(Article from The International Review of Modern Surgery Feb. 2002)
Medical Director and Director of Medical Research, MicroVas Technologies, Inc.
The MicroVas System is the result of several years of research and development. Thousands of patient case histories show MicroVas to be totally safe and effective in the treatment of a cross section of vascular deficiency cases. The following conditions have all responded decisively with excellent results;
Peripheral Vascular DiseaseEssentially, every tissue in the body has intrinsic electrical properties. Because of this, it has been found that they respond in some way to electrical stimulation. There have been many machines designed over the years to use electricity to affect the body in various ways to enhance the healing process. There are many forms of electricity such as polarity, voltage, amperage, frequency and waveform. Because of patent issues and proprietary information, the exact properties of MicroVas cannot be revealed, however, the general principles are as follows:
How MicroVas works
Underlying the above disease processes is the problem of impaired circulation in the capillary beds. Without blood flow to the tissues, oxygen and nutrients cannot get into the tissues and the waste products of metabolism cannot get out. This puts a
severe stress on the tissues causing them to go into a survival mode. The cells use what limited resources they have to stay alive and higher functions, including healing and repair, as well as tissue mediated immunity, become essentially shut down. In most patients with severe disease, measured tissue oxygen levels have been found to be less than 15% of normal. Diabetics with impaired basement membrane function, Reynauds phenomena, Claudication states and other similar conditions all may have similar features due to this underlying process.
MicroVas has been optimized to promote healing. MicroVas works by causing muscle fasciculation and contraction relaxation cycles that effectively pump blood through the microcirculation, draining the venous beds and raising the tissue oxygen levels. This, in turn, supplies the oxygen and substrates necessary to greatly accelerate the healing process. Pressure gradients are actually increased across the capillary beds with MicroVas, in contrast to most of the other best technologies on the market today that only dilate the capillary beds. MicroVas has a potent effect on the microcirculation, which results in dramatic responses to treatment. Transcutaneous oxygen probes have demonstrated marked increases in tissue oxygen levels within minutes of initiating treatment. Tissue oxygen levels with successive treatments continue to improve.
MicroVas stimulates Angiogenesis
The MicroVas electrical form stimulates angiogenesis, that is, budding of new capillaries and generation of denser capillary networks in the tissues. This lays the groundwork for new tissue growth and repair in the healing process. The MicroVas electrical form also raises the metabolic rate in the treated tissues, which, it is theorized, helps the intimal lining of the arteries to metabolize the excess unused nutrients clogging them. This results in improved blood flow that has been shown to be permanent.
MicroVas has been used on diabetics with severe ischemic ulcers in the feet that were destined for amputation. This condition is usually associated with underlying osteomeyelitis, which does not respond well to standard therapy including systemic antibiotics and wound care. MicroVas greatly improves the management of this condition because the enhanced blood flow brings antibiotics and healing to the affected area. In greater than 95% of cases, the feet have been salvaged. Most of the benefits that were obtained with the treatment were still present at a two-year follow up evaluation.
MicroVas stimulates Fibroblast activity
In addition, the MicroVas electrical form directly stimulates the activity of fibroblasts in the healing process. In the healing of ischemic ulcers the fibroblasts act first to build the framework upon which further cell types including skin and capillaries grow. The electrical current of MicroVas is a deep penetrating current that affects all tissues from the skin to the bone. Technically, the MicroVas system generates an electrical force field between the electrode pads. (This is in contrast to the electrical form of some machines that stay rather superficial in the tissues affecting primarily the top centimeter or two). MicroVas stimulates activity in bone cells as well, which can accelerate fracture healing.
A review of several of the alternate technologies on the market today may be in order to contrast with MicroVas. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been shown to be effective in healing ischemic ulcers. 100% oxygen at 2 atmospheres will give a partial pressure of oxygen 10 times normal. This greatly increases the rate of diffusion through the open face of the ulcer. Skin however, is not as permeable to oxygen diffusion and oxygen delivery depends upon intact circulation as well. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a passive process and does not alter the underlying disease in the microcirculation. This is in contrast to MicroVas, which appears to significantly remodel the microcirculation as part of its therapeutic effect. MicroVas results in a more permanent improvement.
There are several methods in practice using moist heat with occlusion dressings, infrared lamps, membranes with electrical currents and warm water whirlpool treatments. These have all shown merit and have been effective. They all work by stimulating the arterioles in the capillary beds to dilate in response to infrared energy. These again are passive methods and not as effective as MicroVas. MicroVas dilates the arterioles as these do but in addition, increases the pressure gradients across the capillary beds much as exercise does which greatly improves flow and oxygen levels.
Machines using high frequency interferential electrical currents are also effective. They stimulate the nerves in the skin and cause dilatation of the capillary beds through the reflex pathways. This form of electrical current tends to be more superficial in the tissues than the MicroVas form. In our comparisons of this technology, MicroVas caused more decisive and rapid healing than the interferential technique.
Another method being used today consists of a garment placed around the diseased limb. Intermittent compression is then administered via compressed air from the attached machine. This again has proven to be effective to promote circulation and healing by pumping the blood through the capillary beds. Pressure gradients are increased in the capillary beds but there is not necessarily the dilatation of the arterioles as the other methods promote. This method does not remodel the microcirculation either, as MicroVas appears to do.
In our experience, MicroVas has shown remarkable efficacy in dealing with the above difficult disease states. In comparison with the current alternative technologies on the market today, MicroVas has proven to cause more rapid and decisive healing. In addition, the patients have enjoyed permanent, persistent improvements in the circulation of the affected limb.