The Outcome of Early Ablative Fractional Laser Treatment for Thyroidectomy Scars

Hi Jin You, Young Soo Choi, Na Hyun Hwang, Deok Woo Kim, Kyoung Ho Oh, Soon Young Kwon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Objectives: Ablative fractional laser (AFL) systems are commonly used to treat various scars, and recent research has indicated that early treatment with AFL may have a preventive effect on scars. This study was designed to evaluate the efficacy of early treatment with a 10,600 nm carbon dioxide (CO2) AFL on thyroidectomy scars and compare it to late (conventional) treatment for the same and untreated controls. Study Design/Materials and Methods: We performed a prospective, evaluator-blinded, split-scar study on fresh thyroidectomy scars between July 2014 and July 2017. Scars were divided into two equal portions. Early AFL treatment had begun 1 month after surgery; five sessions on the right half of the scar was performed at 1-month intervals. Late AFL treatment followed for 1 month after the final early treatment session on the left half of the scar at the same interval. The scars were evaluated at 6 and 11 months postoperatively using scar analysis scales and patient questionnaires. Results: Twenty-four out of 28 patients completed the study. The mean decrease in Vancouver Scar Scale (VSS) scores was significantly higher for the early treated right halves of the scars both at the 6th month (vs. untreated controls) and at the 11th month (vs. late treated controls). The VSS subset analysis showed that the early treated sides had significantly greater improvement in pliability and height than the control sides at each point of evaluation. Conclusions: Early postoperative AFL treatment is safe and effective in improving linear surgical scars, such as thyroidectomy scars, and may be a promising option for scar prevention. Lasers Surg. Med.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721-729
Number of pages9
JournalLasers in Surgery and Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct 1
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • ablative fractional laser
  • fractional photothermolysis
  • split-scar study
  • thyroidectomy scar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology


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