What are keloids?

Keloid are scars in which the scar-forming tissue has overgrown. They are benign (non-cancerous), and are typically lumpy and raised. They are often painless but may be tender or itchy. While the cause is not fully understood, they are often associated with a skin injury, such as surgical incision, piercing, burn, scratch, cut, injection or bug bite. Keloids do not turn into cancers and are not contagious.

Keloids are more common in people under the age of 30, and those who have darker skin. They may also be hereditary.1

Keloids often occur in visible locations that cause self-consciousness. If they occur in areas that are a problem for you, or if they are uncomfortable, they can be removed by surgical excision. However, keloids often grow back after surgery used alone. Radiation therapy after surgical excision can help prevent them from recurring.

Radiation following surgery for keloid treatment

When surgery is performed alone for keloids, there is an average recurrence rate of 45 to 100%, but with radiation following surgery, the recurrence rate drops to 10-20%.2-4

Because keloids have such a high recurrence rate following surgery alone, it is recommended that radiation therapy should start within 24- to 72-hours after surgery. Additionally, when radiation is not after the first surgical removal, additional surgeries could be required.

What to expect with keloid treatment at GenesisCare

If you are having surgery for the treatment of keloids, our team will coordinate with you and your referring provider to schedule radiation within a critical window of 24 to 72 hours after your surgery. Typically, radiation is provided on an outpatient basis over the course of 1 to 5 sessions, with each session roughly lasting only a few minutes at a time.

Here is what to expect when you decide on radiation following surgery for the treatment of keloids:

  1. Step 1: First, you will want to find a surgeon to perform your surgery. Speak with your surgeon about radiation following keloid removal and request the office coordinate the removal with us so there are no delays in initiating radiation.
  2. Step 2: After discussing surgery with your surgeon, you or your surgeon’s office should contact our nearest office to schedule a consultation and confirm that all logistics are set up prior to surgery. This consultation should happen prior to your surgery.
  3. Step 3: Have your surgery performed at your chosen hospital with your surgeon.
  4. Step 4: You will come to GenesisCare no later than same day to within 72 hours following surgery to have your radiation therapy.

Your GenesisCare team will be available to you following your radiation therapy should you have any questions.

Keloid treatment

Before treatment
After surgery and radiation

Keloid treatment

Before treatment
After surgery and radiation

Why choose GenesisCare?

GenesisCare offers access to the latest technologies, advanced treatments and personalized care that’s tailored to the individual without delay, both for the treatment of cancer and non-cancerous conditions, such as keloids.

We specialize in advanced radiation therapy techniques that are designed to be effective and minimize the side effects you’ll experience. As a leader in cancer care and other challenging conditions, our broad experience and world-class expertise means we offer advanced and innovative radiation therapy as standard.

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  1. Juckett G, Hartman-Adams H. Management of Keloids and Hypertrophic Scars. In: American Family Physician, 2009; 80(3), 253-260.
  2. Zainib M, Amin NP. Radiation Therapy In The Treatment Of Keloids. [Updated 2021 Aug 6]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499973/
  3. Lee, S. Y., & Park, J. (2015). Postoperative electron beam radiotherapy for keloids: treatment outcome and factors associated with occurrence and recurrence. Annals of dermatology, 27(1), 53–58. https://doi.org/10.5021/ad.2015.27.1.53.
  4. Ogawa R, Tosa M, Dohi T, Akaishi S, Kuribayashi S. Surgical excision and postoperative radiotherapy for keloids. Scars Burn Heal. 2019 Dec 10;5:2059513119891113. doi: 10.1177/2059513119891113. PMID: 31840001; PMCID: PMC6904783.