Are you contemplating some sort of surgery for Gareth, or just curious. overall? Here are some hugs just for Gareth:
It's my understanding that they used to advise scleroderma patients to always avoid surgery, if possible, because of concerns about healing. Then, years ago, they did a study that found, on average, a normal healing process in scleroderma patients. It was felt that overall there was no increased risk of infection or too much scarring. It is possible for anyone to get infections or a keloidal reaction; it is not unique to scleroderma.
People with scleroderma (or similar diseases) should discuss surgery plans with their rheumatologist or scleroderma expert. Often it is necessary to change medication plans before surgery. Some people may need extra precautions for infection, especially if they are immune suppressed. And certainly if there is a history of difficulties with surgery or poor wound healing, that should be considered.
Overall, I think it's a good plan to stringently avoid unnecessary surgery with scleroderma or any severe illness. But I have had a great many necessary surgeries over my lifetime, with entirely normal healing in the aftermath.