Medical Leech Treatment, Hirudotherapy

Table of Contents

Medical leech therapy is a treatment method using live leeches used for medical purposes. These leeches secrete special enzymes and substances that have therapeutic effects by preventing blood clotting and reducing pain.

The most common type of medicinal leech is Hirudo medicinalis.

Table of Contents

  • Why Use Medical Leeches?
  • What are the Properties of Medical Leeches?
  • For Which Diseases is Leech Therapy Useful?
  • Are There Risks in Leech Treatment?
  • Is Leech Treatment Effective in Calcification?
  • Is Leech Treatment Effective in Varicose Veins?
  • Is Leech Treatment Effective in Hernia Pain?
  • What Should Be Considered After Leech Treatment?

Why Use Medical Leeches?

The saliva of medicinal leeches has anticoagulant and anti-inflammatory properties, thus preventing blood clotting and reducing inflammation.

Most of the enzymes secreted by medicinal leeches are anticoagulants, i.e. enzymes that prevent blood clotting. These enzymes include substances such as hirudin, calabin, destabilase and factor Xa inhibitor. In addition to these enzymes, medicinal leeches also secrete some anti-inflammatory enzymes, including enzymes such as hyaluronidase, collagenase and elastase.

This is how medicinal leeches,

  1. Improves blood circulation: The anticoagulants secreted by medicinal leeches help blood circulate better by preventing blood clotting. This helps tissues to receive more oxygen and nutrients.
  2. Anti-inflammatory effect: Some enzymes secreted by leeches have anti-inflammatory properties. Thanks to these properties, leeches help to reduce inflammatory conditions and relieve pain. It is effectively used in rheumatic diseases, arthritis, muscle-joint pain.
  3. Accelerates wound healing: The substances secreted by medical leeches help wounds to heal. These substances help wounds heal faster by increasing blood circulation and showing anti-inflammatory effects.
  4. Used in the treatment of varicose veins: Medical leeches are also used to treat varicose veins. Varicose veins are enlarged veins that cause blood to pool in the legs and reduce circulation. The anticoagulant enzymes of leeches help blood circulate better, increase fluidity and reduce varicose veins.
  5. It is effective in pain relief and is used in migraine treatment: Calicrein, another enzyme secreted by medicinal leeches, reduces pain. These properties are especially useful in cases such as post-operative pain, headache and migraine.
  6. Regenerates tissue: Hyaluronidase, another enzyme secreted by medicinal leeches, accelerates the healing process of wounds.

Tıbbi Sülüklerin Özellikleri Nelerdir?

Medical leeches do not have teeth in their mouth. Instead, leeches have three jaws in their mouths, which are sharp and thin. These jaws help the leeches to pierce the skin and suck the blood.

Leech Treatment has been applied by many important people in history:

Leech therapy has been practiced by many famous people in history. Some of these are as follows:

  1. Napoleon Bonaparte: Napoleon preferred leech treatment for wounds he received in battles.
  2. Cleopatra, Queen of Alexandria: Cleopatra practiced leech therapy for beauty. She also believed that leeches cured diseases.
  3. George Washington: George Washington, the first president of the United States, preferred leech therapy to treat his wounds.
  4. Sultan Abdulhamid II: Sultan Abdulhamid II, who lived in the late Ottoman Empire, used leech therapy for health problems such as asthma and rheumatism.
  5. Florence Nightingale: British nurse and social reformer Florence Nightingale preferred leech therapy to treat wounded soldiers during the Crimean War.

Which diseases is leech treatment useful for?

  • Vascular occlusion
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Varicose veins
  • Hernia Pain
  • Strains, Sprains, Injuries
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis (Calcification)
  • Thrombophlebitis (inflammation of the veins)
  • Migraine
  • Sinusitis
  • Epilepsy
  • Multiple sclerosis

Are There Risks in Leech Treatment?

Leech treatment is an extremely safe procedure if certain points are taken into consideration and if it is performed by a qualified health professional.

First, it is important to make sure that the leeches are grown in healthy and sterile conditions. The production and maintenance of leeches should be done in hygienic and sterilized environments.

Before using leeches, the skin of the treatment area should be disinfected. Disinfecting the site of the leech bite reduces the risk of infection.

Healthcare professionals practicing hirudotherapy should wear gloves and other protective equipment during the use of leeches. Thus, the risk of infection during treatment can be reduced.

Is Leech Treatment Effective in Arthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a condition caused by the deterioration and wear and tear of the cartilage tissue in the joints. This causes inflammation and pain in the joints. Leech therapy is used to alleviate the symptoms of arthritis, based on the effect of certain substances secreted by leeches that increase blood flow and reduce inflammation.

The most important substance secreted by leeches is an anticoagulant known as hirudin. This substance prevents blood clotting and increases blood flow. In addition, some other substances secreted by leeches also have an anti-inflammatory effect. In particular, histamine and prostaglandins secreted by leeches have an anti-inflammatory effect and reduce pain and swelling.

Leech therapy helps cartilage tissue to heal by increasing blood flow in the joints and increasing the transportation of oxygen and nutrients in the tissues. In addition, some substances secreted by leeches have a pain-relieving effect by affecting nerve endings.

Is Leech Treatment Effective in Varicose Veins?

Yes, hirudin, a special enzyme secreted by leeches, helps prevent blood clotting and helps reduce symptoms caused by varicose veins, such as swelling, pain and cramping.

Symptoms such as pain, swelling and redness in varicose veins are often the result of inflammation, so leech therapy helps to reduce these symptoms.

Leech therapy is usually administered in several sessions and each session lasts approximately 20-50 minutes.

The total duration of the treatment also depends on the severity of the person’s varicose veins and the severity of their symptoms. For some people, a few sessions of leech treatment may be sufficient, while others may need more sessions.

Is Leech Treatment Effective in Hernia Pain?

Yes, Hernia pain is usually caused by pinched or damaged nerves. Leech treatment is carried out by placing leeches on the area causing the pain. When the leeches bite, the anticoagulants and anti-inflammatory components in their saliva increase blood circulation, reducing inflammation and relieving pain.

In addition, cupping therapy, Prolotherapy, acupuncture and ozone therapy are applied by our specialist physician in our center for hernia pain.

What Should Be Considered After Leech Treatment?

sülük tedavisi sonrasında bazı dikkat edilmesi gereken noktalar vardır:

  1. Bleeding Bleeding may occur after a leech bite. Therefore, it should be checked whether the bleeding stops after leech treatment. In leech treatment performed by an expert and experienced team in our center, special dressings are made and the leech treatment area is closed and it is ensured that it does not bleed.
  2. Hygiene Hygiene is very important during leech treatment. Leeches should be kept under sterile conditions and applied in a hygienic environment. In addition, the materials used after leech treatment should also be kept under hygienic conditions.
  3. Medications: Some medications may increase the risk of bleeding after leech treatment. For this reason, you should definitely consult your healthcare professional about the medications you use before leech treatment. For this reason, we strongly recommend a physician control before having leech treatment.

Since the day our center was opened, countless leech treatments have been applied and successful results have been achieved in many diseases.

For information and appointment: +90 505 758 84 06

Dr. Burak Aydın

Uzm. Dr. Burak Aydın

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