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New Treatment For Varicose Veins

New Treatment For Varicose Veins

Getting your veins done just got easier

Minimal scarring, minimal disruption and minimal recovery time are some of the advantages offered with a superior new laser treatment for varicose veins that has a 98 per cent success rate.

Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) has been introduced to New Zealand by medical supplier New Zealand Medical and Scientific Ltd. The treatment has been available at the Auckland-based Northern Vein Centre since December, where surgeon Rob Fris has already successfully treated 12 patients.

The EVLT procedure involves a very small laser fibre being fed into the major vein in the leg through a single small entry point near the knee, minimising the risk of scarring and infection. The laser fibre is guided by ultrasound and slowly withdrawn over one minute. The heat generated by the laser does not burn but does completely destroy the vein.

Leading New Zealand practitioner, Mr Fris, says the EVLT procedure is very effective and safe, with very few complications.

"After the procedure the patient takes a 20 minute walk around the clinic and can then go home or return to their daily activity," Mr Fris says.

It is estimated about 25 per cent of women and 15 per cent of men suffer from varicose veins. In addition to being unsightly, patients will suffer symptoms ranging in severity from mild discomfort and fatigue, to pain and swelling. If untreated, varicose veins can lead to ulceration.

New Zealand Medical and Scientific joint managing director Richard Plowright says the company is thrilled to make this extremely effective and minimally invasive procedure available to New Zealand varicose vein sufferers. Two health insurance companies, Sovereign and Unimed, currently cover the procedure and Mr Plowright says they are also approaching other companies in the health insurance market.

Mr Fris says other treatments for varicose veins, including surgery, also have excellent results, however it is still surgery and things can go wrong.

"Ultrasound guided sclerotherapy is less invasive but the procedure is a bit like gluing the vein and keeping the sides together with a compression stocking worn for two weeks. The recurrence rate with this procedure, which is increasing, is a big problem," he says.

Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT)

* EVLT is the latest in laser treatment for sufferers of varicose veins.

* Treatment involves only a local anaesthetic. There are no stitches, no hospitalisation and no time off work. Just walk in, walk out.

* The procedure involves a single small entry point near the knee minimising the risk of scarring and infection.

* Patients can return to work, or their daily activity after the procedure.

* New Zealand Medical and Scientific Limited introduced EVLT to New Zealand. Surgeon Rob Fris of Auckland-based The Northern Vein Centre began performing the procedure in December 2002.

* Two insurance companies, Sovereign and Unimed, now cover the procedure. Other insurance companies are also being approached.

About The Northern Vein Centre The Northern Vein Centre is able to offer EVLT as one of four treatment options for large varicose veins. The other three are conservative treatment with compression stockings, surgical and ultrasound guided sclerotherapy.

Mr Fris has already treated 12 patients with EVLT. In addition the centre can now teach other clinicians how to use EVLT.

Rob Fris New Zealander Rob Fris has a background in surgery and teaching. He lived in Vancouver, Canada, for 17 years where he was chief of trauma and breast cancer, and involved in teaching. A need for a change from the stresses associated with his work led him to laparoscopic surgery where his interest in non-invasive techniques started to grow. He returned to New Zealand to raise his family and seeing a niche market opened the Northern Vein Centre.

Mr Fris has been doing sclerotherapy since 1981, and as far as he is aware, he was the first to perform ultrasound guided sclerotherapy in New Zealand in 1996.

About NZ Medical & Scientific Ltd

With a staff of 21, New Zealand Medical & Scientific distributes and markets products in the clinical, diagnostic, scientific and consumer health care markets.

Founded in 1982 NZMS now distributes biosciences and food quality assurance products; diabetes testing equipment along with other near patient testing equipment; vascular access devices used in dialysis, oncology, ICU and theatre; an extensive range of pharmaceuticals including medicines used in oncology, neurology and appearance medicine; and blood pressure monitors, compression hosiery and Bausch and Lomb contact lenses and solutions.

NZMS also has a subsidiary company, Sydney-based Australasian Medical and Scientific Limited, established in 1991.

Press release issued by New Zealand Medical & Scientific Ltd.

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