Surgical Treatment of Keloid Lesions: Help or Harm? – Abstract


Background: Many patients undergo surgical removal of their keloids. Although there are several reports about the utility and efficacy of surgery for the treatment of keloid lesions, few studies have reported on how patients perceive the outcomes of this intervention.

Objective: To assess patients’ perceptions of the efficacy and ill effects of surgery for the treatment of keloid lesions.

Material and Methods: An online survey was launched in November 2011 asking participants to provide answers to questions about their keloids. Patients were asked about their perceptions of the efficacy and long-term results of common treatment modalities. Descriptive statistics are provided.

Results: As of December 4, 2021, 1873 individuals participated in this survey, 567 of whom reported previous surgical removal of their keloids. Of the 567 patients, 548 assessed the benefit of this intervention: 27 (4.93%) reported that surgery cured their keloids, 91 (16.61%) benefited from surgery, 122 (22.26%) showed no improvement, and 308 (56.20%) showed worsening of keloids following surgery.

Conclusions: Results show that 56.20% of patients reported worsening of their keloids after surgical intervention. Although recurrence of keloids is widely acknowledged and reported, the occurrence and rate of worsening of keloids after surgery are not routinely reported in the surgical literature. This study represents the first step in developing a patient-reported measure of treatment success from surgery. Alternative therapies for early-stage keloid lesions were discussed.

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