PSH: I’m here today with Matt from High Tech Laser and we’re going to talk to you about the MonaLisa Touch which is a laser treatment for vaginal regeneration. So thank you for taking the time today, Matt. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
Matt: Mona Lisa Touch is a new treatment for symptoms related to vaginal atrophy – things that many women will experience in their life – more than 50% of women. It’s symptoms that are often related to menopause but not necessarily only for women going through menopause and after menopause. So the most common symptoms that we’re treating are dryness… so, vaginal dryness and that can be caused by menopause and a thinning of the vaginal wall but also women that are breast feeding after pregnancy. When they have given birth they often get vaginal dryness because of the changes in their hormones during the period of breastfeeding and that can lead to painful intercourse which is probably the other most common symptom that we’re treating. So it’s called dyspareunia – but the common term is painful intercourse. And then some other things like vaginal laxity, itchiness and burning. And then, some patients also report improvements in stress urinary incontinence or mild stress incontinence. And a few other symptoms as well but primarily we’re using it for dryness and painful intercourse.
PSH: Ok great. So it’s also, I’ve known someone who has had really good success with it for; they’re having a bit of a cough, and they have a bit of accidental leakage… it’s helped for that as well.
Matt: Well, yes so that’s the stress incontinence. So, the things like dryness and painful intercourse has very good published research showing the evidence and showing the level of improvement we can get and it’s very consistent in that way. For stress incontinence it’s something where at the moment there isn’t good published research, but many of the patients that are having treatments for other things like dryness and intercourse are also reporting that they see improvements in their mild stress incontinence as well.
PSH: Great, fantastic. Well, if you want to know anything else about it, I’m real advocate for this product because I’ve actually had the treatment myself and it was actually a catalyst to help me fix something that I’ve had an issue with for over 20 years. So, I know all about it and there’s plenty gynaecologists and plastic surgeons around Australia that have got the device that are offering the treatments as well, so don’t be frightened and don’t think that there’s not something out there you don’t actually have to put up with what you’re putting up with.
Matt: Yeah, that’s an important point because many of these symptoms are things that previously have been difficult to treat. So some patients use oestrogen cream and for some patients that works well but for other patients compliance is a problem because it’s not very nice to have to use it. Also, with some patients it doesn’t work and other patients who have previously had breast cancer they are contraindicated… most doctors would recommend that they don’t have oestrogen. One of the most important things to remember is the treatment only takes a few minutes, for almost all patients the treatment is painless or a very mild discomfort at the most. Post operatively very little complications if any, most patients won’t have any post operative experience other than maybe a little bit of warmth for 12 to 24 hours afterwards. Some patients will have a little bit of spotting but most patients really not any side effects afterwards at all. It’s important to remember that patients need to plan on having 3 treatments. So 3 treatments, 4 to 6 weeks apart is a typical protocol. And if the patients see a nice improvement through those 3 treatments then they probably need to plan of having treatment in every year or so to maintain the improvement. So, it’s not a permanent improvement but you need the three to really get up to a really high level of improvement and then you can normally maintain it with a treatment every year or so. Everyone is a bit different so some patients will need 2 treatments a year to maintain it and others might need a treatment every 2 years. But the nice thing is because it’s a minimally invasive treatment and so well tolerated by the patient that between the doctor and the patient they can work out for themselves, between the 2 of them, when the right time is to have another treatment. Whether to have it to avoid the symptoms coming back or they wait until the beginning of the symptoms and then go again. Also, it can be used in conjunction with oestrogen cream. So some patients would use oestrogen cream when the mild dryness starts to come back, and then have their MonaLisa when the painful intercourse starts to come back so they can manage and combine the 2 to suit what they want to do and suit their lifestyle.
PSH: Ok. And from a personal point of view I’m really scared of lasers ‘cause lasers actually hurt to me, but this is actually, totally was for me, totally pain free. So it was actually quite mind blowing.
Matt: Yes, so the reason for that is, the kind of laser energy, the way it is delivered… and in reality, I mean, a very small portion of the vaginal skin is treated in any one treatment. So, most patients describe the treatment as a vibration so they can feel the probe going in. But once the laser energy is delivered it just feels like a vibration. Some patients get a small sting right near the end of the treatment but that really tells us that we’re at the end of the treatment, only lasts for half of a second or a quarter of a second and it’s gone and that’s the end of the treatment.
PSH: Fantastic. Well, thank you very much. Don’t overlook this, it is an amazing treatment. So, thank you so much Matt for taking the time to talk to us today.
Matt: My pleasure.
PSH: Thank you. If you want to find out more about the MonaLisa or see who actually offers this device around Australia, just drop us an email at email@example.com. Thank you very much!
Matt: My pleasure.