offers new treatment for varicose veins
THERE are many treatments available for varicose veins and
Frank Mason, Consultant Vascular Surgeon at Southport & Ormskirk
Hospital NHS Trust has just introduced a new technique called
EndoVenous Laser Treatment (EVLT). One of its main advantages is
that it can be performed under local anaesthesia.
Mavis Husbands, of Knowsley Road, Southport was the first patient to
benefit from this new treatment under local anaesthetic earlier this
month. She commented afterwards; "It all went very well and I
feel fine. The great thing is that I have not had to stay in
overnight as I came in this morning and will being going home this
Frank Mason added:- "Because it can be done under local
anaesthetic, it has the advantages of allowing "walk-in,
walk-out" surgery with the operation lasting less than an hour.
There is no need for patients to stay in hospital overnight after
the procedure, and the patient has a much shorter, less painful,
recovery time, as a groin incision is not required. Patients will be
able to return to work and resume their usual activities much
An ultrasound probe is used to guide the insertion of a laser fibre
into the vein to be treated. This is done through a very small
incision, usually below the knee, and usually only 2-3 mm long.
When it is in the correct place, the laser is switched on. The laser
light heats the blood almost instantaneously, forming steam bubbles.
These bubbles transfer the heat to the vein wall, destroying it and
causing the vein to close. Once this has happened, the surface veins
can be treated by simple removal (phlebotomy) or injection (sclerotherapy).
Mr Mason went on:- "EVLT reduces the possibility of a
postoperative wound infection and is less likely to cause bruising
in the thigh, as the vein is not stripped out. Elderly patients may
also benefit, as they may previously have been unsuitable for a
traditional varicose vein procedure under general anaesthesia.
Recurrence rates should also be reduced. However, not everyone's
veins are suitable for this procedure, so each case must be
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THE REGION'S only air emergency service and registered
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for further details about the NWAA please visit their
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