Background: This trial was undertaken to assess the efficacy of a multimodality management regime used for the prevention of hypertrophic scars. It follows previous research and experience (A.D. Widgerow et al, Aesthetic Plast Surg, 24(3):227-234, 2000) with a similar program but with the addition of active agents with specific effects against prolonged inflammation and enhanced hydrative capacity. The modalities specifically targeted are tension on the scar, hydration of the scar, collagen maturation, and controlled inflammation.
Methods: Tape was impregnated with a combination of agents providing an occlusive dressing aimed at combatting exaggerated scarring. Patients who had undergone surgery were stratified into four groups: Group 1, 60 patients/60 scars following simple skin excisions, 30 treated scars, 30 untreated scars; Group 2, 20 patients/40 scars, each patient with two excisions, one treated, one untreated; Group 3, 10 patients/20 scars following bilateral breast surgery, one side treated with tape alone, one side treated with tape and gel; Group 4, 30 patients with varying cosmetic procedures/50 scars, all treated and compared with historical outcomes for hypertrophic scarring. Thus, 170 scars were assessed in 120 patients.
Results: Results were assessed at 1, 2, and 6 months using a combination of accepted scar assessment techniques. By amalgamating the Vancouver, Manchester, and morphologic table systems together with Patient and Observer Scar Assessment analyses, a comprehensive assessment of scar outcomes was undertaken and comparisons were made with control groups.
Conclusion: Treated groups showed improvement outcomes in all variations of assessment. Patient and observer assessments correlated well, and morphologic appearances of the scars following the final assessment at 6 months showed statistically significant positive scar outcomes in the treatment groups. The multimodality approach to scar control showed significant benefits in the patient groups tested in this series.