Preoperative extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) is used to reduce scar formation and symptoms after surgery.

A study looks at acoustic waves (extracorporeal shockwaves) initiated within the operation field prior to surgery and their ability to stimulate tissue regeneration which leads to wound healing with reduced scar formation.

The study, led by Elisabeth Russe, MD, was published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, the official journal of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery Inc (ASLMS).

“Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) has been demonstrated as a feasible non-invasive method to improve wound healing. This effect was demonstrated to result from increased perfusion and angiogenesis due to systemic growth factors expression. We therefore hypothesized that preoperative ESWT reduces scar formation after surgery,” she says, in a media release from ASLMS.

A controlled pilot study on 24 patients undergoing abdominoplasty was conducted and the efficacy of preoperative unfocused, low energy ESWT was evaluated. The right and left half of the operative area were randomly allocated to ESWT or placebo treatment in intrapatient control design. The ratings revealed a clear trend favoring ESWT. The largest differences favoring ESWT were observed in thickness and overall impression (Vancouver scar scale), the release explains.

“We conclude that ESWT presumably reduces scar formation and postoperative symptoms after surgery and recommend further studies to confirm ESWT efficacy,” she concludes.

[Source: American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery Inc]