Wound HealingThe natural healing of a wound can be divided into three phases: the inflammatory phase, the proliferatory phase and the remodelling phase.
This step may have unpleasant effects because it causes pain, but the inflammatory phase is necessary for tissue repair. First, in the area of the wound, there appear platelets and white blood cells. Then, there is a peak in the number of macrophages. These cells will clean the area and remove all of the dead tissue. In addition, they also release products (“factors”) which will stimulate the second step of wound healing, namely proliferation.
This is the formation of “granulation tissue”. There is an activation of fibroblasts and angiogenesis. Angiogenesis is the production of new capillaries (small blood vessels). Fibroblasts are connective tissue cells which form the basis of new tissue. A special kind of fibroblast is the myofibroblast. This cell can contract itself like a smooth muscle cell. In this manner, the surface of the wound will diminish in size (wound contraction).
This is the final step of wound contraction.
What happens when a laser is placed on an open wound?
The laser accelerates the different phases, such that only the pleasant and necessary components of the inflammation are preserved. A shorter inflammatory reaction causes less pain. Laser stimulates the fibroblasts during the proliferatory phase. Laser speeds up angiogenesis and causes temporary vasodilation (i.e.: the diameter of the blood vessels increase in size).
In this fashion, nutrients can be supplied more easily. (i.e.: Greater blood flow equals greater oxygen and fuel molecules to the area and hence a greater production of Adenosine Tri-phosphate (ATP), the basic energy source of a cell). In angiogenesis, the final result is a greater number of blood vessels, through the growth of new tissue. Laser also accelerates the absorption of a haematoma through the stimulation of prostacyclin.
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