What is Keloid Surgery?

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  • Written By: Jami Yontz
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 24 February 2020
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Keloid surgery is a procedure performed to remove or reduce the size of a large keloidal scar. Keloids are lesions that form from the overproduction of collagen during the healing process of a deep wound, burn, or piercing. Scars appear as raised bumps that are usually pink, red, or purple, and some keloids will continue to grow and expand. The keloid can be painful and itchy, and it is cosmetically unappealing to many people. There are three types of keloid surgery performed to remove or improve the look of the scar if a person is unhappy with his or her skin’s appearance or if he or she experiences discomfort because of the scar.

Cryotherapy, also known as cryosurgery, is a type of keloid surgery that uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the keloid. The low temperature of liquid nitrogen will kill the living tissue of the keloid within an hour, and the patient can then return to his normal, daily routine with little pain or discomfort. This procedure is only used on small lesions because the skin under and surrounding the removed keloid may appear darker after the scar is removed. Cryotherapy may need to be repeated a few times for the procedure to completely remove the scar.


Another type of keloid surgery uses a knife to cut the scar tissue from the skin. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia, and takes less than an hour to complete. After the scar is removed during keloid surgery, the edges of the skin are stitched back together. This procedure is less than 45 percent effective unless other treatments are performed before, during, and after the excision of the lesion. With this surgical procedure, there is the risk that the keloid could grow back larger than the original scar. The physician may inject the tissue with cortisone, apply radiation after surgery, or cover the surgical site with silicone sheets to increase the person’s chance of a successful keloid excision.

Laser keloid surgery removal is a popular option that has produced good results for many people. There are various types of lasers that are used to remove a keloidal scar, including carbon dioxide and argon lasers, and these devices work by removing layers of skin to reveal normal-looking tissue beneath. They may also target the lower levels of the skin to stimulate the production of collagen to promote healing. Darkening or lightening of the skin treated by the laser is one possible complication of the procedure.


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