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No Surgery, No Anesthesia; Walk Away in 2 Hours

Varicose Veins, which largely affects the legs, is an oft misunderstood disease. Blueness of the veins visible through the skin may just be a cosmetic problem, especially among those who are elderly or those who are extremely fair. Suspicion of Varicose Veins disease should be raised with symptoms like aching and heavy legs, ankle swelling, dilated bluish bulge under the skin, redness, dryness and itchiness of skin. In some people, the skin above ankle may shrink because fat underneath it becomes hard. The symptoms also include whitened, irregular scar-like patches that can appear at the ankles or patient can have chronic non-healing ulcers. The recommended investigation is a simple ultra sound.

Introducing media persons in a city hotel to a relatively new and simple, less painful, non invasive, non thermal treatment of the disease, Dr Ravul Jindal, Director, Vascular Surgery, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, who is also President of the Venous Association of India, said there are no structured studies to show the extent of the disease in India, but it is reliably estimated to afflict 7 to 8 percent of the population, which is a huge number.

No Surgery, No Anesthesia; Walk Away in 2 Hours, Lifeinchd

Dr Ravul Jindal showing a patented Flebogrif catheter

Photo By: Life in Chandigarh

He claimed that the new technique Mechanico Chemical Ablation of the Varicose Veins (MOCA) has been prevalent in the world for the past 3-4 years, and a couple of cases were tried out in India too, but because of the devise not being available in India it could not be put to commercial use. Now Fortis has become the first hospital to procure the patented Flebogrif catheter and make available the relatively new endovascular technique to cure venous reflux disease for the first time in the country. He said 32 patients had already been treated with the procedure and six months of results are available for 30 of them, which are extremely good.

Spelling out the advantages of the new technique, Dr Ravul said not only is it less painful, it does not require anesthesia or surgery or multiple needle pricks, as in earlier surgical method by which the varicose vein was removed from the body, or thermal techniques, like laser and radiofrequency, in which the varicose vein is burnt. Using the new procedure, one leg can be treated in 20 minutes and the patient can be out of the hospital in less than two hours. No hospitalization is required. It can even be done in a specially designed OPD, provision for which is being made, and will be available in Fortis Mohali in the next few months, he said.

Dr Ravul informed that the procedure entails a special catheter being introduced in the affected vein of the patient and it is ablated (destroyed) with foam sclerotherapy. The catheter is inserted in the vein through a thin needle pipe. Blades attached to the catheter open up in the affected vein and scrape its inner lining leading to the vein narrowing down. Then the medicinal foam is inserted in the narrowed down vein to close it permanently.

The procedure currently costs the same as laser treatment, but since there is no hospitalization and anesthesia involved, we are in talks with the suppliers of the imported catheters to bring down the price of the devices, Dr Ravul said.

The doctor said through there are several causes of the varicose veins disease, it is largely considered to be genetic in nature. It has been observed that obese people, those who are tall and those who do heavy gyming are more prone to the disease. The chances increase with number of pregnancies among women. Those whose parent or parents have it are at greater risk, he added

 He said varicose veins can occur in any part of the body but it is largely seen in the legs. Beyond being a cosmetic concern, this painful condition results in enlarged and gnarled veins and it should be treated at the earliest to avoid any further complexity. Some of the most common symptoms include veins that are purple or blue in color along with twisted veins. The situation becomes painful when there is a heavy feeling in the leg or burning, throbbing, muscle cramping and swelling in lower legs. One can experience worsened pain after sitting or standing for a long time.

Suspect early symptoms, contact a vascular surgeon, Now !!

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