Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Scalpel! Clamp! Crochet hook!

To develop a new technique, Peter Lawrence, M.D., chief of vascular surgery at University of California, Los Angeles, bought a size 7 crochet hook.

However, Dr. Lawrence wasn’t knitting; he saw a way to use a crochet hook as a new surgical tool to remove varicose veins.

The old surgical methods involve some pain, stitches and time off for recovery. Lasers and radio frequency, using heat and energy are also employed along with vein stripping, tying off the vein or injecting a solution that would make the varicose vein whither and die.

This crochet hook is for knitting,
not surgery.

Using the crochet hook method, Dr. Lawrence has done 268 cases in the last two years. He makes a very small incision, reaches in with the crochet hook (which has been adapted for surgery) and snags and pulls out the vein. The incision is so small, no stitches are needed and the resulting scar looks like a freckle. Read more.

Some English doctors are using the same method to pull large veins out of aging hands but Dr. Lawrence advises against it. Many other plastic surgeons routinely make older hands look younger.

“The day may come when you will very much need those veins in your hands to insert I.V. needles,” says the doctor.

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