January 16, 2013
Stop scarring and boost
healing after surgery
If you're about to have surgery – or ever need surgery – you have to be concerned about scarring. Fortunately, there's an easy step you can take before surgery that will help your body heal properly and reduce scarring. Let me show you how this works.

After an injury, macrophages (white cells which respond to infection and injury) go to bat. However, depending on how these cells function, the process can lead to scarring or healing. This is a first ever study, performed on rodents, that determined whether manipulating the immune system soon after injury would lead to repair instead of scarring. One researcher likened the process to getting the macrophages to perform as a well-tuned symphony (rather than a rogue musician).

Using the cytokine called interleukin 4 (IL-4), the researchers discovered that you can convert the macrophages so they are pro-healing. That means you also can reduce scarring, which prevents injured nerves from properly healing, so a far more desirable repair process sets in!

Three weeks after the injury, IL-4 stimulated nearly complete regrowth of the damaged nerve fibers in "nerve guides." The treated nerve guides had approximately 20 times more nerve regeneration than the control channels, which had no IL-4-treated macrophages.

Previously, researchers used costly nerve growth and scaffolding factors. Now they've shown that a simple inflammation-reducing cytokine (IL-4) can do as well. Your body makes this protein, which helps deliver messages from cell to cell. Of course, the researchers are looking for drugs that can help increase IL-4.

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But you don't have to wait for researchers to develop a drug to deliver IL-4. All you need is access to an oxidation therapy. One of my favorite uses of oxidation therapy is to prepare patients for surgery. Three generations ago, innovative doctors used the Knott ultraviolet blood technique to hasten healing and prevent complications. Immediately after I started doing ozone therapy in 1986, I did the same. Now we know how oxidation can help you heal from surgery and injury. It modulates your immune system.

My ozone mentor, Velio Bocci, MD of Italy, years ago, showed that ozone stimulates IL-4 cytokine production, among others. I have consistently seen my oxidation-treated patients do exceptionally well after surgery. If you do ever need surgery, please visit your local integrative physician who can administer this wonderful therapy. Better that your tissues heal to their maximum extent than have undesirable scarring set in.

Ref: Biomaterials (2012) September 26.

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