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Trial Shows Polymer Dressing Reduces Surgical Scarring

Transplant surgery (NIH)

(National Institutes of Health)

15 May 2014. A follow-up study of patients one year after cosmetic surgery shows a polymer adhesive dressing applied after the surgery reduced the formation of scars compared to untreated areas of the incision. The researchers tested the bandage made by Neodyne Biosciences of Menlo Park, California, and reported the results online earlier this month in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (paid subscription required).

The clinical trial compared the effectiveness of Neodyne’s Embrace scar therapy, elastic polymer dressings worn over the incision designed to reduce the mechanical tension and subsequent inflammation in the area of the incision that contribute to the development of scar tissue. The new paper reports on 36 of the original 65 patients in the trial that underwent abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgery and completed at least five weeks of treatment with the dressing. In the trial, Embrace dressings were applied to about half of the incision wound after surgery, while the rest of the wound was left untreated.

An independent expert panel reviewed photos of the surgical scars one year after the patients’ procedures and rated the scars according to two separate standard measurement scales: Visual Analogue Scale and Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale. Ratings by the panel on both scales show more healing evident in the treated areas of the incisions than in the untreated areas. The paper also reports no adverse reactions to the treatments.

According to Neodyne, some 80 million major surgeries are conducted in the U.S., with scars from the surgeries considered a major cause of frustration by patients. While the Embrace device is initially marketed to the cosmetic surgery market, the company says it can be used as well with injuries and non-discretionary surgery.

Neodyne Biosciences is a spin-off company from Stanford University founded in 2007 by four medical, bioengineering, and materials science researchers. In March 2014, the Embrace device received a new U.S. patent, the eighth assigned to the company.

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