong relationship between a doctor and their patient.  While Dr. Lack notes that the treatment of scars is a "multi-model therapeutic challenge", where excision surgery, laser surgery, and chemotherapy are essential, these are not the only components necessary for successful scar management.  “I try to have fun with patients and make the time together one of friendship and sharing. Communication is always a two-way street,” Dr. Lack said.
By the age of ten Dr. Lack thought of becoming a doctor, and it was during his study at the University of Missouri- Columbia Medical School where his lifelong interest in people and beauty combined with his work in medicine, leading to his focus in Dermatology.  "While [attending medical school] I met and studied under Dr. Philip Anderson who became chairman of the Department of Dermatology. Dr. Anderson was a great mentor and he made dermatology an exciting experience of Sherlock Holmes and déjà vu all over again."
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Tips for Better Scar Treatment

  • Seek treatment within the first 3-6 months
  • Find a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon with significant experience
  • Insist on seeing before and after images before treatment
  • Communicate with your doctor to find the best treatment option for you
  • Throughout out the course of his 39 years of experience, Dr. Lack has been able to observe and experience changes in the way scars are treated, including the use of lasers and stem cells. Dr. Lack pinpoints laser stimulation of healing from within the skin as the mainstay of modern scar therapy. "Often lasers must be used in a low-level fashion to stimulate the body’s natural healing mechanisms."

    For Dr. Lack, choosing the right treatment options and early intervention are two key factors in achieving the best results. "Many doctors believe a scar should not be treated for one year after trauma. That is not true," Dr. Lack said.  "The best results of scar correction are in the first 3-6 months."

    The most common procedures Dr. Lack currently practices for scar revisions include subcision, fractional laser resurfacing, injection of fillers and injection of 5-FU (fluorouracil). He also suggests that fat grafting, a procedure which produces volume for retracted scars and also inserts stem cells to recreate the site, is an "underutilized" treatment option.

    Being able to use these techniques and treatment options to help his patients and see them happy is the most gratifying part of Dr. Lack’s work. One of his most rewarding cases involves a 23-year-old female who came to him nine months after having a tumor removed from her chin. Dr. Lack recalls how, "the resulting scar caused her skin to twist to one side and indented her lower face." He was able to achieve 95 percent resolution of the scar following two treatments of low-level laser surgery, allowing the young woman to return to her pre-surgery appearance.
    Dr. Lack places emphasis on the fact that most scars can be improved. For those looking for scar treatment, he strongly advises that you find a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon with significant experience in scar treatment and to always insist on seeing before and after pictures.

    Last updated: 16-Sep-09

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