A NEW hi-tech unit at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital is doubling the number of vascular surgery patients treated by staff.

The Oxford Regional Vascular Unit last month opened the £1.4m state-of-the-art Interventional Radiology Suite.

Only one suite for surgery to arteries and veins has been operating for the past five years and the new facility will double capacity from 1,300 to 2,600 patients a year.

Interventional radiology uses image-guided procedures to diagnose and treat diseases.

Dr Suzie Anthony, clinical director for radiology and imaging at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “New advances in technology enable interventional radiology to treat more diseases and conditions in a much less invasive manner than open surgery.

“These procedures reduce not only the time spent in hospital but also recovery periods for patients.”