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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 27 March 2006

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Trust 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 afternoon."

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 sooner."

The Procedure

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).

The Benefits

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 considered individually."

ONLINE SHOPPING WITH THE NORTH WEST AIR AMBULANCE

THE REGION'S only air emergency service and registered charity, North West Air Ambulance (NWAA), has joined forces with buy.at to offer its fundraisers a
unique chance to shop and donate online.

The buy.at scheme allows supporters of the NWAA to make a purchase online for anything, from DIY equipment to DVDs, and the commission earned from the purchase will then be taken out of the retailers' profit margin and donated to the NWAA.

The NWAA webshop has links to over 100 retailers, including Marks & Spencer and John Lewis, and even allows you to find cheaper gas and electricity services, and get great deals on your summer
holidays.

Lynda Brislin, charity chief executive, said:- "We are really pleased to join the buy.at scheme. It's now even easier to support the North West Air Ambulance; just one click of a button and the public can purchase goods and services whilst automatically making a donation. It's fantastic!"

It cost £1.3 million per year to keep this vital service in the sky 7 days a week, 365 days a year across 5,500 square miles serving a residential population of 7 million. The NWAA covers all major road incidents, all serious
sporting accidents and incidents in areas that have poor and restricted road access. On average the NWAA is called out 4 times a day, rising up to 10 in the summer.

To make a purchase from the NWAA webshop please go to shop site, for further details about the NWAA please visit their  information website or to make a donation please call 0800 587 4570.

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