South West Wales

Frostbite used to remove scars in pioneering hospital treatment

Before and after picture of Marc Jenkins' scar Image copyright ABMU Health Board
Image caption Before and after picture of Marc Jenkins' scar

An advanced form of frostbite to remove scar tissue is being used for the first time in Wales.

The cryoshape procedure, carried out at Neath Port Talbot Hospital, involves pumping liquid nitrogen through a special needle into the scar.

Marc Jenkins, 43, was one of the first patients to have the treatment, which takes about one hour to complete.

He said he was "really happy" after scarring on his left earlobe, which was pierced when he was younger, vanished.

So far, four patients have undergone treatment and six more are due.

Mr Jenkins, of Pyle, Bridgend county, said his scarring had not responded to several operations and treatments over the past 15 years.

"Psychologically, the last 15 years have been difficult. Hopefully all that is over now," he said.

"I'm really happy with what they've done. It's amazing. The idea of it is brilliant, I'm fascinated by it."

Image copyright ABMU Health Board.
Image caption Max Murison (left) with Marc Jenkins (right) after the procedure.

Max Murison, plastic surgeon and laser specialist, said: "We are now able to remove abnormal scars with a new technique that was developed in Scandinavia.

"It was discovered that people who get frostbite don't get bad scars. They heal beautifully."

He carried out the first procedure in January after receiving approval for funding by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board.

Neath Port Talbot Hospital is currently the only hospital in Wales carrying out the procedure, and one of few in the UK.

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