Saturday, December 31, 2005

Pulsed Magnetic Fields and Plastic Surgery

I've been helping with beta-testing an interesting device this past six months made by a company called Ivivi

This technology involves pulsed electro-magnetic fields (PEMF) which has a number of interesting effects when used on patients. The effect of pulsed magnetic fields tuned to certain frequencies (as opposed to the regular static magnet you'd buy off the shelf) is modulation of some of the side-effects that cells recieve with inflamation, trauma, or in this case, elective Plastic Surgery.

Clinically what you see is less pain and swelling. It's been my impression that pain control is comparable to the now common Marcaine pain-pumps that have become common as a adjunct to narcotics for post-op pain control. However, the potential benefits of PEMF devices like the Ivivi go much farther.

In animal models you also see an tremendous increase in blood vessel stimulation. The potential uses for this extend far beyond Plastic Surgery. Current clinical trials are exploring many areas including arthritis, migraines, preventing hair loss during chemotherapy, increased wound healing, and non-surgical treatment of coronary artery disease.

Given the long safety history of similar technology and the inexpensive price we're likely to see with the devices, expect for this device to potentially have a large impact in some areas of health care. Don't be surprised if this technology doesn't trickle down to over the counter-style devices in the future.

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