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Ablative Fractional Laser Beneficial for C-Section Scars

Significant improvement in pliability and smoother in surface relief at one-month follow-up after AFXL

doctor with a patient

TUESDAY, Nov. 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Ablative fractional laser (AFXL) treatment is beneficial for patients with cesarean section (C-section) scars, according to a study published online Nov. 8 in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

Katrine E. Karmisholt, M.D., from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and colleagues conducted a randomized intra-individual split-scar trial with three sessions of AFXL-treatments for mature C-section scars. Eleven of 12 patients completed the study and underwent evaluations after one, three, and six months of follow-up.

The researchers found that compared with control scars, AFXL-treated scars were significantly improved in pliability (Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale [POSAS], P = 0.01) and smoother in surface relief (POSAS, P = 0.03) at one-month follow-up. Overall scar appearance was dominated by transient erythema and hyperpigmentation at one to three months, confirmed by reflectance measurements. AFXL-treated scars improved on POSAS total score at six-month follow-up, although not significantly (P = 0.06). Significant improvement was seen for AFXL-treated scars versus controls on blinded photo-evaluation (P = 0.02). New dermal collagen and elastic fibers were indicated in histology on AFXL-treated scars. Most patients (64 percent) favored subsequent AFXL-treatment of their untreated control tissue at six-month follow-up.

"Scar remodeling is initiated one month after AFXL treatment, but overall scar improvement is concealed until laser-induced color changes resolve," the authors write. "At six-month follow-up, the benefit of AFXL treatment on C-section scars emerges."

One author disclosed financial ties to Lumenis, which funded the study.

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