Evaluation tools are used to quantify scar evolution and determine treatment effectiveness. In clinical practice, scar assessment scales are less costly, tend to cover a greater number of aspects related to scar characteristics and can incorporate a patient's opinion in the assessment. However, the scales have not yet been used as an evaluation method for the postoperative recurrence of keloids.
The study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of scar rating scales for keloid recurrence after surgical excision.
Patients (n = 25) with keloids on the trunk were treated by surgical resection and postoperative beta radiation therapy. On the 3rd, 6th, 9th and 12th postoperative months, two specialists classified the lesions qualitatively in recurrent and non-recurrent cases. Furthermore, in the objective evaluation, the items on the Seattle Scar Scale (SSS) and the Stony Brook Scar Evaluation Scale (SBSES) were assessed by specialists, and the patients assessed items on the Patient Scar Assessment Scale (PSAS) for the pre- and postoperative periods. The scars were classified qualitatively as “good” or “poor.”
Recurrence was observed in 18 patients (72%), according to the specialists' qualitative assessments. The best scores on the SSS and SBSES were given to the non-recurrent (p < 0.001) scars. The highest PSAS values were for the scars classified as “poor” (p < 0.001). There were no differences in the PSAS values for the preoperative period and outcomes for the recurrent scars (p = 0.519). The outcomes showed that the non-recurrent scars had lower values on the PSAS compared to the recurrent scars (p = 0.001) and compared to the preoperative period (p = 0.004).
The PSAS, SSS and SBSES scales were effective methods in distinguishing keloid postoperative recurrence. It is necessary to establish the recurrence cut-off scores for each of the scales according to the treatment used.
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Published online: March 05, 2012
Accepted: February 4, 2012
Received: June 4, 2011
© 2012 British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.