C02 Laser therapy for the management of burn scars – a trial of the effect on burn scars and patient and practitioner perspectives towards laser therapy

Dr Edward Gibson1, Ms Linda Quinn1, Dr Amy Jeeves1, Dr Michelle Lodge1, Dr Rebecca Cooksey1, Mr Darren Molony1, Mr Bernard Carney1

1Women’s And Children’s Hospital, North Adelaide, Australia


Hypertrophic burn scars are a common and a significant source of morbidity in paediatric burns patients. Scarring can affect movement and have a psychological impact. CO2 laser therapy is a relatively new technique for managing burn scars. The therapy is straight forward to provide and is well tolerated by patients. As yet, the exact mechanism of action has not been defined and longer term outcomes are limited but, despite this, patients respond well to the therapy. This study investigates the patient and practitioner perspectives, in a paediatric setting, towards laser therapy and assesses scar response to the treatment.


10 patients were enrolled in the study. Patient and practitioner Posas questionaires were completed prior to treatment and again at six week intervals. Perioperative care was standardised. Other previously prescribed scar therapies continued during the study.


Both patient and practitioner reported subjective improvements in the scars following laser treatment. No concerns with pain or healing were noted. Patients typically were positive towards laser therapy, tolerated it easily and were amenable to subsequent courses of treatment.


This study adds to the growing body of research that shows that laser therapy has an important role to play in burn scar therapy. The data shows that burn scars respond well to laser therapy and that patients engage well with the treatment. Further research is required to determine the way in which laser therapy can be best utilised.

Edward is the burns registrar at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. He is pursuing a career in plastic and reconstructive surgery and has a particular interest in burns care and paediatric plastic surgery. He is a graduate of the University of Adelaide and has a Masters in Surgical Science through the University of Edinburgh.

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