New shock wave technology heals diabetics’ feet faster

University Hospitals offering treatment for diabetic foot ulcers.
Updated: Feb. 5, 2021 at 10:01 AM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Diabetes patients who suffer from painful, chronic wounds are seeing incredible results, and quickly, from a new wound healing therapy offered by University Hospitals.

Diabetic Marvin Brown was plagued by his painful foot ulcers for eight months.

“I couldn’t walk or nothing. It was terrible. I was walking on the heel of my foot. It was really bad,” he said.

But after only two therapy sessions with the Dermapace system from Sanuwave at the Center for Wound Care at University Hospital’s Richmond Medical Center, he saw remarkable progress.

“I’d say about five weeks it started closing up, and soon it was just gone,” said Brown.

“With this therapy we note that there was a substantial increase in oxygenation in the wound tissue after only one use,” said Dr. Windy Cole, of Richmond Medical Center.

The device delivers acoustic shock waves to tissue, to help jump start healing, through new blood vessel formation.

“We are using these pulses, and this energy is being transferred into the tissues and what it does is these wounds that are chronic or stalled or non-healing, it allows for new tissue generation,” she said.

It’s the same technology that’s been used to break up kidney stones for decades.

Now it’s newly FDA approved, at a tapered down level, for treatment of diabetic foot ulcers.

"I couldn't walk. It was terrible. I was walking on the heel of my foot. It was really bad." A diabetes patient...

Posted by Jen Picciano on Friday, February 5, 2021

Dr. Cole says it’s critical not only to improve comfort and quality of life for patients, but also to prevent dangerous abscesses or infections.

“In worst case scenario, these patients develop a bad enough infection they have to have an amputation, and that’s what we are trying to prevent,” she said.

“After about three weeks I could start walking on my foot. I loved it. It was beautiful,” said Brown.

Right now the technology is only used to treat, not prevent wounds. But Dr. Cole says prevention of diabetic ulcers is the next frontier of this therapy.

Reimbursement for this therapy is available from most insurance.

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