Efficacy of intense pulsed light for the treatment of burn scar dyschromias: A pilot study to assess patient satisfaction, safety, and willingness to pay

Charles Scott Hultman, Jonathan S. Friedstat, Renee E. Edkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction: No treatment algorithms exist to reliably treat burn scar dyschromias. Intense pulsed light (IPL) has been used successfully to treat hyperpigmentation disorders, but has not been studied extensively in the treatment of burn scars. The purpose of this investigation was to assess clinical efficacy and patient satisfaction with IPL for the treatment of burn scar dyschromia. Methods: Patients with burn scar dyschromias were treated using the Lume 1 platform (Lumenis) to target pigmented lesions, using fluences between 10 and 22 joules/cm2 and filters ranging from 560 to 650 nm. At the conclusion of the study, providers assessed changes in burn scar dyschromia, whereas patients were queried regarding satisfaction and perceived efficacy, using a 1 to 5 Likert scale. The patients, who were not charged for the IPL treatment, were queried regarding willingness to pay. Results: Twenty patients (mean age, 35.4 years; mean total body surface area, 27.6%; mean composite Fitzpatrick score, 3.9) underwent IPL treatment of burn scar dyschromias, an average of 3.2 years after injury. Mean fluence was 15.4 J/cm2 (range, 10-22 J/cm2), and the most common filter used was 590 nm (range, 560-650 nm). Mean area treated was 90.7 cm2, with a range of 4 to 448 cm2. Complications included pain (4), hyperpigmentation (1), and blistering (2). Sixteen patients noted mild to moderate improvement, reporting a 4.5 for efficacy and a 4.4 for satisfaction. Regarding willingness to pay, patients would spend a mean of U.S. $7429 to completely remove their scars, but only a median of U.S. $350 to get the actual results that they received. Mean length of follow-up was 3.8 months, with a standard deviation of 2.2 months. Conclusions: Patients perceived IPL as an efficacious modality in the treatment of burn scar dyschromia, with a high level of satisfaction, despite the potential for morbidity. However, we are reluctant to recommend IPL for routine treatment of burn scar dyschromias, given only minimal improvement observed, potential for complications, and a willingness to pay that is lower than the cost of providing care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S204-S208
JournalAnnals of plastic surgery
Volume74
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Burn scar
  • Dyschromia
  • Intense pulsed light

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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