Keloid Excision and Adjuvant Treatments: A Network Meta-analysis

Ann Plast Surg. 2019 Aug;83(2):154-162. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0000000000001951.


Background: Keloid disease treatment continues to be unsatisfactory with high recurrence rates. We evaluated the literature regarding the effectiveness of keloid excision with various adjuvant treatments following surgery and assessed recurrence rates.

Methods: We systematically searched databases through November 2016. We performed pairwise meta-analyses and Bayesian network meta-analyses on the number of recurrences.

Results: Following screening, 14 studies including 996 patients with various types of keloids were eligible for inclusion. Patients were categorized based on the receipt of surgery and the type of adjuvant treatment employed afterward. Paired meta-analysis (6 meta-analyses) showed that "excision + 1 adjuvant drug" led to statistically significantly higher odds of recurrence compared to "excision + radiation" (odds ratio [OR], 3.22; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.35-7.67). Based on the network meta-analyses, the ORs of keloid recurrence following various treatments compared to no excision were as follows: "excision + pressure, 0.18 (95% CI, 0.01-7.07); excision + 2 adjuvants drugs, 0.47 (95% CI, 0.02-12.82); excision + radiation, 0.39 (95% CI, 0.04-3.31); excision + skin grafting, 0.58 (95% CI, 0.00-76.10); excision + 1 adjuvant drug, 1.76 (95% CI, 0.17-21.35); and excision only, 2.17 (95% CI, 0.23-23.95).

Conclusions: According to our results, "excision + radiation" had significantly better outcomes than excision alone. "Excision + pressure" had better outcomes than excision + any other treatment modality, and excision + nonradiation adjuvant therapies were also better than "excision only," although these findings did not reach statistical significance.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Bayes Theorem
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Humans
  • Keloid / surgery*
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Recurrence