THD procedure: an effective and non-invasive treatment for hemorrhoids

Medico Paziente

Medico Paziente

According to the eminent Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, the problem of hemorrhoids is more widespread in industrial countries than one might expect: it is estimated that around 50% of the population above the age of fifty suffers or suffered in the past from them. This means that one out of two people, at some point in his life, may experience this type of health problems.

The first step consists in getting at the root causes which affect the appearance of hemorrhoids and in particular the constipation through a correct and balanced diet. Sometimes these measures are not enough to treat hemorrhoids in advanced stage. Especially when the patient is suffering from prolapse of hemorrhoid tissue (hemorrhoids grade III-IV) the best way to resolve this problem is surgery and, in this regard, one of the most promising procedure is the THD Doppler based on the dearterialization of hemorrhoids .

Using advanced technology, surgeons can identify the blood vessels that supply blood to the hemorrhoids, and tie them in a sparsely innervated area (which generates minimal pain) reducing any prolapsed tissue by means of a sort of “lifting” which repositions the cushions in their original anatomical position.
The advantages are numerous: the Doppler THD procedure is in fact able to guarantee a high quality of life, avoiding subsequent relapses. Another crucial element is the minimal invasiveness of this kind of procedure, which can also be operated in day surgery; the resignation occurs within 24-36 hours and convalescence is rather short since the operation does not involve the removal of any tissue. This means that the patient is advised a few days rest before resuming his normal daily activities.

Another strong point of this method is its wide range of applicability: in fact there are no particular contraindications, it can also be performed in patients at an advanced age or suffering from debilitating diseases.
The THD surgical approach, thanks to its many benefits in both the short and the long term, therefore, is today one of the most effective solutions and decisive for the definitive treatment of hemorrhoid problems.

Have you ever tried talking to your EPR?

dicgital healthcare

digital healthcare

The Nuffield Trust has published a new report called Delivering the benefits of digital health care. It is a well-written, timely piece of research which sets out how we can transform healthcare systems using digital technology. It succinctly identifies the conundrum we currently face: that although healthcare delivery is being transformed by new technology, strategic decisions about clinical transformation and the investment needed in information and digital technology are often relegated to the end of NHS board discussions.

Culture change is critical for deploying digital technology in healthcare.

The report includes seven lessons for success. The one that jumped out at me is that culture change is critical. This is something we are very familiar with at Nuance because we work hard with clinical staff at the frontline to ensure speech recognition software becomes embedded in their everyday tasks.

The role of speech recognition in healthcare

Speech recognition is mentioned briefly in the report in the description of Nuffield’s own vision of how healthcare is likely to change in the next 10 years. It suggests that ‘…though there is interest in new models of care, the most significant improvements in productivity over the next few years are likely to come from the combined impact of large numbers of small changes and extracting the full benefit from the technologies currently available…A lot less time will be spent by staff on administrative tasks and routine communication, as automation, voice recognition and natural language processing become more commonplace.’  

Speech recognition is a mature technology that has now taken the consumer market by storm. If you don’t use speech recognition software to command your phone, your car, even your TV, you probably know someone who does. Within healthcare, speech recognition will help drive significant improvements in productivity from the huge investments already made, but not yet fully realised, in the EPRs as well as improving the day to day lives of the staff by freeing them from the keyboard.

Speech recognition changes how healthcare professionals work.
In healthcare speech recognition software understands clinical language. This is quite different from the software you might get on an iPad, or iPhone. Radiologists have been our Trojan Horse with hospitals throughout the land
using speech recognition as their standard method of reporting and managing patient and medical records. Take it away and they would more than likely bite your arm off.

Over the years, healthcare speech recognition software has improved in leaps and bounds, whether it be around the medical vocabulary, an individual’s phonetics or the mathematical probabilities of the language model. So too has the hardware upon which it runs.

How effective are speech recognition solutions?

