SOURCE: slp3D

June 20, 2005 11:11 ET

OR-Live.com Presents: Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Surgeons Demonstrate Less Invasive Treatment Alternatives Than Vein Stripping for Varicose Veins

See Endovascular Radiofrequency Saphenous Vein Ablation in a Live Webcast Wednesday, June 22, 2005, at 4:30 pm EDT (20:30 UTC)

PHILADELPHIA, PA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 20, 2005 -- Typically painful and unattractive varicose veins are dealt with by removing the vein, better known as vein stripping. Stripping is a lengthy procedure often performed under general anesthesia and requires a surgeon to make incisions in the groin and below the knee and remove the vein with a long, surgical instrument extending inside the leg to the knee. The resulting postoperative convalescence can last two to four weeks and entail a significant amount of bruising, bleeding and postoperative pain.

But vascular surgeons at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital are offering patients a minimally invasive, less painful and shorter procedure for treating this problem and will demonstrate it on OR-Live.com in a webcast from Jefferson University Hospital.

Varicose Veins are often caused in part by a problem with valves in the saphenous vein, which runs from the ankle to the groin vein. A leading cause of this unattractive medical condition is "incompetent" valves in the saphenous vein. When these valves deteriorate, blood flows backward instead of surging towards the heart. This places increasing amounts of pressure on the vein walls, which stretches them, builds up fluid in the legs and causes other veins to deteriorate.

Endovascular radiofrequency saphenous vein ablation uses radiofrequency energy to close the saphenous vein. Using a slender catheter that is inserted into the saphenous vein via a small needle-size incision near the knee, bipolar radiofrequency energy is delivered directly to the vein wall. The catheter is then slowly withdrawn sealing the vein shut. The passage of heat through the vein wall as the catheter is withdrawn causes resistive heating, shrinking the vessel. The catheter's flexible electrodes then cause the vessel to collapse around the catheter closing around the vein and eliminating the backward flow of blood, which causes venous reflux.

Visit http://www.or-live.com/jeffersonhospital/1343 now to view a program preview and doctors' comments. A VNR is available at http://www.or-live.com/rams/thj-1343-mkw-q.ram

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