As the NHS faces budget restrictions, a non-surgical treatment for varicose veins (http://www.vnus.co.uk) has the potential to save the NHS millions of pounds.
Government ministers have promised that frontline services will be protected from cuts, but the NHS Confederation believes that this is unlikely to be achieved given the scale of the savings needed.
It estimates that the health service will have to make savings of £20bn over the next four years, as demand for healthcare continues to grow but increases in funding come to an end.
It is estimated that the VNUS Closure Procedure could potentially save the NHS £17 million, while helping 7,000 patients avoid further treatment due to failed alternative methods.
“This procedure has enabled many NHS Trusts throughout the country to take a very common operation out of the operating theatre and into treatment rooms, helping to free-up theatres for other cases,” said, Michael Branagan-Harris, Group Manager for NHS Medical Device Market Access For Innovative Medical Devices.
The VNUS Closure Procedure involves a hospital stay of just a couple of hours, treatment under local, rather than general anaesthetic, and a much faster recovery time.
Most patients undergoing a VNUS procedure walk out of the treatment room unaided and are usually able to return home and resume work within a day, with little or no pain.
For the NHS, the procedure is also much less resource-intensive than surgery. Conventional varicose vein stripping is a common operation, taking-up a great deal of operating theatre time.
For same costs, a further 25,000 patients could be treated earlier and avoid pain, or discomfort.
As the VNUS Closure procedure can be carried-out in a treatment room, it has the potential to free-up theatre-time, enabling the NHS to treat other serious conditions more quickly and so reduce waiting-times.