New paper shows fluorescent light energy enhances post mastectomy wound healing in dogs

Managing surgical wound following mastectomy in female dogs can be challenging, with issues such as poor wound healing and post-operative infection often hindering recovery. Peri-operative antibiotics are sometimes prescribed to mitigate these risks. However, a groundbreaking study offers promising results for the use of fluorescent light energy (FLE) in the management of post-operative wounds, revealing improved quality of wound healing, reduced infection risk and a lower home care burden for owners.1 The full study can be read here:

Led by Dr. Andrea Marchegiani, the study investigated the efficacy of a two-part FLE system (Phovia, Vetoquinol) in nine female dogs that had undergone unilateral or bilateral mastectomy for mammary neoplasia. In each dog, half of the wound was managed with FLE, while the remaining half served as the control and received no FLE.

All wound portions managed with FLE showed improved wound healing as assessed by scoring of four parameters: apposition of wound edges, skin contour irregularity, separation of wound margins and scar distortion. Moreover, when taking into account inflammatory indexes such as erythema, oedema, and serous discharge, these were significantly lower for those wound portions managed with FLE.

To assess the potential benefits of FLE in reducing infection risk, swabs were taken for culture and sensitivity three, five and seven days after surgery. The swabs from all FLE-managed wound portions showed no bacterial growth, in contrast to the control wounds, in which three dogs had positive culture results.

Reflecting on the significance of these findings, Dr Marchegiani says, β€œFor many reasons healing of surgical wounds can become challenging, especially after removal of mammary gland lumps. Veterinary clinicians have to face the three-fold challenge of meeting owner expectations of prompt and trouble-free wound healing, recognising those wounds in which healing may be prolonged or impaired and also following the principles of antibiotic stewardship.”

Phovia is a two-part FLE system consisting of a chromophore gel that is applied to the affected skin and a blue light LED lamp. When used together they produce light of varying wavelengths that penetrates the skin to different depths, helping to control bacteria and reduce inflammation on the surface of the skin and stimulating regeneration in the epidermal and dermal layers. The unit is portable, and applications take only four minutes once a week. After diagnosis and subsequent recommendation by a veterinary surgeon, any trained member of the clinical team can use Phovia.

The results of the study underscore the positive impact of FLE on the healing of post-mastectomy wounds in female dogs, offering the dual benefits of reducing potential infection risks and with a reduced risk of post-operative complications, a lessened home care burden for pet owners.

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