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New 60-minute treatment for varicose veins takes pain away

PUBLISHED: 14:05 10 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:41 05 October 2010

PATIENTS needing treatment for varicose veins can now be in and out of hospital in an hour due to a unique operation in East London. A new treatment is being given at the Royal London’s outpatients’ department in Whitechapel which allows them to walk out within an hour of the operation and with only a tiny scar

By Gemma Collins

PATIENTS needing treatment for varicose veins can now be in and out of hospital in an hour due to a unique operation in East London.

A new treatment is being given at the Royal London’s outpatients’ department in Whitechapel which allows them to walk out within an hour of the operation and with only a tiny scar.

The first patient to undergo the treatment was 54-year-old Mina Patel, who has had varicose veins in her left leg due to circulatory problems. She hasn’t had a good night’s sleep or been able to take a holiday abroad for two years.

PAIN

“The constant pain was similar to the most severe labour pain,” she said.

“I had to spend a lot of time sitting down to rest my leg.

“The operation was over quite quickly. I have felt next to no pain since and now have my life back.”

Consultant Surgeon Paul Flora who carried out the operation says the treatment helps cut the time patients have to wait for all types of surgery.

VALVES

He said: “It reduces treatment and recovery time while freeing up our operating theatres and the wards.”

Varicose veins affects around one-in-five of the adult population. It is caused by tiny valves which force blood back up towards the heart not working efficiently.

But surgeons at the Royal London performed the first operation last week in which a catheter was inserted that delivered heat to the wall of the diseased vein, rather than remove it, causing it to contract and seal shut. The blood is then re-routed to other healthy veins.


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