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Varicose veins are a common problem, affecting up to 1 in 3 adults in their lifetime. They are usually a sign of an underlying venous insufficiency.
Thread veins can appear anywhere on the body but are mostly evidenced on the legs and face. They are more common than varicose veins, affecting up to 80% of adults.
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Pioneering new laser treatment for varicose veins has given Stoke City Football Club’s professional fitness coach a boost of energy after spending the past five years in pain.
Damian Roden received Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) treatment in December 2013 after suffering from four blood clots following a flight from Manchester to Cyprus.
The 39-year-old – who is head of sports science and fitness for premier league Stoke City Football Club – first developed Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) in 2009.
During the five years, he suffered blood clots to his left leg and varicose veins on his right leg. As Damian was prescribed Warfarin to help thin the blood and prevent a return of his DVTs, doctors in Manchester had advised against treatment for his varicose veins.
Following a 60-minute laser treatment appointment with Veincentre’s lead consultant – Dr. David West – Damian’s veins have disappeared along with the pain.
“Having varicose veins became more of a frustration than anything, let alone the appearance of them. It was a constant throbbing and daily discomfort,” Damian says.
“Part of my job is to train footballers and demonstrate a variety of techniques to help them prepare for the pitch but my energy levels had slowed down and I struggled to keep up. If I couldn’t do the sessions and demonstrate the technique, what chance did I have of motivating the footballers?
“I realised due to my work and lifestyle, if I didn’t do something soon, my veins would only get worse.
“Since the treatment, I can keep up with the fitness sessions. I feel like I have got my legs back from both an appearance and physical aspect,” says Damian.
EVLA is a minimally invasive, non-surgical procedure that takes place without the need for general anaesthetic.
Delivered through a specialist clinic that only treats veins, EVLA is fast-becoming the treatment of choice amongst those who want to remove varicose veins.
“The removal of varicose veins through EVLA is becoming more popular and we are finding that it is just as common in men as it is women. In fact, around 50 per cent of our clients are men and many are choosing this treatment as the preferred option,” says Dr. David West, lead-consultant at Veincentre’s Stoke-on-Trent clinic.
“Many doctors refuse to treat varicose veins by Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT) if they are on the medication Damian was prescribed to thin the blood for fear of bleeding. We have successfully treated dozens of patients on warfarin without any problems.
“If his varicose veins were not treated, they would have eventually become more increasingly painful due to the amount of pressure he puts on his legs on a daily basis.”
From a young age, Damian has been actively interested in sport. A former footballer for Wrexham Football Club, he has worked in the sports sector for 11 years, nine months of which have been at Stoke City Football Club.
Damian continues: “After my first blood clot appeared, the doctors advised me not to have treatment simply for vanity reasons as it would not prevent other blood clots appearing and could result in further complications.
“I was advised to walk and rest a lot but due to my job, it was really difficult. All I wanted to do was get back up on my feet and move around but my body would not allow it.
“Veincentre’s Stoke clinic is located just a mile away from work and recommended by the club. Having EVLA treatment has given me a new lease of life and made a massive difference.”
Up to a third of the UK population suffers from unsightly veins, with many afraid to seek help for fear of surgery or after-effects. EVLA removes these fears. The procedure is so efficient that many patients have their first appointment and treatment at the same time – usually taking no longer than 90 minutes.
“Instead of the veins being stripped out using traditional surgery, the laser technique eliminates the unhealthy veins where they are leaving the patients with no haunting scars,” explains Dr. West.
“EVLA is quick, efficient and effective. No anaesthetic is necessary, no cuts are made and most social activities and work-life can be resumed straight away. Most importantly the recurrence rate is very low compared to surgical stripping. In Damian’s case, it has allowed him to do his job properly.”