Laser blasts open blocked arteries

London: A high-powered laser, which unblocks arteries in minutes, is being used on patients for the first time in London.

The Turbo Elite `drill` fitted to a new laser, called the Excimer, blasts tissue into particles so small they can only be seen under a microscope.

Trials at University College Hospital in London have proved a major success with reduced operating times and hospital stays.

The first two patients were treated at the hospital in July and discharged the next day, instead of spending weeks in hospital. The procedure could help thousands with artery disease, reports the Daily Mail.

Around 85,000 people a year have treatment to widen their arteries that have been narrowed by cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes.

Consultant Joe Brookes at University College Hospital spotted the potential of laser technology as a revolutionary device to unclog arteries.

He said: "It`s an incredibly difficult treatment to unblock an artery, especially if a patient has a stent. Before, patients had to spend up to 10 days in hospital."