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The History of VACUMED® Intermittent Vacuum Therapy

Intermittent Vacuum Therapy with the VACUMED® device represents innovation and state of the art technology in the battle against leg and vascular diseases. The principle of IVT lies in space medicine. No astronaut can do without the lower body negative pressure device (LBNPD) in manned space travel in order to keep fit in the weightlessness of space and maintain the arterial blood supply of the lower extremities. Numerous tests, carried out by NASA and the German Space Agency, verify drastic capillary dilation and capillarisation together with an increase in micro and macroperfusion in the lower extremities even with continual application with negative pressure.

Indications for use

Intermittent Vacuum Therapy is used in internal medicine, angiology, phlebology, cardiology, dermatology and rehabilitation through:
  • Passive vascular training
  • Distinct enhancement of peripheral blood flow
  • Significant improvement of walking distance
  • Pain relieve
  • Lymph drainage
Indications for use include:
  • Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) (venous leg ulcers, varicose veins)
  • Post-thrombotic syndrome
  • Oedema (swelling)
  • Ulcers and non-healing wounds
  • Post-operative / post-traumatic swellings
  • Peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAD / PAOD) (poo circulation)
  • Diabetic neuropathy (burning feet)
  • Chronic pain (legs, back, wounds, arthritis)
  • Enhanced wound healing
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Rehabilitation and recovery of sport and other injuries including fractures
  • Lymphoedema - tissue firming/toning/reshaping/cellulite treatment
VACUMED® functions like a second heart, sucks fresh blood into the feet and legs and pumps used blood or lymph back into the trunk. A pleasant side effect of this “space treatment” is that lymph-dependent waste products, the substances that cause cellulite, are soaked up and excreted. [watch video]
No astronaut can manage without this negative pressure treatment in space. This is because in the weightlessness of space the heart is too weak to supply the legs with sufficient blood as there is no gravity.

Cellulite Treatment

Good news: a tried and tested treatment method developed out of space medicine now also exists for health and figure care.
Cellulite appears in the form of weak connective tissue with furrows and dimples on the skin of the thighs, stomach and buttocks. Cellulite is first to be seen on the thighs, -interior and exterior.
Several stages

The cellulite passes through several stages. The first stage can be detected by the pinch test, only. The 2nd stage only gets visible, when the skin is squeezed e.g. while sitting or while standing or walking on the stage in the sidelight of the spots (“mannequin’s stadium”). The 3rd stadium is always visible.
Cellulite or "dimpled skin " appears in the form of weak connective tissue with ruts and bumps on the skin of the thighs, arms, stomach and buttocks. Most affected are the thighs on the inside - and outside.



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The ankle-brachial pressure index (ABPI) or ankle-brachial index (ABI) is the ratio of the blood pressure at the ankle to the blood pressure in the upper arm (brachium). Compared to the arm, lower blood pressure in the leg is an indication of blocked arteries due to peripheral artery disease (PAD). The ABPI is calculated by dividing the systolic blood pressure at the ankle by the systolic blood pressure in the arm.

The Ankle Brachial Pressure Index (ABPI) test is widely used by a diverse range of practitioners (in the community and hospital setting) in order to screen asymptomatic patients, diagnose patients with clinical symptoms, and to monitor patients who have had radiological or surgical intervention.

With the Dopplex ABIlity Automatic ABI system, Ankle Brachial Index has never been simpler or quicker. Its portability enables measurements to be made more efficiently in the primary care clinic, hospital or patient’s home. This can lead to the prioritisation of clinical services by improving clinical pathways.
ABIs are calculated easily and accurately in 3 minutes without the need to rest the patient. Results are automatically calculated, interpreted and displayed with Pulse Volume waveforms on the LCD panel. The test results can be printed on either thermal paper or adhesive backed label paper via the integral printer



Negative Pressure Wound Therapy


NPWT promotes wound healing by applying a vacuum through a special sealed dressing. The continued vacuum draws out fluid from the wound and increases blood flow to the area. The vacuum may be applied continuously or intermittently, depending on the type of wound being treated and the clinical objectives. Typically, the dressing is changed two to three times per week.

The dressings used for the technique include open-cell foam dressings and gauze, sealed with an occlusive dressing intended to contain the vacuum at the wound site. Several NWPT devices are available in South Africa and a wide variety is used at the Centre according to the patient’s needs. This therapy can be also used on a wide variety of wounds especially in large wounds with high amounts of exudates. NWPT is invaluable in the treatment of the diabetic foot, pressure ulcers and also abdominal wounds.






Total Contact Cast

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A total contact cast is a cast used to treat ulcers (serious, deep sores) on a diabetic’s foot. It consists of a fibreglass shell that fits around your leg and foot very closely. The shell touches your whole foot--that's why it is called a total contact cast.

The cast helps to protect the skin on your foot and eliminates any pressure points. The cast is also applied over the foam wound dressing on the ulcer. This enables the wound to heal through moist wound healing and offloading of pressure. A post-operative shoe is used to protect the cast when standing or walking. The cast is made in such a way that it is removable and that the toes can be inspected at all times.