Fractional CO2 laser treatment for post-surgical lip scars in cleft lip and palate patients
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Post-surgical scars of cleft lip patients can lead to abnormal lip activity, which causes deficient maxillary growth. The aim of the present study was to assess the effect of laser therapy on the appearance and electrical activity of the upper lip in cleft lip and palate patients. Twelve patients with cleft lip and palate participated in this study. All patients had surgically repaired the cleft lip at the age of about 3–6 months. The lip scars underwent five fractional CO2 laser treatment sessions with a 4-week interval. Improvement of the quality of the skin texture was recorded according to quartile grading scale based on photographs taken before and 1 month after treatment. Patients’ satisfaction survey was also recorded using Patient Scar Assessment Questionnaire (PSAQ) before and after laser therapy. Moreover, the EMG activity of the upper lip muscle was measured before and after treatment. According to dermatologists, the improvement of scar appearance ranged from 0.5 to 3, with a mean of 1.29 ± 0.86. Mean scores of the scar appearance (p < 0.001), symptoms (p = 0.003), and scar consciousness (p < 0.001) subscales of the PSAQ questionnaire had significantly increased after treatment. The EMG recording of the upper lip had decreased significantly after laser treatment at rest (p = 0.009) and maximum lip compression (p = 0.007). The fractional CO2 laser is an effective method for treating old scars of the cleft lip with a significant change in the opinion of patients about their scar appearance. Also, the therapy can help to reduce the EMG activity of the upper lip at rest.
KeywordsFractional carbon dioxide laser Scar Cleft lip Electromyography
The authors like to thank vice-chancellor of research of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences (Iran). The results of this study are drawn from a post-graduate thesis.
Role of funding source
This study was financially supported by the Mashhad University of Medical Sciences (Grant No.= 941141).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interests
Author A has received a research grant from the University of Medical Sciences. There are not any other conflicts of interests.
All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee of the University of Medical Sciences and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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