Note that most hip-replacement surgeries are not as severe as mine. My wound resulted from a complicated, 4-hour surgery. I'm simply using it as an example to show that, if handled properly, even severe wounds such as mine can be healed with very little visible scarring remaining. These are the steps I took to treat my surgical wound.
1) For the first few days after the surgery, a nurse practitioner made sure the incision was kept clean and moist. Saline solution was sprayed on and around the area and gently wiped away with a sterile gauze pad. Then, an antibiotic cream or gel was applied generously to the incision site, and it was covered with a sterile bandage. This continued daily for about a week.
2) Once the surgical tape was removed, cleaning with saline solution continued. Then, the area was washed with a mild, hypo-allergenic soap and dried. A sterile, non-toxic moisturizer was lightly applied to the wound. It then was covered with plastic wrap to hold the moisture in and protect it from being chaffed by clothing. This procedure was done daily for 7-10 days.
3) Once the scar had formed and the chance of infection was low, the site was uncovered and exposed to fresh air. At that point, the nurse instructed me to apply a moisturizing ointment or cream daily, after first gently washing the area. She also recommended that while applying the moisturizer I start massaging around and into the scar to help increase circulation to the area.
It was during Step 3 that I began applying Dr. Cole's Herbal Skin Repair Balm and Skin Repair Cream to my scar. The second photo shows how it looks this month, exactly one year after the first photo was taken. Needless to say, I'm thrilled with the result.