Sustainable effect of skin stretching for burn scar excision: Long-term results of a multicenter randomized controlled trial

Pauline D. H. M. Verhaegen, Martijn B. A. van der Wal, Monica C. T. Bloemen, Jan Dokter, Paris Melis, Esther Middelkoop, Paul P. M. van Zuijlen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Primary wound closure of large defects after burn scar excision may be facilitated by intraoperative stretching of the adjacent skin. In a randomized controlled trial (RCT), the effect of skin stretching for wound closure after scar excision (SS) was compared to scar excision without additional techniques (SE). Short-term results already showed that in the SS group larger scars could be excised in a one-step procedure. In this paper, the long-term scar outcome using reliable and valid measurement tools was evaluated. Basic procedures: The percentage of total remaining scar area (i.e. remaining scar compared to preoperative scar), the percentage of linear scarring (i.e. surface area of linear scar compared to excised scar) and scar hypertrophy was measured at 3 and 12 months postoperatively. Main findings: At 12 months postoperatively, the percentage of total remaining scar area was significantly lower in the SS group (26%) compared to the SE group (43%). The percentage of linear scarring (SS: 21%, SE: 25%) and the incidence of hypertrophy (SS: 29%, SE: 40%) were not significantly different between the treatment groups. Conclusions: This RCT demonstrates the long-term beneficial and sustainable effect skin stretching for wound closure after scar excision without leading to wider linear scars or more scar hypertrophy. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd and ISBI. All rights reserved
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1222-1228
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Cite this