Researchers performed a meta analysis to evaluate the efficacy of botulinum toxin injections in preventing postoperative scars and improving scar quality. This research was published in the Journal of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (March 5, 2021).
Zhihua Qia, MD, et al., evaluated randomized controlled trials on PubMed, the Cochrane Library, EMBASE, MEDLINE and Web of Science published prior to Dec. 29, 2020. The researchers used the visual analog scale score (VAS), Vancouver scar scale score (VSS), Stony Brook scar evaluation scales score, scar width, patient self-assessment results and complications as indicators.
In total, 17 randomized controlled trials with a total of 633 cases were identified in the meta-analysis. The quantitative synthesis results showed that compared with the control groups, the botulinum toxin groups had significantly lower VSS score (MD= -0.97, 95%CI = −1.56 to −0.39, p = 0.001), higher VAS score (MD = 1.26, 95%CI = 1.04 to 1.47, p < 0.00001), thinner scar width (MD = −0.25, 95%CI = −0.37 to −0.12, p < 0.0001) and higher patient satisfaction (RR = 3.38 95%CI = 1.45 to 7.89, p = 0.005). There were no significant differences between the two groups in the number of adverse events.
The authors concluded that botulinum toxin injections can significantly improve cosmetic appearance and postoperative scar quality.