Near Infrared Therapy and Wound Healing

One of our associates here at Sunlighten recently had her gallbladder removed by laparoscopic surgery. After her surgery, she ran a little experiment as her incisions healed – using near infrared (NIR) heat from an mPulse heater. Would near infrared heat therapy help her wounds heal faster and/or better?

Now, this was admittedly not a scientific experiment or clinical study but nonetheless, it was a case study with very interesting results!

The associate is a 32 year old female who received daily 80-second NIR treatments from a Sunlighten LED array on 3 wounds resulting from the removal of her gallbladder by laparoscopic surgery. Her operation occurred on September 17, 2010; NIR treatments began on September 22, 2010.

The wounds were labeled A, B, C and D. Wounds of special note were A – the control site and C – the site from which her gallbladder was removed. Because of the irregular shape of the wounds, precise measurements were not possible, but the wounds were treated and photographed to track the healing process.

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Location of Wounds

As can be seen in the chart below and following photos, healing of the wounds treated with NIR was visibly faster. In fact, even the highly damaged Area C (treated with NIR) healed before the untreated control (Area A).

control doc pic scar deduction

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Although this particular experiment was not scientific, NASA has actually conducted studies which concluded that NIR LED light significantly promotes faster cell regeneration, wound healing and human tissue growth. Human cell growth increased by 155%-171% in some cases and wound size decreased by 36%.*

Sunlighten’s Solocarbon Custom Spectrum is the only heater on the market capable of producing near infrared (NIR) light, using LED technology. This is the same technology used in NASA’s scientific research that concluded NIR therapy greatly enhances the wound healing process. It was fun to see the technology in action here in our own offices!

* Whelan et al; Effect of NASA Light Emitting Diode Irradiation and Wound Healing. Journal of Clinical Laser Medicine & Surgery, Volume 19, Number 6, 2001, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc, pp. 305-314.

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