Sadly there has been a lack of published research in this area. However, that does seem to be changing with recent studies providing good evidence. A German university hospital undertook a study that showed how a web-based medical speech recognition system for clinical documentation increased documentation speed by 26 per cent, increased the amount of content by 82 per cent, and also resulted in enhancing user satisfaction. In the UK, mental health has also taken to the stage:

  • South West London and St. George’s Mental Health National Health Service (NHS) Trust showed that time spent entering patient notes was reduced by almost 50 per cent when using speech recognition.

  • Surrey Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust observed the average turnaround for letters or reports dropped from 6-7 days to just 1-2 days.

The EPR (Electronic Patient Records) also adds a new dimension to the challenge for healthcare professionals. The Nuffield Trust report highlights that the EPR ‘straddles the system as a whole, reflecting the pivotal role it plays in any digital strategy’. It acts as a ‘foundation on which many of the other tools are built’.

However, clinical studies have shown that EPRs can add as much as 90 minutes to a medical professional’s day.

Clinical speech recognition – here to stay

Without good quality information in an EPR, the seven opportunities to drive improvements outlined in the Nuffield Trust’s report will not be realised. So this conundrum must be solved with smart technology.

Huge strides have been made in the quality, accuracy, performance, affordability and time-to-value of speech recognition solutions and their use in healthcare is on the rise. The benefits of improved clinical documentation using speech recognition are broad and varied – in essence better quality of care, improved patient safety and health professional satisfaction. The result is the ultimate goal – health professionals have more time to spend with their patients like we see it for example with the nursing team at at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital PICU. They are saving 40 minutes per patient per day using speech recognition versus typing, with an improved hand over and faster referral and discharge process to other units, and most importantly freeing up more time to care – as also published in the Nursing Times last year.

We are keen to demonstrate how speech recognition can help clinicians save time and record a greater amount of detail more accurately, so if you have any personal experiences you would like to share, please let me know. I look forward to getting your feedback.

Dr Simon Wallace, Medical Consultant, Nuance Communications UK

Health News – Chancellor Announces Tax on Sugary Soft Drinks

The Chancellor, George Osborne, recently announced that a long awaited (by some) Sugar Tax on sweetened sugary soft drinks will come into play by 2018.

On the sugar levy, Mr Osborne told MPs: “Doing the right thing for the next generation is what this government and this Budget is about.

“No matter how difficult and how controversial it is.”

“You cannot have a long-term plan for the country unless you have a long-term plan for our children’s health care.”

He added: “I am not prepared to look back at my time here in this Parliament, doing this job and say to my children’s generation, ‘I’m sorry, we knew there was a problem with sugary drinks and we knew it caused disease but we dumped the difficult decisions and did nothing’.

Osborne revealed that there will be two tax bands for drinks – one for moderately sweetened drinks, and a second, higher band for the sweetest drinks.

Drinks manufacturers will be taxed according to the volume of drinks they produce. (Independent, 2016)

The tax will come into force in two years’ time in order to give companies time to change the ingredients of their products.

Osborne also announced today that the estimated £520m raised from the sugar tax will go toward school sports.

This news will please many parents who are concerned about their children’s health and future, given the calorific content of these drinks and the way the marketing of them seems to be aimed at children.

One leading champion of the campaign to introduce a levy on fizzy pop was Jamie Oliver. He tweeted this afternoon:

“We did it guys!! We did it!!! A sugar levy on sugary sweetened drinks……A profound move…”

His media campaign has been one of the key drivers in bringing in this change.

However, there are those that were not so pleased to hear the sugar tax announcement today.

Gavin Partington, director general of the British Soft Drinks Association, said: “We are extremely disappointed by the Government’s decision to hit the only category in the food and drink sector which has consistently reduced sugar intake in recent years – down 13.6% since 2012.” (Sky News, 2016)

Our view? If this tax means that our nation’s children are healthier in the years to come, then it can only be a good thing. But this levy can only be part of a wider shift in national consciousness towards healthier ways of living; this incudes diet, exercise and lifestyle in general.

