Tag Archives: varicose veins

Varicose Vein Treatment Offers Multi-Million Savings For Hard-Pressed NHS

As the pressure on the NHS to find efficiency savings increases, several trusts are looking to adopt a pioneering approach to varicose vein treatment that saves resources, while improving patient outcomes.

If adopted by all hospitals, The VNUS Closure procedure for the treatment of varicose veins, endorsed by the NHS National Innovation Centre, could save the health service around £17million.

The major benefits for the NHS lie in the fact that this procedure is much less resource-intensive than surgery. Conventional varicose vein stripping is a common operation, and one that takes up a great deal of operating theatre time.

The VNUS Closure procedure, however, can be carried-out in a treatment room, freeing up surgical theatres, enabling the NHS to treat other serious conditions more quickly and so reduce waiting-times.

It is said that as many as one in three adults in the UK suffers from venous reflux or varicose veins at some point in their life, and varicose vein treatment is one of the most common hospital procedures.

Almost 90,000 varicose vein operations were carried-out by the NHS in 2005-06, while approximately 20,000 similar operations were conducted privately, producing a total of around 110,000 procedures per year.

As long ago as 1999, a study conducted by the University of Edinburgh, put the total cost to the NHS at between £400m and £600m.

It is difficult to compare accurately the direct costs of conventional surgery and VNUS Closure. However, as the procedure is carried out under local anaesthetic without an overnight stay, and performed with minimal staff in a simple treatment room, this technique offers significant benefits for the NHS.

Cost savings are estimated to be between £40 and £450 per patient, depending on whether or not the patient requires an overnight stay.

The VNUS Closure is also expected to bring benefits to the wider economy, with patients being able to return to work almost immediately after their procedure with little or no pain.

Via EPR Network
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Pioneering Varicose Vein Treatment Gets Patients Back On Their Feet In No Time

Varicose veins can be painful and unsightly, with treatment often meaning surgery under general anaesthetic and a long recovery period.

While the traditional surgical approach has meant painful vein stripping, many UK hospitals now offer minimally invasive catheter technology that enables even severe varicose veins to be successfully treated in an outpatient setting, under a local anaesthetic.

Taking just a few minutes, a device is inserted into the diseased vein, where a catheter or fibre delivers either radio frequency or laser energy to heat and seal the vessel. The technique is extremely successful and far less painful and traumatic to the patient than vein stripping.

Endovenous laser (EVL) devices utilise an optical fibre to deliver extremely high levels of heat – over 700 degrees centigrade – that boils the blood in the vein to create a clotting effect that seals the vein as the device is withdrawn.

Radiofrequency devices operate at far lower temperatures to heat and shrink the vein walls, limiting the impact on surrounding tissues and, according to a clinical study, causing significantly less pain and bruising than laser.

Vascular surgeons using the VNUS® ClosureFAST™ catheter, the only radiofrequency device on the market today for the treatment of venous reflux, report that most patients return to normal activity almost immediately following the procedure, with little or no post-operative pain.

Radiofrequency endovenous ablation is a minimally invasive procedure for treating venous reflux disease, using Radiofrequency to heat and seal diseased veins, thereby reducing or eliminating existing varicose veins.

With the VNUS® ClosureFAST™ catheter, radiofrequency energy is delivered through a heating element seven centimetres long, to heat the collagen within the vein walls and cause the shrinkage and collapse of the vessel.

The closure procedure is generally performed using local anaesthesia, typically in a hospital theatre or an outpatient facility.

A ClosureFAST™ catheter is inserted into the vein through a tiny incision below the knee. Guided by ultrasound imaging, the vascular surgeon treats each 7cm segment of vein with a 20-second burst of radiofrequency energy, causing the vessel to shrink around the catheter.

The vascular surgeon withdraws the catheter, treating each segment until the entire vessel has been sealed. On average, 45cm of vein can be treated in three to five minutes.

In a clinical trial comparing Closure to laser, patients treated with Closure experienced less pain, less bruising and fewer complications, while a
one-year clinical data has shown the ClosureFAST™ catheter to be more than 97.4% effective in preventing reflux recurrence.

Via EPR Network
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Revolutionary Treatment Could Mean End For Varicose Vein Surgery

A revolutionary new treatment for varicose veins is proving a successful alternative to surgery.

The VNUS ClosureFast catheter is a minimally invasive alternative treatment, which doctors claim, results in less pain and bruising than traditional vein stripping surgery.

Using the Closure system, doctors close the diseased veins by inserting the closure catheter into a vein and heating the vein wall using temperature-controlled RF energy. As it is catheter-based, it results in little to no scarring.

Heating the vein wall causes collagen in the wall to shrink and the vein to close. After the vein is sealed shut, blood then naturally reroutes to healthy veins.

Dr Thomas Proebstle, a dermatologist and expert in venous diseases, said: “Beauty treatments and aesthetic surgery is on the increase all over the world. Quite often, this is associated with risky procedures, some pain and lengthy courses of wound healing.

“With this new, less-invasive approach, the procedure is much more gentle and smoother. The risks are much lower and the pain is kept to a low level, plus it can be administered under local anesthetic.”

Dr Proebstle, who is Professor for Dermatology at University of Pecs in Hungary, added: “Obviously this type of treatment does not need to be performed in a theatre or hospital, which improves its cost-effectiveness. It can easily be performed in an outpatient setting with the right medical facilities.”

The results of a recently published three-year-study carried out at eight european centres, which involved 225 outpatients, showed a huge success rate for the treatment.

The study showed that between 12 and 24 months after the treatment, 96.4 per cent of patients reported they had no pain. After 24 months, that number had increased to more than 99 per cent.

Via EPR Network
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VNUS Closure Procedure to save NHS ‘millions’

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.

Via EPR Network
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