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New in My Practice: Devices
With Jennifer L. Walden, MD
diVa for Vaginal Rejuvenation
In each edition, Modern Aesthetics®asks top cosmetic physicians about the newest devices in their practices. This month, we spoke with Austin, Texas- based plastic surgeon Jennifer L. Walden, MD, about diVa by Sciton, a new hybrid laser technology developed to treat vaginal tissue.
What is diVa?
diVa is a vaginal rejuvenation device utilizing the world’s first hybrid fractional laser (HALO) to resurface and tighten the internal vagina. diVa is available on the JOULE platform, which offers multiple modules to treat a wide range of conditions. Other available non-invasive vaginal rejuvenation therapies use radiofrequency and have longer treatment times with more motion and gel lubricant involved, which can be a little embarrassing for women given the sensitive nature of treatments.
Speaking of this “sensitive nature,” how do you bring up vaginal rejuvenation with your patients?
I think patients feel comfortable discussing these conditions within my practice because I have an all female staff and we all can relate. As a mother of twins, I clearly can understand the issues they are having, and I think that point in and of itself comforts them. My staff and I have undergone the treatments so we can all speak to their efficacy and efficiency. It is becoming a less taboo subject because women now have more options available to them for these issues and we feel more free to discuss them with our friends and our health care providers. The visuals of these intimate areas we see on social media, print and TV also make the topic more acceptable for discussion. In reality, very many women experience these conditions after childbirth and in the past there wasn't much to do except maybe Kegel exercises or surgery if the symptoms were advanced. Mild-to-moderate stress urinary incontinence and vaginal laxity after childbearing are such common occurrences, and we now have a noninvasive solution that is very well tolerated and offers no downtime.
How Do you USE diVa in practice?
With diVa, we are able to address issues of vaginal laxity which can translate into improvements in sexual function and satisfaction and mild-to-moderate stress urinary incontinence. Patients typically require around one to three procedures spaced every 4 weeks apart, followed by a maintenance treatment every 6 to 12 months. Each treatment takes about 3 to 5 minutes. We can use the SkinTyte laser for the external labial laxity to tighten the area as well if patients aren't candidates for labiaplasty surgery or just don't want a surgical procedure. SkinTyte is also available on the JOULE platform. We also use diVa in conjunction with surgical labiaplasty that I perform in the OR under anesthesia to enhance the internal tightness of the vagina along with the aesthetic labial reduction procedure.
Are patients satisfied with results?
We have had a great response and the feedback has been nothing but positive so far. But, the device is new to the market, and many patients still haven't even finished their cycle of two to three treatments so we still need to see what the future holds. In my practice, we administer a patient satisfaction questionnaire before and after every cycle, so we can monitor the results and see how the patient grades the result of each issue they have sought treatment for. We have not had any complaints, complications, or patients asking for refunds with this device, so that’s a definite plus! Many patients report improvement after one or two treatments with internal tightening and urinary leakage with laughing or jumping.
How has your return on investment with this device been?
ROI from the diVa has been good so far, and therefore it will remain in my practice. I can operate in my office OR several feet away from my medspa, while my laser specialist can help women with real issues as well as generate passive income for the practice.