Fractional laser technology brings hope to burn scar and traumatic injury victims

Lumenis Ltd. (Yokneam, Israel) is collaborating with physicians and organizations in the treatment of burn scars, traumatic injury scars and other skin abnormalities using their proprietary UltraPulse fractional CO2 laser technology.

Dr. Rox Anderson, professor and dermatologist at Harvard Medical School, recently returned from a two-week medical mission to China and Vietnam, where he and his colleagues treated over 100 patients at the Vietnam Vascular Anomalies Center (VAC) and trained local physicians. Lumenis helped to make the treatments and training possible through a donation of an UltraPulse laser system and physician travel arrangements.

“Our initial efforts focused on treating hemangiomas and other skin abnormalities, but with the advent of UltraPulse fractional technology, we quickly realized that there was an opportunity to treat burn victims, especially children,” said Anderson. “Our mission at VAC is to offer help and hope to these children. The best way to do this is to enable and train local physicians on the latest techniques so they can offer a service that was not possible in Vietnam, or anywhere else in the world, five years ago. With Lumenis’ technology and support, we are able to achieve this.”

Dr. Jill Waibel, a renowned private practice physician and an expert in burn scar treatment in the U.S., will present clinical results on burn scars using the UltraPulse fractional CO2 laser at the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) Annual Meeting taking place in New Orleans beginning February 4. One of Dr. Waibel’s patients, Lesia Cartelli, founder of Angel Faces, an organization that provides healing retreats and ongoing support to adolescent girls with severe facial disfigurements, will be present to share her personal experience and clinical improvements firsthand.

“Recent medical advancements have enabled the survival of patients with burns covering 80% to 90% of their body. This has created a reconstruction situation that we haven’t seen before,” said Dr. Waibel. “UltraPulse has had a dramatic impact on the treatment of scars because it is the only laser that can reach the depths required to treat deep scars—Lumenis’ UltraPulse is the only hope that these patients have.”

The Armed Forces sector is also a significant benefactor of this novel treatment modality. Lt. Col. Chad Hivnor, M.D., chief of pediatric dermatology at Wilford Hall Medical Center, was the first to introduce UltraPulse fractional laser treatment to wounded warriors. “I saw more and more soldiers returning with severe burns and scars and there was no treatment to offer them,” said Lt. Col. Hivnor. “I knew UltraPulse worked well for acne scars, so it made sense that it would help this scarring. We’ve seen a dramatic improvement in pliability and mobility."

Collaborations for the treatment of burn scars and traumatic injury scars include: Three for Hope Foundation (USA), Katie Piper Foundation (UK), Angel Faces (USA), Missions for Children (Ecuador), Vascular Anomalies Center (Vietnam), Lackland Air Force Base Wounded Warriors and San Diego Naval Hospital Wounded Warriors.

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Posted by Lee Mather

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