We shall wait and see if David Cameron’s anticipated Obesity Strategy (due soon) covers many of the issues that need to be tackled, if we are to make a healthier nation for generations to come.

Terraillon presents its new and improved NutriTab – the world’s first connected kitchen scale scanner, adapted to British food tastes

Healthy Eating key to a long life

Healthy Eating key to a long life

Check out Terraillon’s new and exclusive health and wellbeing innovations at Ideal Home Show this month, from 18 March to 3 April at the Olympia, Booth T1119 / Ideal Technology Hall, featuring NutriTab, the all new and updated kitchen scale that’s taking the British market by storm.

In response to growing consumer demands, Terraillon has recently developed its Wellness Coach Application and its products to adapt to each country’s unique food habits. Having expanded their British food database on the application from a wide range of UK supermarkets, such as Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons, etc., Britons can now scan and weigh the food they love with Terraillon’s NutriTab, and achieve a complete monitoring of their health and wellbeing

The NutriTab is ideal for health-conscious food lovers who want to count calories conveniently, without having to refer to small print food labels. It allows users to scan, weigh, and measure the calories, carbohydrates, protein, fat, fibre, and sodium, as well as record a food diary, thanks to an automatic meal documentation feature, activated at a click of a button.

Head down to the iconic Ideal Home Show, (on now until 3rd April) to see the NutriTab for yourself, with live demonstrations of all of Terraillon’s latest range of health & fitness products, including Web Coach Easy View, a connected body composition analyser; Activi-T Band, a connected wellness activity tracker and Tensio Screen, a combined heart rate and blood pressure monitor. Embodying innovative designs, intelligent functions and unparalleled capabilities, these solutions connect seamlessly via Bluetooth to Terraillon’s Wellness Coach smart phone application – offering users a unique and comprehensive view of their fitness and lifestyle (nutrition, weight, heart, activity and sleep).

Founded in 1908, Terraillon, a leading innovative houseware brand, designs and manufactures appliances which exceed consumer expectations in health and well-being. Taking advantage of the latest technologies, Terraillon creates cutting-edge smart and connected health-focused devices; ranging from bathroom, medical and kitchen scales to activity trackers and blood pressure monitors. Besides offering precision and comfort, these devices provide real benefits to users through Terraillon’s “Wellness Coach” mobile app for smartphones. Winner of multiple international awards (“Grand Prix de l’Innovation”, “Red Dot Design Award” etc.), Terraillon’s innovative designs have been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Today, Terraillon is a European leader in the kitchen and bathroom scale markets and exports to over 80 countries in 5 continents. The company sells over 3 million devices worldwide annually. Headquartered in Croissy sur Seine in France, Terraillon has an international team collaborating across different research and development units across the globe. The company also has offices in London, England, Hong Kong and China. For more information, please visit:

SEHTA is proud to announce that its ‘Technology and Innovation in Care Homes

SEHTA is proud to announce that its ‘Technology and Innovation in Care Homes: The SEHTA Review’ has been published and will be released at the Care Showcase, taking place on 9th March 2016 at Brighton Racecourse. The Care Showcase is in association with Surrey Care Association, East Sussex County Council, West Sussex Council and Brighton & Hove City Council.

For more information about the Care Showcase, please visit
The greater use of ICT has for many years been proposed as a way of helping care homes provide highquality services and improve their sustainability. Over this same period, SEHTA has been bringing care providers and technology suppliers together to help create sustainable ventures from its vantage point of independence from both.

Coming from this background, this Review analyses the changing care environment and its impact on care homes and, from the large number of pilot projects and trials, identifies what will make a difference to a care home. The Review describes the process that SEHTA has developed for eliciting requirements and selecting solutions through a rigorous analysis of care home needs and thorough analysis of the costs and benefits for implementing technologies to meet those needs.
Dr David Parry, CEO, SEHTA said;

This Review combines the wealth of knowledge and expertise that SEHTA has about the pressures and problems faced by care homes with its thorough awareness of the technological solutions available on the market.

