Appropriate Timing for Thyroidectomy Scar Treatment Using a 1,550-nm Fractional Erbium-Glass Laser

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Surgical scarring is a common cosmetic problem that occurs in various surgical fields, including dermatology. Many trials have been conducted to determine how to prevent this distressing scar formation. A 1,550-nm fractional erbium-glass laser has been used to improve the appearance of surgical scars, but an appropriate treatment time has not been established.

OBJECTIVES

To determine the appropriate time to apply 1,550-nm fractional erbium-glass laser treatment for thyroidectomy scars.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Korean patients with linear surgical suture lines after thyroidectomy (N = 65) were treated using a 1,550-nm fractional erbium-glass laser. Patients were divided into three groups according to postoperative treatment time. Laser treatment was started in 40, 15, and 10 patients 3 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months postoperatively, respectively. Each patient was treated three times at 1-month intervals using the same parameters (14 mJ, 100 spots/cm2, 2 passes).

RESULTS

Mean Vancouver Scar Scale scores were significantly lower after laser treatment (p < .01), with the greatest difference in the group that began treatment 3 weeks postoperatively. Global assessment also indicated better cosmetic outcomes in the 3-week postoperative treatment group.

CONCLUSION

Early postoperative 1,550-nm fractional erbium-glass laser treatment of thyroidectomy scars is more effective than later treatment.

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