Combined Surgical Excision and Radiation Therapy for Keloid Treatment

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Various methods have been attempted for the treatment and management of keloids; however, there is little satisfactory clinical evidence in long-term follow ups. Also, there is a preference for occurrence and recurrence in anatomic location. Usually anatomic locations with higher regional tension and more sebaceous glands are inclined toward pathogenesis. Thirty-eight keloids treated with combined surgical excision and postoperative irradiation, using electron beams with only a 10-mm opening by lead shielding, were investigated at a mean follow up of 4.4 ± 2.5 years (range, 1-9 years) at a single institute. Ten locations such as the ear (n = 6), neck (n = 3), and upper lip (n = 1) were among the craniofacial locations. The hardness of the keloids and posttreatment scars was clinically and objectively tested with the Vancouver scar scale and a durometer, which is often used for the industrial measurement of thread balls and rubber. At a mean of 4.4 ± 2.5 years of follow up, the clinical characteristics of the scars were significantly better posttreatment as 2.6 ± 0.5 versus 1.0 ± 0.6, 3.7 ± 0.7 versus 1.7 ± 0.7, 2.9 ± 0.4 versus 1.3 ± 0.5, and 2.7 ± 0.5 versus 1.3 ± 0.5 (keloid scars versus posttreatment scars: pigmentation, pliability, height and vascularity, respectively, P < 0.01). The durometer readings were significantly lower posttreatment, 15.2 ± 3.9 versus 7.7 ± 2.9 (keloid scars versus posttreatment scars, P < 0.01). The recurrence rate was 21.2% overall with none in craniofacial locations. Therefore, the combined treatment of surgical excision and postoperative electron beam irradiation is effective for scar quality and reducing the recurrence rate in long-term follow up.

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