Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy reduced the pain associated with postsurgical breast augmentation surgery by 87%, with a corresponding reduction in pain medication, according to a report published in the July 2008 issue of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
The article details the use of Ivivi Technologies’ portable and disposable noninvasive PEMF device in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled pilot study of 40 healthy women undergoing breast augmentation surgery with implants.
Twelve women received bilateral PEMF therapy (a coil delivered PEMF signal for each breast), 14 received sham therapy (neither coil delivered signal), and 14 received contralateral therapy (each patient had one active and one sham treatment in each breast).
For each patient, two battery-powered coils—delivering either PEMF signals or no signal—were placed inside compression bras. Once activated, the PEMF device automatically provided a 30-minute treatment on a regular schedule for 8 days. Sham devices operated on the same schedule, but delivered no signal. Pain data was measured using a Visual Analog Scale (VAS) from 1 to 100, which was recorded by each patient twice daily throughout the study. Patients were asked to rate their pain for each breast. Postoperative pain medication use also was monitored for each patient.
The mean starting VAS score for all breasts in all cohorts directly after surgery was approximately 53. By 3 days after surgery (POD3), pain had decreased in the treated group (whether bilateral or contralateral) to approximately 28.5 on the VAS scale, versus approximately 40.2 for the sham group.
There was little difference between pain measurements for patients receiving treatment in both breasts and those receiving it in one breast only. Researchers theorize that this is because the sham coil may have captured up to 60% of the signal from the treated breast.
For the data analysis, the cumulative daily pain measurements were plotted for each group, and the slope of the group receiving treatment was compared with that of the placebo group. Mean daily cumulative pain measurements in patients receiving therapy decreased approximately 87% faster than those in the placebo group. Pill count for all patients in the study started out the same, but decreased in the active cohort from approximately 6.2 pills to 3.1 by POD 3, and to 4.9 for the sham group.
[Source: Ivivi Technologies/Aesthetic Plastic Surgery]