Nd:YAG Laser Treatment for Keloids and Hypertrophic Scars: An Analysis of 102 Cases

Sachiko Koike, Satoshi Akaishi, Yuki Nagashima, Teruyuki Dohi, Hiko Hyakusoku, Rei Ogawa
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Global Open 2014, 2 (12): e272

BACKGROUND: The present retrospective cohort study was performed to determine the efficacy of contact-mode 1064 nm neodymium-yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Nd:YAG) laser laser for keloids and hypertrophic scars. The indication and limitations of this modality are discussed.

METHODS: The cohort consisted of 102 consecutive Japanese patients (23 males and 79 females) with keloids and hypertrophic scars for more than 1 year. They were treated every 3-4 weeks for 1 year with a long-pulsed 1064 nm Nd:YAG laser (Cutera, Brisbane, Calif.) in contact mode. Thirty-eight patients had hypertrophic scars and 64 had keloids. The scars were evaluated before the treatment commenced and 1 month after the last session by using the Japan Scar Workshop Scar Scale 2011. Recurrence was assessed at 6 months after the termination of treatment.

RESULTS: The average total Japan Scar Workshop score of the keloid and hypertrophic scar region groups dropped significantly after 1 year of treatment compared with before treatment (all P < 0.05). None of the hypertrophic scars or keloids deteriorated. However, 3 of the 34 anterior chest keloids (8.8%) did not respond. The following recurrence rates were observed 6 months after stopping laser treatment: 1 of the abdomen hypertrophic scars (4%), 18 of the anterior chest keloids (52.9%), 5 of the upper arm keloids (35.7%), and 4 of the scapula keloids (25%).

CONCLUSIONS: Hypertrophic scars responded significantly better to 1064 nm Nd:YAG laser treatment than keloids. However, keloid recurrence occurred when there was remaining redness and induration, even if only a small part of the scar was affected.

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