Will Fraxel Minimize the Appearance of Major Surgery Scar?

I had surgery on my chest over 10 years ago. The scar is smooth, but very long and visibly dark and has grown wider. Will the Fraxel work to minimize its appearance and can it actually make the skin lighter and the scar much more thinner?

Doctor Answers 5

Fraxel Helps with Major Surgery Scars

Fraxel may lighten and smooth the appearance of the scar. Each patient is different and scars will not always respond the same.  It is best to have a test area done on the scar.  Surgical scars tend to affect deeper layers of the skin so this will give you and the doctor insight on how you will respond.  As far as length and width, you should probably consider a scar revision.


Fayetteville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

Treatment of surgical scars with laser

The darkness of your scar might improve slightly initially, but there could be a rebound hyperpigmentation response from your skin making the scar even darker than before treatment. The thickness probably won’t improve with Fraxel. Corticosteroid injections might help thin the scar, but nothing will shrink the width of the scar. If it were surgically removed, the scar could heal worse and bigger than before. If it is a large scar you could consider a small test area with Fraxel and judge for yourself if it is helping, but keep in mind that Fraxel is usually done as a series of multiple treatments.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Fraxel may improve appearance of scar but won't narrow it

fraxel will often (not always and not predictably) improve the appearance of a scar, but it will certainly not make it narrower if it has spread. only excising/revising the scar surgically might be able to accomplish that. the chest can be a very tough area in some individualsto get a "good" scar, no matter how hard you try.

Bruce K. Barach, MD
Schenectady Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Fraxel Laser for the Treatment of Scars

Hi Ray,

Surgical scars do respond well to Fraxel restore and repair. Each individual scar and patient needs to be evaluated to determine whether the laser treatment would be helpful.

It depends on your skin type as well as the scar. I have seen dark scars lighten and light scars darken.

Surgical scar revision is always an alternative. With fresh scars, Fraxel restore gives great results when started 2 to 4 weeks after surgery.

Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Fraxel for scar management or treatment

It is not my overall recommendation to undergo Fraxel for management of an old wide pigmented scar. It may help superficial wrinkles and pigmentation but scarring tends to affect the deeper layers of the skin. It will not make a scar less wide. Really, the only satisfactory solution for a wide scar, at present, is surgical scar revision

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.