Treating Multiple Scars

CURE, Fall 2007, Volume 6, Issue 5

Pulsed dye laser treatments treat abnormal and post-mastectomy scars.

Beverly Anderson, PhD, diagnosed in September 2001 at age 50 with breast cancer, was left with scars from 21 surgical procedures. After a double mastectomy, she opted for silicone implants, nipple reconstruction and the transfer of tissue from below her shoulder blade to her chest.

“I looked like the Bride of Frankenstein for a while there,” the Washington, D.C., resident acknowledges. “The scars were very red, they were very raised, and fibrous to the touch.” One scar on each side of her body extended seven inches, almost to her spine.

To improve the scars, she opted for treatment with a pulsed dye laser every two months for two to three years. Now, “you almost can’t see any scars,” she says, “not unless you really, really look.”

She says she held up well emotionally through five years of surgeries and scar treatments. “I take control where I can take control,” she says, “and for those areas that I can’t take control, I try to see if I can make myself feel better.”