Our unique understanding will help care and nursing homes understand how technology can bring longer term sustainability and growth to their businesses.

For more information about TICH please visit – or contact us at

Celebrate the our health heroes

Skills for Health and the National Skills Academy for Health launch a national campaign to highlight the vital role support workers play within the UK’s health sector and to say ‘thank you’ to unsung healthcare heroes.

#OurHealthHeroes celebrates the 798,600 people across the UK health sector who work as healthcare assistants, assistant practitioners, porters, cleaners, caterers, maintenance staff and administrative staff, by encouraging people who have benefitted from their support to share their stories and thanks.  

It’s key to ensure that they know how important they are – and don’t go unnoticed in their efforts. Why should it be that they feel undervalued – and how can it be remedied? To understand what they are facing in their positions, taking a long view of support worker roles – and their emphasis – and thinking about what functions they serve can be helpful in ensuring they are the best fit, and they are getting back what they give to their positions.

To mark the start of the campaign, Skills for Health have created a short film featuring healthcare support workers from Southmead Hospital in Bristol, which has been released to illustrate the impact and value the support workforce has on the delivery of individual patient care. 

The support workforce in numbers

  • The UK health sector employs over 2.1 million people
  • 40% (798,600) of the UK healthcare workforce are support staff
  • 25,731 people work in catering occupations representing 1% of the workforce
  • Maintenance workers number 15,000 and are the fifth largest group of support workers in the sector
  • Porters follow closely, with almost 13,000 performing an essential role in maintaining the smooth running of a hospital

Support the campaign by sharing their film with your networks and tagging #OurHealthHeroes, and sharing your personal stories of support workers on Twitter using #OurHealthHeroes.

Forward Thinking Birmingham appoints new Voluntary and Community Sector Chairman

Judith Shorrock

Judith Shorrock

The innovative new mental health service for 0-25-year-olds, Forward Thinking Birmingham (FTB), has appointed Judith Shorrock as its Partnership Board/Voluntary and Community Sector Chairman.

Mrs Shorrock has a wide range of experience and is currently Assistant Director of Service Development and Innovation for children’s charity, Spurgeons.

FTB is a ground breaking mental health partnership established to revolutionise mental health care and give children, young people and young adults the modern service that they need and deserve.

Led by Birmingham Children’s Hospital, the innovative service brings together the expertise Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, the Priory Group, Beacon UK and The Children’s Society to provide a single point of access for children, young people, young adults and families, GPs, schools and local authorities, to access the right support at the right time.

Judith Shorrock has joined the project team in the voluntary role and will be responsible for further enhancing and embedding relationships between FTB and groups within Birmingham community.

Mrs Shorrock  has also held a variety of senior roles, including Joint Head of Commissioning for Dudley Primary Care Trust, Children’s Centre Strategy Manager for Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council and Strategy and Policy Manager at Wolverhampton Primary Care Trust.

Denise McLellan, Forward Thinking Birmingham Managing Director, said:

“We’re delighted to welcome Judith to the Forward Thinking Birmingham team. Enhancing our relations and working with our partners from the voluntary and community sector is an important part of our new service and I’m sure we will benefit greatly from Judith’s skill and experience.”

Almirall closes the acquisition of ThermiGen LLC entering the aesthetics market

Almirall, S.A., the global pharmaceutical company based in Barcelona, today announced the completion of the acquisition of 100% of the share capital of ThermiGen LLC, after all closing conditions have been satisfied. In accordance with the terms of the agreement signed in September 2015, the transaction has been fulfilled and Almirall now owns this medical aesthetics company, which is a leading developer of thermistor-regulated energy systems for Aesthetics Dermatology and Plastic Surgery applications.

