NETWORK – Globalhealth
Information for Patients
Treatment of Keloids and Hypertrophic Scars by Intralesional Cryosurgery
So far, keloids could only be treated with moderate success: The biggest problem for you as a patient was that there was no method that could prevent recurrences, i.e. the return of keloids. In view of the keloid patients’ suffering – itching, constant pain and the often stigmatising appearance – in many cases the handling of the keloid determines the entire life process.
In this respect, it is very welcome that a special needle – the CryoShape® needle – was developed by a German-Israeli working group led by Prof. Yaron Har-Shai, Haifa and Prof. Christos C. Zouboulis, Dessau, with the help of which recurrences can be prevented in many cases. Cryotherapy (cold therapy) is a well-known method used in dermatology for many indications. Cold nitrogen in liquid form is usually used for this purpose.
The high-tech needle developed by the working group has the advantage that the cold does not act on the keloid surface, but rather allows the keloid to die from the inside (intralesional), i.e. from its centre through frostbite. The advantages of this new method are obvious: The keloid is completely destroyed in its core where the growth processes of the growth are initiated, while the outer skin layer is only marginally affected and therefore pigmentation disorders can almost always be prevented.
The needle directs the nitrogen into the inside of the keloid and out again, creating a continuous flow of cold that allows the treating physician to stop treatment when the degree of frostbite reaches its optimal limit. The surrounding healthy tissue is spared, and at the same time the collagen fibres within the keloid are destroyed from a temperature of -22 degrees Celsius.
The method has been investigated in many studies for more than a decade. It has been shown that with correct application by an experienced practitioner, the recurrence rate on the body is 7 % and on the face 5 % in a follow-up period of more than ten years. Keloids, which form recurrences, can also be successfully treated by a further single treatment. All other therapies have recurrence rates between 40% and 70%.
Depending on the size of the keloid, the treatment can last from 15 minutes to two hours. The keloid is anesthetized locally before the treatment, so that the pain can be well tolerated even after the anesthesia has subsided. At first a weeping bladder is formed, similar to a burn. After 8-10 days the keloid becomes encrusted. The known impairments stop already 14 days after the treatment.
In the case of very large or many keloids, a general anesthesia followed by a stay in a clinic may also be necessary.
In a longer process of degradation of the destroyed tissue, the keloid gradually disappears. After six months the result can be examined, although improvements can still be observed later.
The keloid becomes flat and soft. The results on the ears are also aesthetically completely satisfactory, because the growths are no longer visible after the end of therapy. Scarred structures can also be seen on the body after the end of treatment because the skin cannot regenerate completely. However, all signs of activity and renewed growth are interrupted.
The therapy can be well combined with other methods of keloid treatment after completion. Silicone pressure plasters and the injection of steroids are recommended.
Not all keloids can be treated: Completely flat keloids, whose height is below 0.4 cm, cannot be treated because of the size of the needle.
The NETWORK-Globalhealth and the Globalhealth Academy for Aesthetic Medicine
The Globalhealth Network is an international network of physicians with over 2000 members in 64 countries. The Globalhealth Academy has developed a training concept for non-surgical aesthetic procedures and has been training these procedures for several years. Competent trainers and lecturers who enjoy high international recognition are engaged. New developments are passed on to the members in continuous advanced training courses. The basic principle of the Academy is to conduct only objective and neutral training courses.
Further information is available from your NETWORK doctor.
Consent and information
A comprehensive information of the patient about the offered therapy is a special concern for NETWORK physicians, in order to give you as a patient a good basis for your decision. Advice on treatment options as well as objective clarification of all potential risks and side effects is a necessary and desired component of every treatment and the basis of a trusting and long-standing relationship between you, the patient and your treating physician.
Unfortunately, the special needle needed for this therapy is not available from the manufacturer at the moment. So far, our efforts to procure a replacement have unfortunately not been successful.
We ask for your patience.