The use of Co2 fractional photothermolysis for the treatment of burn scars

Benjamin Levi, Amir Ibrahim, Katie Mathews, Brandon Wojcik, Jason Gomez, Shawn Fagan, William Gerald Austen, Jeremy Goverman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


A recent advancement in the treatment of burn scars has been the use of the carbon dioxide (CO2) laser to perform fractional photothermolysis. In this analysis, we describe our results and patient-reported outcomes with the use of fractional CO2 laser for the treatment of burn-related scarring. We performed a retrospective study of all patients who underwent CO2 laser procedures for treatment of symptomatic burn scars and skin grafts at one accredited regional burn center. Burn injury and laser treatment demographics, as well as complications, are reported. A questionnaire was administered to all patients and included patient-reported outcome measures aimed at understanding the patient experience and their subjective response to treatment. A total of 387 CO2 laser procedures were performed on 131 patients for the treatment of symptomatic burn scars and skin grafts between October 1, 2011, and May 1, 2014 (average, 2.95 procedures/patient; range, 1-11). Average time between injury and first laser was 597.35 days (range, 60-13,475). Average time between laser treatments (when multiple) was 117.73 days (range, 22-514). There were no infections requiring treatment with oral antibiotics. Overall patient satisfaction with laser therapy was 96.7%. Patients reported reductions in neuropathic pain, tightness (contracture), and pruritus (54.0, 50.6, and 49.0%, respectively). Fractional photothermolysis utilizing the CO2 laser is a safe and effective modality for the treatment of symptomatic burn scars, donor sites, and skin grafts. Patient satisfaction with this procedure is high, and complications are low. Significant improvements in scar appearance, pliability, tightness, neuropathic pain, and pruritus were commonly reported.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-114
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'The use of Co2 fractional photothermolysis for the treatment of burn scars'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this