Russian researchers develop a new treatment for varicose veins
A new, non-invasive treatment for varicose veins has been revealed by researchers in Russia.
The treatment, which involves the use of ultrasound, was recently unveiled by a team at the Centre for Advanced Studies at Peter the Great St Petersburg Polytechnic University, a major technical university in the city.
The researchers have been working closely with technicians at the New Company, which specialises in the development and manufacture of electromedical devices and software.
They believe their innovation will offer an alternative treatment to the ones currently on offer and have the advantage of being able to eliminate varicose veins without the need for surgery.
What are varicose veins?
According to the NHS, varicose veins are enlarged or swollen veins, often purple or blue in colour, which more often than not occur on the legs.
Bulging, twisted or lumpy in appearance, they develop when small valves inside the veins stop working efficiently, causing the veins to swell and become discoloured. Although sometimes painful, causing cramps and aches, their adverse effect is mainly cosmetic and as such treatment is not usually offered on the NHS.
Certain steps can be taken to ease varicose veins, including the use of compression stockings, not standing or sitting for too long, and elevating the legs when resting.
If they are causing discomfort, or the appearance is disturbing to the patient, the varicose veins can be removed using various methods. These include laser treatment, the use of special foam to seal the veins, or surgery to strip them out.
For more information on varicose vein treatments, visit a website such as http://www.veinsolutions.co.uk/.
The Russian innovation
The researchers in St Petersburg have developed a means of both diagnosing and treating varicose veins using high-intensity ultrasound. Their high-tech machine is, they say, able to map out the affected veins using sound technology, before using an irradiation procedure to eliminate them. As the procedure is non-invasive and does not damage the skin, it does not need to be carried out in an operating room.
They believe this is the first method which combines both diagnostics and treatment, and they are working on an improved version in which two machines make a more detailed map of the veins, enabling the treatment to be carried out even faster.