A pioneering operation, the first of its kind in Ireland, was carried out at Waterford Regional Hospital last week with the aid of a unique medical device developed by the Clearstream Technologies Group in Enniscorthy.

The procedure for ‘Diabetic Foot’, a condition that, if not treated correctly, can lead to amputation or even death, was carried out by Consultant Interventional Radiologist, Mr Ian Kelly, using the Plantar Loop technique and it was the first time that the procedure had been carried out in this country.

New pioneering revascularisation techniques such as this offer hope to diabetics with severe forms of peripheral vascular disease and crucial to the successful operation was the use of the Bantam Alpha with its long balloon and thin flexible catheter. The specialist catheter was developed by scientists in Enniscorthy and is one of the very few such devices in the world.

This ground-breaking technique in the treatment of conditions such as diabetic foot has only recently become possible. Prior to now, angioplasty in the foot had not been feasible using conventional techniques.

However, a fusion of interventional radiological and coronary angioplasty techniques has led to the pioneering of the special catheter by Clearstream Technologies in Enniscorthy. The Plantar Loop technique was first pioneered by Dr Marco Manzi in Italy and it has brought therapy of the difficult condition of Diabetic Foot to the limits of technology.

ClearStream’s chief executive officer, Andrew Jones, told The Munster Express he wa ‘delighted’ that the operation had been a success. He said his company’s Bantam Alpha catheter had been on the market in Europe and other territories for almost a year and had recently gained FDA Approval in the United States.