Under the terms of the agreement, Almirall has acquired ThermiGen for an Enterprise Value of $82 million This acquisition represents the definitive entry of Almirall into the aesthetics market, an industry with potential global sales in high growth dermatological indications. The addition of ThermiGen’s portfolio provides Almirall with a solid technology and commercial platform in the energy-based devices segment; a recurrent business model and an experienced management team with a proven track record. In 2014, ThermiGen had $11.4 million of revenue and has already closed 2015 with nearly $30 million in sales and positive operating results.

Almirall announced the exercise of a call option on January 4th 2016. Previously, in September 2015, Almirall acquired a minority stake in ThermiGen for $5 million representing 7.7% of the share capital of the company and paid $2.5 million in exchange of a call option right to acquire up to 100% of the company, now completed.


This document includes only summary information and does not intend to be comprehensive. Facts, figures and opinions contained herein, other than historical, are “forward-looking statements”. These statements are based on currently available information and on best estimates and assumptions believed to be reasonable by the Company. These statements involve risks and uncertainties beyond the Company’s control. Therefore, actual results may differ materially from those stated by such forward-looking statements. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation to review or update any forward-looking statements, targets or estimates contained in this document to reflect any change in the assumptions, events or circumstances on which such forward-looking statements are based unless so required by applicable law.


About Almirall

Almirall is a global company based in Barcelona dedicated to providing valuable medicines and medical devices through its R&D, agreements and alliances. Our work covers the whole of the drug value chain. A consolidated growth allows us to devote our talent and efforts towards specialty areas and particularly to further grow as a leading dermatology player. Our size enables us to be agile and flexible so that we can accomplish the purpose of taking our innovative products wherever they are needed.

Founded in 1943, Almirall is listed on the Spanish Stock Exchange (ticker: ALM) and it has become a source of value creation for society due to its vision and the commitment of its long-standing major shareholders. In 2014, its revenues totaled 1,407 million euros and, with more than 2,100 employees, it has gradually built up a trusted presence across Europe, as well as in the US and Mexico.

For more information, please visit

About Thermi

The Thermi flagship product is the ThermiRF®, Temperature Controlled Radio Frequency Generator System, which is FDA cleared for dermatological and general surgical procedures for electrocoagulation and hemostasis, and to create lesions in nervous tissue. ThermiRF®, is an advanced technology using finely controlled thermal energy. It is a multi-use platform which uses proprietary hand pieces designed for specific medical applications and promotes increased patient safety and clinical effectiveness, while providing versatile solutions for physicians serving the aesthetic market.

The Thermi250® also employs temperature-controlled radio frequency using a specially designed thermistor’s regulated hand piece, which delivers precise heating to the skin’s surface.

For more information, please visit

Meningitis Now Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon

Runners wishing to be part of Meningitis Now’s team at this year’s Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon need to ‘get their skates on’ to secure one of our guaranteed place.

On Sunday 9 October, over 16,000 participants will gather in Hyde Park to set their pace through Central London, taking in breath-taking sights of some of the most famous attractions in the world and the stunning Royal Parks. Our places in the 13.1 mile route are running out fast and those wanting to join in the fun have until the end of April to sign up.

By running for us you’ll be helping to fight meningitis with every stride and move us one step closer to our vision of a future where no one in the UK dies from meningitis and everyone affected gets the support they need to rebuild their lives.

Sadly, meningitis and septicaemia continue to affect thousands of people in the UK and kill more under-fives than any other infectious disease. Help us fight back on all fronts by funding research to eradicate the disease, raising awareness and supporting survivors.

To find out more and sign up email

A Stitch In Time – Simon Lucas thinks the NHS is invaluable!

Surgeon and Team

Surgeon and Team

In Simon Lucas’s opinion, criticism of the NHS in unfair. He has nothing but praise for the Birmingham & Midland Eye Centre after receiving treatment for an eye injury:

According to some, the NHS is an ageing concern, lumbering along with endless waiting lists and the possibility of coming out far worse than when you went in.
The media are often quick to pick up on the horror stories and report sensationally when something goes wrong. But where are the positive stories? Who is reporting the good that goes on? Are there any positive stories out there to tell?

