Ablative Fractional Laser Resurfacing With Laser-Assisted Delivery of 5-Fluorouracil for the Treatment of Cicatricial Ectropion and Periocular Scarring

Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg. 2018 May/Jun;34(3):274-279. doi: 10.1097/IOP.0000000000000948.


Purpose: Cicatricial ectropion and periocular scarring can cause significant functional and cosmetic deficits. Surgical treatments can be associated with recicatrization, donor site morbidity, and textural and pigmentary abnormalities. This case series reports on efficacy and safety of a novel nonsurgical approach to treating cicatricial ectropion using ablative fractional laser resurfacing and laser-assisted delivery of 5-fluorouracil.

Methods: A retrospective review was conducted of all patients at a single institution who received ≥3 rounds of ablative fractional laser resurfacing with laser-assisted delivery of 5-fluorouracil. Six patients with cicatricial ectropion and periocular scarring secondary to reconstructive surgery, traumatic lacerations, and facial burns were included. Aesthetic and functional improvement were evaluated via fluorescein staining, tear breakup time, external photography, questionnaires gauging dry eye symptoms, and scar appearance.

Results: All patients showed functional improvement based on fluorescein staining (mean improvement 6.0 ± 1.4; p = 0.0007) and other indicators of dry eye. All 4 patients with lagophthalmos improved and 2 showed complete resolution. All patients demonstrated significant cosmetic improvement based on a validated scar assessment questionnaire (mean improvement 37.5 ± 18.9; p = 0.004), and 5 of 6 patients reported improved satisfaction with scar appearance (mean improvement 19.3 ± 12.8; p = 0.014). There were no adverse effects reported.

Conclusions: Ablative fractional laser resurfacing with laser-assisted delivery of 5-fluorouracil appears to be a safe and effective modality for treating the functional and aesthetic abnormalities associated with periocular scarring, yielding results that are difficult to attain through surgery alone. Optimal management of cicatricial ectropion and periocular scarring often requires multimodality treatment, and ablative fractional laser resurfacing with laser-assisted delivery of 5-fluorouracil may be considered as part of a comprehensive approach to managing periocular scars.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cicatrix / surgery*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Ectropion / surgery*
  • Eyelid Diseases / surgery*
  • Female
  • Fluorouracil / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy / methods*
  • Lasers, Gas / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult


  • Fluorouracil