LVA SURGERY not just in Wales ?? MINIMUM INVASION SURGERY IN SPAIN.??

I am not sure if this is the same thing but this has been done in Madrid for number of years now and is successful enough to be offered on the Spanish NHS. But, as there is such a long waiting list they are able to do only one leg at a time .... the waiting list is 12 months for the first leg and another wait for the second leg .

I was offered to pay for an operation in a private clinic to do both legs at once. Same doctor but they are limited as to how many they can do in NHS hospitals by lack of operating theatre space. So I was fortunate to be in a position to take advantage of this situation. No waiting list as the private clinic selected had free operating theatre time. It took 4 hours with an epidural, and just one night' s stay in the private clinic.

A slow and somewhat painful recovery period but not helped by the high temperatures here in Extremadura at the time. Also hampered by lack of experienced nurses in this remote corner of Spain. Doctor's wonderful though. With hindsight I would have asked to stay a few days longer in the private clinic as I live alone . I think we are expected to be tough here in Spain .😏 So far feeling good and walking well. Inflammation is very much reduced and I am expected to achieve an increase of mobility from 10% to at least 90%. After a couple of painful weeks I am now walking much better and hopeful of a complete recovery.

Just don't expect a miraculous instant recovery .... it is slow and painful but soon over. I certainly don't regret my decision .and am already losing weight. 😊 But I stress that I was in very good health apart from these blocked lymphatic veins caused by damage to upper leg muscles and I healed well. Every case is different and it is early days for these interventions of microsurgery.

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  • Thanks for very interesting account. Can you remember how much was the cost?

  • in Madrid. +/- € 10,000 But I don't know what that included.

    I had a special price as I was on the NHS waiting list but agreed to go privately which relieved the list and also got both done together. The surgeon therefore agreed a special price of € 4,000 but this was for one night only in the clinic and only limited English spoken.

    I think that the Madrid price is more realistic but whether it's just for Spanish residents I don't know.

    I do know that the private clinic "Quironsalud " is named as the number 1 private clinic in Spain.

    I was very lucky to be in the right place at the right time .

    Good luck . Please get in touch if I can help in any way I'll try.

  • Great to hear of your good LVA outcome and that's it's available on Spanish health care! Hopefully our NHS will follow Spain's lead and cover it in the near future (trying to remain optimistic!). LVA is available here privately but the cost is £16,000 which is way out of reach for most people. I hoped to have LVA privately in 2016 and had the pre-op assessment by Professor Furniss and Mr Ramsden in Oxford, but was told that as my legs don't have any lymph vessels the op is not possible. I gushed many tears after that appointment! I'm really pleased that it is successful for others including you 😀

  • Oh dear friend, I'm so sorry to hear that you had got as far as making the difficult decision to go for a pre op assessment only to be told that it was not possible. I cannot imagine how I would have felt. I'm sure I would not have been as strong as you obviously are ,suffering such a life shattering disappointment but still maintaining the capacity to be happy for me and wish me well.

    I hope that research continues at a rapid rate and someone will come up with a positive cure available to all.

    Certainly the £16,000 , and even Madrid's €10,000 ( just half that price in £s Sterling) would have been well out of my reach. So I was lucky to find a caring cardiologist.

    Please keep in touch to let me know how you are doing .

    Wishing you all the very best

  • Maybe the NHS could be persuaded to establish a recognised pathway, and negotiate special rates in Spain. Spanish hospitals are just as keen as NHS on making money!

  • Good thoughts but I think that Spanish NHS hospitals are struggling even more to cope than English ones. Pared down to the core of absolute basics. They are now trying to clear the huge waiting lists by farming out to private clinics. Relying too on the good will of the huge majority of specialist doctors who are struggling with temporary one or two yearly contracts.

    Not sure they'd view well an input of patients from other countries.

    Added to that they don't have an adequate back up of trained limphatic nurses . I have yet to find one !!!

  • Interesting - seems that Spain has same problems - no co-operation between private and public sector, with both being 'dog in the manger' and no sense that co-operation can often give a better outcome. But it is interesting that the Spanish seem to be trying to offer something helpful, rather than telling me constantly that compression garments are the only way, when with limited strength in my arms I have no way of putting these on!

  • I think you mis-read my reply, or I didn't put It clearly- the Spanish NHS are trying to clear their waiting lists by cooperating with the private sector and using their operation facilities. No dog in the manger there, just a well coordinated sharing of facilities. I think we have to remember that for this country , really suffering from hard recession cuts , that it is commendable that they are going ahead and doing as much as they do for a very intricate subject . I was awake throughout my operation and was very aware of the absolute total concentration required by all the staff. I spoke to the consultant in my room immediately after the operation and he was totally drained. He couldn't have given more than he did. NHS and Private sector both .

    I am very grateful for all he has tried to do. If it is lacking perhaps we should look to blame all the greedy bankers and financiers who take out of life much more than they give .

    Re your compression garments I'm sorry to hear you are having such difficulty. I am sure that no one whatever their strength could put them on themselves. If you are told to the contrary ( as I was , many times ) then they are using elastic stockings. Not the same thing at all.

    A trick my neighbour came up with was to put a plastic bag over the leg which makes it easier to pull on those horrid stockings. Then of course you have to pull out the plastic bag. BUT IN NO WAY CAN YOU DO IT YOURSELF !

    My home help managed mine beautifully but it still took her almost an hour for both legs !

    I was under the impression that you could ask for care help in U.K. ?

    I do hope you can find help as it's imperative that they are put on correctly. I lost a couple of of recovery period because they hadn't been put on properly in hospital and both hurt and damaged my legs !

    All the very best to you . Please keep in touch .

  • There is a foot piece called the EZ glide and it heals put the garments on so easily. I learned about it last year after years of struggling with the garments. The EZ glide makes it so much better.

  • I know plenty of people who put their compression garments on themselves so it is OK for some - and they are proper compression garments. Some also use the metal frame device you can get to assist you.

  • I have the metal frame - Eazy-on and manage to get my compression stocking on on my own. It's getting it off again that I can't manage!!

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