Eye Injury

Some years ago, I was unfortunate enough to receive a blow to my right eye from a large cooking apple, and then days later, a sports injury in the same spot did more damage. I suffered slightly blurred vision but nothing more. I moved to the West Midlands and over time, the injury in my right eye led to rising pressures which could not be controlled with medication.

My doctor referred me to the Birmingham & Midland Eye Centre and I had an appointment with Professor Phil Murray (a specialist in uveitis) and Professor Pete Shah (a specialist in eye pressures).

The outcome was that the pressure in my right eye was over 70, apparently the second highest Pete Shah has come across to date. With nearly a thousand operations under his belt since 1999, that’s quite alarming.

My vision was still relatively good but the race was on to maintain that standard. I was whisked into theatre within days, and spent a week on Ward C in the Birmingham & Midland Eye Centre.

No Guarantees



Like many operations nothing is guaranteed, and with the eye, complications can lead to all kinds of sight threatening dilemmas.
My initial operation was a success, however my eye took a little while to restore its pressure and two injections of gel into the eye ball were later required.

The success rate of my particular operation is 50-60% due to various factors like my young age and the damage my eye had received. However, Pete Shah has an overall high success rate of this type of operation due to his skill, knowledge, great support team and the dedicated aftercare provided in this busy hub.
While on the ward, I witnessed an incredible team effort from attentive and caring nurses, working relentlessly day and night, looking after people from all walks of life and some more difficult that others.

Men, women and children are admitted to BMEC from all over the Midlands. Other hospitals send patients to Birmingham for complex treatments that cannot be carried out elsewhere. Several professors and senior specialists work between private, NHS and MOD patients from the smallest to the mightiest of challenges.

Training, Research and Care

Over five days I witnessed fourteen other male patients come and go via just four beds, which were religiously cleaned and changed every day. Even the tops of pictures, railings and underneath cupboards are cleaned and the infection rates at the hospital are low.

Glaucoma as a disease, is mysteriously more prevalent in Afro Caribbean males, and Birmingham is at the forefront of medical research in this field.
Professor Pete Shah is working hard to get some insight into why this may be and what can be done in the future to address this cruel disease. Professor Phil Murray (an avid Jazz enthusiast) is also undertaking cutting edge research into uveitis treatments, whilst helping to keep the perpetual production line of patients moving.

Make no mistake, the people of Birmingham and the Midlands region are extremely lucky to have such a diverse and dedicated team of professionals busying away in a multi-cultural part of the city.

Birmingham & Midland Eye Centre has almost 200 years of experience in treating eye disease and is a leading centre for training and research, those who have trained in Birmingham take their invaluable knowledge to the four corners of the world.

Over 30 skilled specialists beaver away in one of the busiest eye centres in Europe. BMEC have everything under one roof. Parking is rarely a problem, although, after speaking with other patients, accident and emergency (and resources) are definitely over stretched at times, with some pretty long and frustrating waits on occasion.

However, once you have been seen and if you are admitted, you can see a specialist and have any necessary scans taken.

Then, it’s a short trip upstairs to the ward, and an even shorter journey to the operating theatre in extreme cases like mine. The hospital is exceptionally busy and could definitely do with a larger A&E (and some more beds).

Looking To The Future

One can only hope that in years to come, should you, I or any of our friends and family need specialist eye treatment, Birmingham & Midland Eye Centre will still be a bastion for training, research and care, maybe even larger with more modern facilities?

The people of Birmingham and the Midlands should be proud to have this facility right at the heart of their region. I know I am! I have now run 9 half marathons, 1 full marathons and an arduous hill run all thanks to the NHS who saved my sight!

Article for Simon Lucas.