Effectiveness of Early Laser Treatment in Surgical Scar Minimization: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Dermatol Surg. 2020 Mar;46(3):402-410. doi: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000001887.


Background: Studies investigating the efficacy of lasers to minimize early surgical scars are low powered and report variable results. To further examine the evidence, the authors performed a systemic review and meta-analysis.

Objective: To present the evidence of randomized controlled trials investigating the efficacy of laser modalities in minimizing surgical scars when applied <1 month after operation.

Materials and methods: A literature search of PubMed, EMBASE, Northern Light Life Sciences Conference Abstracts, and Cochrane Library was performed between November 6, 2015, and November 20, 2015. After assessing for inclusion, data extraction used the PRISMA checklist. Assessment for quality, validity, and risk of bias applied a scale devised by Jadad and colleagues, the Oxford Pain Validity Scale, and the RevMan risk of bias assessment tool, respectively. The GRADEpro application graded overall quality, and statistical analysis was performed with RevMan.

Results: Approximately 4,373/4,397 abstracts and 16/24 full articles were excluded using predefined criteria, leaving 8 articles in the systematic review and 4 in the meta-analysis. The primary outcome reached statistical significance favoring the intervention group with standardized mean difference 0.39 (95% confidence interval, 0.05-0.74) and p = .03.

Conclusion: The outcome supports the efficacy of lasers in minimizing primarily closed surgical scars when treated <1 month after surgery.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cicatrix / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy / methods*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Postoperative Complications / therapy*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic