Resort surgeon takes treatment to South Africa

Surgeon Steven Power, below, and the pioneering technique he has taken to South Africa
Surgeon Steven Power, below, and the pioneering technique he has taken to South Africa
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A Blackpool surgeon who uses a pioneering “vein harvesting” technique on heart patients has returned from training fellow surgeons in South Africa.

Steven Power is one of a few people in the country trained in the technique - which leaves a much smaller scar on patients who have had heart bypass operations.

Steven Power, a surgical care practitioner at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, who is trained in the procedure called endoscopic vein harvesting.

Steven Power, a surgical care practitioner at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, who is trained in the procedure called endoscopic vein harvesting.

Steven, 30, a surgical care practitioner at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, is trained in the procedure called endoscopic vein harvesting (EVH).

It involves taking leg veins using a camera and special instrument, leaving the patient with a tiny scar instead of the traditional ankle to groin incision.

The technique has been widely available in America for nearly 20 years, but it is little used in the UK.

Steven works with Mr Joseph Zacharias, a Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon, at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

They are the only members of staff at the hospital qualified to perform EVH and only a handful of specialist centres in the UK have people trained in the procedure.

Blackpool has offered the technique since 2007 and Steven has worked hard to raise awareness and promote its benefits.

One of the main plus points of EVH, as opposed to the more traditional open procedure, is that it doesn’t leave a groin to ankle scar which can take a long time to heal or become infected.

Steven was invited to South Africa after he won a prize for a presentation he gave at the annual meeting of the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery in Great Britain and Ireland.

He said: “I showed surgeons how to use a particular device to do EVH.

“I was the first person in Europe to use this device and the manufacturers wanted me to teach others how to use it.

“I did demonstrations, teaching sessions and provided clinical support to surgeons using the device on patients.”

Workshops for families affected by Alzheimer’s

An at-home care provider for older people across Blackpool and Wyre is offering free workshops to families whose loved ones are affected by Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

The workshops, run by Home Instead Senior Care, will cover how to recognise Alzheimer’s and other dementias, techniques to manage behaviours, and caring for yourself while caring for a loved one.

Tara McPhee, from Home Instead, said: “People prefer to remain at home and this is particularly relevant for dementia sufferers who benefit from familiar surroundings and routines.
“However, when family members must take on the role of being the main carer they can often become overwhelmed, physically and mentally with the uncertainties and pressures of caring for a loved one.”

The workshops teach people to identify the typical signs of dementia and gain a better understanding of the condition.

They will also arm family carers and others in the community with effective techniques for managing the many different and sometimes challenging behaviours associated with dementia including refusal, delusions, aggression, false accusations, wandering and agitation.

They will be held from 10.30am to 12pm at the Thornton Little Theatre, and Thursday, October 16 from 10.30am to 12pm at Marine Hall, in Fleetwood.

For more information or to register your place please call (01253) 200770 or email tara.mcphee@homeinstead.co.uk