11 Patients with varicose veins underwent laser surgery during a cardio- thoracic vascular surgery awareness camp held at Novik hospital in Kampala recently.
Laser treatment is a therapy administered using Diode laser through a small needle stick. A small incision is done on the affected vein and the laser is passed through a guide wire and sheath (covering). The dilated vein is lasered until it collapses and the swelling on the leg disappears.
The surgery is a one hour painless procedure done under spinal anesthesia. The patient is able to walk the next day.
A visiting surgeon from India, Dr Mohammed Rehan Sayeed a senior consultant cardiovascular surgeon from Fortis hospital in India carried out the operations.
The patient paid US $ 1000 (about sh 2.6m) for operation of one leg, US $ 200 for scanning and support stocking and sh100, 000 as consultation fee bringing the cost to over sh3m
Dr Rehan said similar surgery would cost US $ 1500 with exclusive of air ticket and up keep in India.
Aggrey David Kibenge who has had a varicose vein for the last 15 years and was among the patients who were operated upon said the surgery was value for money. "It has saved me the time and cost of traveling to India to have the surgery done," Kibenge said.
Dr Adil Bahauddin, a consultant specialist physician at Norvik hospital said varicose veins are a big problem in Uganda.
Dr Adil blamed it on the lifestyle; walking long distances and standing for long hours causing pressure on the veins