Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Surgery-free treatment for varicose veins

Share this history on :

People suffering from varicose veins can soon enjoy a better quality of life, with a Beijing hospital launching a project to introduce minimally invasive treatments to more Chinese doctors.

Compared with vein stripping surgery, the new treatments, such as TriVex, radio frequency and laser, have many advantages including shorter hospital stays, smaller surgical wounds, faster recovery and no scarring, according to Liu Peng, chief of cardio-vascular surgery at the China-Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing.

Surgery-free treatment for varicose veins

The hospital is cooperating with InaVein Llc and VNUS Inc from the United States, as well as Diomed Inc from the United Kingdom, to set up the TriVex, RFO (radiofrequency endoveous occlusion) and EVLT (endovenous laser treatment) training centers. It will hold the first training class on minimally invasive treatment for 193 doctors, mainly from northern China.

Varicose veins, or varicosities, is a common ailment. According to the latest report by the National Health Screening in China, approximately 100 million people suffer from varicosities.

The number of patients afflicted with varicose veins of the lower limbs accounts for 40 percent of the total.

Varicosities is related to the blockage in veins which happens when venous blood flows back to the heart; it appears as lumpy, winding vessels just below the surface of the skin, Dr Liu explains.

Standing for long period increases pressure in the veins in the legs, and they have to work harder to pump blood back upwards to the heart.

Sometimes this pressure can break the valves in the veins which should only let the blood go one way - toward the heart. This means blood can collect in pools in the veins.

If things continue this way, the veins grow thicker and longer, and twist, finally leading to varicosities.

Being overweight, major surgery and pregnancy can also trigger varicosities, Liu adds.

Surgery has been the most common treatment for varicosities patients. "Chinese people call the treatment '18 cuts' due to its time-consuming and painful process," Liu says.

Patients were so scared to undergo surgery that they would rather endure the pain of varicosities.

The past 10 years have seen great progress in minimally invasive treatment by American, German and British scientists, which have basically replaced the traditional treatment of "18 cuts".

Now, minimally invasive technologies such as RFO and EVLT are spreading in the US and Europe, and increasingly more hospitals in big Chinese cities are adopting these technologies.

The training center at the China-Japan Friendship Hospital will hold classes every year and will invite doctors from all parts of the country.

taken from : China Daily

No comments: