Mitigation of Postsurgical Scars Using Lasers: A Review

Ofir Artzi, MD; Or Friedman, MD, MD; Firas Al-niaimi, MD; Yoram Wolf, MD; Joseph N. Mehrabi, MD

Disclosures

Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2020;8(4):e2746 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Abstract

Background: Most postsurgical scars are considered esthetically and functionally acceptable. Currently, there is no definite consensus treatment for postsurgical scarring. The purpose of this review is to shed some light on the value of scar mitigation and the efficacy of different lasers employed on postsurgical wounds.

Methods: A systematic literature review and computational analysis were conducted to identify relevant clinical articles that pertained to the use of lasers for mitigating postsurgical scars. Articles included the National Institutes of Health–National Center for Biotechnology Information–PubMed search and sources cited from relevant studies after 1995. Trials that attributed pre- and posttreatment scores of scar severity based on a verified scar evaluation scale (eg, Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale, Vancouver Scar Scale, Global Assessment Scale) were chosen. Clinical assessments varied for each study. To adequately assess the efficacy of the modalities, the final scaled scar appearance scores were realigned and normalized to a standard scale for unbiased comparison.

Results: After filtering through a total of 124 studies, 14 relevant studies were isolated and thus included in the review. Studied lasers were as follows: Pulsed dye laser (PDL), carbon dioxide, diode, potassium titanyl phosphate (KTP), and erbium glass (Er-Glass) lasers.

Conclusion: Treatment with lasers in the postsurgical wound healing phase is safe, effective, and advised in mitigation of pathologic scar formation.

Introduction

Most postsurgical scars are considered esthetically and functionally acceptable. However, keloidal or hypertrophic scars can be symptomatic and might cause esthetic, psychological, and social distress.[1] There is currently no definite, consensual measure that completely prevents postsurgical scarring. Therefore, many modalities are being explored, including laser treatment, to determine the safest and most efficacious method.[2]

The purpose of this review is to shed some light on the value of active scar mitigation by lasers, as compared to natural, spontaneous wound healing concerning final cosmesis of scars.

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