Across Europe, physicians and patients are discovering that ThermiVa® from Thermi, an Almirall company (Dallas, Texas, U.S.), fulfills an unmet need in the areas of aesthetics and medical vaginal health. Invasive procedures like labiaplasty and vaginoplasty, along with bladder and prolapse surgeries, typically require lengthy and oftentimes painful recoveries, as well as serious complications. With the ThermiVa, women now have a non-surgical option.
This non-invasive feminine rejuvenation device employs controlled radiofrequency (RF)-based energy to address both external (labial) and internal (vaginal) laxity; as well as mild to moderate stress incontinence / overactive bladder; sexual or orgasmic dysfunction; atrophic vaginitis; and prolapse, in which the procedure tightens tissues resulting in a pulling in of the prolapse organs.
“ThermiVa completely fits in with my everyday work regarding women’s health and sexual wellness,” expressed Dinko Kaliterna, M.D., a dermatovenerologist in Zagreb, Croatia. “The device’s efficacy is amazing. It is a total solution for internal and external vaginal rejuvenation. Patients not only become healthier, they become more self-assured. As soon as women find out that ThermiVa does not involve any surgery, they want it. The device pays for itself very quickly in a market that is exploding.”
The unit’s S-shaped handpiece contracts external and internal vulvovaginal tissue, while a minimally invasive probe monitors tissue temperature. ThermiVa patients receive a series of three treatments followed by a recommended yearly maintenance program. ThermiVa is part of the company’s ThermiRF™ energy-based aesthetic platform, which can be utilized for rejuvenation of the face, neck and body.
Rafal Kuzlik, M.D., Ph.D., an obstetrics and gynecology specialist in Warsaw, Poland, had been performing feminine rejuvenation using a CO2 laser until he discovered ThermiVa.
“The laser worked, but I wanted to achieve better outcomes,” he said. “ThermiVa doesn’t fire like a laser. There is no making holes in the tissue as a laser would. Best of all, ThermiVa provides improved results that can be compared with a labiaplasty, and is safe with no downtime. So, I sold the CO2 laser.”
The ThermiVa probe is very thin, Dr. Kuzlik added, “Making it flexible for the physician and very comfortable for the patient. I have a group of patients that I treated with ThermiVa for incontinence, sexual dysfunction and vaginal laxity, and the results were really incredible. And now I am investigating the treatment of Lichen Sclerosus using ThermiVa.”
Dr. Kaliterna has found that the procedure is very popular with post-pregnancy and menopausal women. “For me, a primary goal with ThermiVa is to prevent urinary incontinence after childbirth, recover the damaged connective tissue and prepare the patient for her next delivery. In addition, ThermiVa procedures tend to improve the quality of sexual intercourse for many women, even if they don’t have children. Many say that the procedure improved their marriage,” he said.
Unsurprisingly, patient satisfaction is very good, added Dr. Kaliterna. “Establishing patient expectations is important, as is creating a relaxed atmosphere in which the patient feels free to describe her problems,” he expressed. “When a patient comes to you with vaginal laxity and some sexual issues that have occurred because of that laxity, the physician must be sensitive and bring a good bedside manner. Some patients will be nervous and worried about the pain. The patient experiences no pain, just a warm feeling.”
Patient comfort has also been consistently high, he added, “Because ThermiVa is 100% safe with no side effects, which means a lot to both the practitioner and the patient. We cannot say that for the laser treatments we’ve used for feminine rejuvenation.”
In addition, the patient demographic for ThermiVa is sizeable, noted Dr. Kuzlik. “In my clinic, the average age is 25 to 60 years old. However, I have been treating younger and much older patients, as well. Increasingly, women over 60 desire this treatment because they want to live life to its fullest, and ThermiVa makes that real,” he said.
At the clinic level, ThermiVa is as easy to learn as it is to use, mentioned Dr. Kaliterna. “You do not need a highly trained staff member to perform the ThermiVa procedure,” he said. “It does not require a lot of training. From a business sense the physician will certainly succeed with this treatment, and in the process will make money with this platform.”
Clinical training comes with the purchase price, noted Dr. Kuzlik. “I’m one of the trainers in Europe. When you buy ThermiVa, we will meet and work together on two patients at the same time. While I’m performing the treatment on one, the physician is following along on the other patient. These are not difficult procedures to learn so the learning curve is very short. Mechanically and technically, the device itself is very simple to operate.”
Considering all of ThermiVa’s positive attributes and the built-in patient pool of millions of women desiring non-surgical feminine rejuvenation, “the market potential is huge,” expressed Dr. Kaliterna. “ThermiRF provides a great result for face and neck rejuvenation. Combined with ThermiVa, we can offer a total body package that appeals to a lot of people.”
Dr. Kuzlik agreed, adding, “My dream is to be able to treat every woman after childbirth to prevent incontinence. In addition, ThermiVa offers gynecologists and aesthetic physicians an excellent solution that is in high demand.
“It also gives women a choice,” Dr. Kuzlik pointed out. “They no longer have to resort to surgeries to address common symptoms. It is only a matter of time before feminine rejuvenation with ThermiVa will become a standard procedure for every women to improve their sexual wellness, as well as give them a renewed sense of self-confidence.”