Background: Scarring represents a significant biomedical burden in clinical medicine. Mechanomodulation has been linked to scarring through inflammation, but until now a systematic approach to attenuate mechanical force and reduce scarring has not been possible.
Methods: We conducted a twelve month, prospective, open label, randomized, multi-center clinical trial to evaluate abdominoplasty scar appearance following post-operative treatment with the embrace(R) device to reduce mechanical forces on healing surgical incisions. Incisions from 65 healthy adult subjects were randomized to receive embrace treatment on one half of an abdominoplasty incision and control treatment (surgeon's optimal care methods) on the other half. The primary endpoint for this study was the difference between assessments of the scar appearance for the treated and control sides using the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) scar score.
Results: Final twelve month study photos were obtained from 36 subjects who completed at least five weeks of dressing application. The mean VAS score for embrace-treated scars (2.90) was significantly improved compared to control-treated scars (3.29) at 12 months (difference = 0.39, 95% confidence interval [0.14, 0.66], p = 0.027). Both subjects and investigators found that embrace-treated scars demonstrated significant improvements in overall appearance at 12 months using the Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale (POSAS) evaluation (p = 0.02 and p < 0.001, respectively). No serious adverse events were reported.
Conclusion: These results demonstrate that the embrace device significantly reduces scarring following abdominoplasty surgery. To our knowledge, this represents the first level one evidence for post-operative scar reduction.
(C)2014American Society of Plastic Surgeons