Detroit — Treating the edges of a surgical wound with a fractional carbon laser immediately before closing the wound — rather than the more traditional method of waiting months to resurface surgical scars — will minimize scarring later, Reuters Health reports.
David Ozog, M.D., of Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, and Ronald Moy, M.D., of the Moy-Fincher Medical Group in Beverly Hills, Calif., reported on 10 patients who had Mohs surgery for skin cancers and needed complex closure of wounds that ranged in length from 3 to 9 centimeters. In each case after sutures were placed, the authors treated half the wound with one or two passes of a fractional carbon dioxide laser before approximating the wound, while the other half received no laser treatment. The entire wound was then closed with fast-absorbing sutures, a liquid adhesive and Steri-Strips.
At two- to three-month follow-up visits, nine of the 10 patients felt the laser-treated side of the wound was cosmetically superior to the untreated side and thought the laser-treated sides were significantly better with regard to elevation, discoloration and erythema.
In addition, three board-certified dermatologists who didn’t know which side of the wounds had been treated reviewed photographs of the scars and judged the laser-treated side to be superior in each case.
No serious adverse events were reported.
“This work could potentially change the current approach in all surgical disciplines” if the results are validated, the authors wrote.
Dr. Ozog told Reuters Health that he and Dr. Moy are planning a multicenter study to confirm the results and test their durability.
The study appears in September’s Archives of Dermatology.
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