Minimally Invasive Approach
We have been using minimally invasive techniques instead of stripping surgery for all varicose vein patients for over fifteen years.
This policy was ratified in 2013 by NICE who recommend that all patients should have minimally invasive treatment and not surgery (ref: NICE Varicose Vein Clinical Guidance CG168).
Despite this, many patients are still told by surgeons that surgery is the only answer it should NEVER be necessary.
All our treatments are minimally invasive and guided by accurate medical imaging, including colour duplex ultrasound.
We manage your vein problems by first treating their underlying root cause. We identify and destroy any veins containing faulty valves in them before treating the visible varicosities. By destroying the root cause we relieve the symptoms, reduce the visible varicosities and prevent the treated veins from returning.
Our comprehensive range of modern minimally invasive treatments, outlined in the next few pages, allow almost every sufferer to avoid surgery and general anaesthesia and massively improve the appearance of their legs.
We offer a range of different treatments for all vein types however our most common are:
Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA/ EVLT)
Foam Sclerotherapy Injections
Treatment Overview for Varicose vs Thread Veins
Your treatment journey will always start with a consultation and duplex ultrasound scan to determine whether there is an underlying cause for your vein problems.
The specific treatment we’ll recommend will differ depending on the results of the scan however if you have definite varicose veins the most likely treatment you'll require is EVLA followed by Foam Sclerotherapy and/ or Phlebectomies. If you only have thread veins, or very small varicose veins then you may only require Foam Sclerotherapy or Microsclerotherapy injections. We also offer embolisation treatment for those relative few whose varicose veins originate in the pelvis.
|Varicose Veins||Thread Veins|
|Ultrasound Scan Results||Faulty valves identified in feeder veins in most patients||Faulty valves identified in feeder veins in a minority of patients.|
|Most common Veincentre procedures undertaken||Endovenous Laser Ablation (followed by Foam Sclerotherapy and/or Avulsions/ Phlebectomies)||Foam Sclerotherapy Microsclerotherapy|
|Type||Minimally Invasive||Minimally Invasive|
|Procedure Aim||To destroy the underlying cause of vein problems (large veins close to the skin containing faulty valves (reflux)) and then the varicose veins themselves.||To destroy any feeder veins and then the thread veins themselves.|
|Number of Appointments Required||Over 99% of our patients have EVLA performed on one or both legs in just one visit.|
90% require just one follow up visit.
|Thread veins, especially if widespread, can take much longer to resolve than large varicose veins.|
|Procedure Time||Approximately 1 -2 hours depending on how many veins require EVLA||Normally less than 30 minutes.|
|Anaesthesia||Performed under local anaesthetic.||No anaesthesia required.|
|Outpatient||Walk-in, Walk-out||Walk-in, Walk-out|
|Post-Procedure Care||Class II Compression stockings must be worn for 1 week.||Class II Compression stockings must be worn for 1 week.|
|Recovery||The vast majority of patients suffer little or no pain following the procedure and can go straight back to normal activities. |
If pain experienced this usually occurs 5-7 days post-procedure when the treated veins start to contract. A small minority of patients get significant pain which can stop them working for a few days.
See also Risks.
|Patients usually resume normal activities immediately.|
|Follow-up||Usually 6-8 weeks post procedure. A repeat scan is undertaken to ensure EVLA has effectively closed off any faulty valves.|
Most patients require more treatment e.g. foam sclerotherapy or avulsions/ phlebectomies.
|Patient to book in for reassessment or further sessions of injections if they’d like further veins treating.|
If patients happy with results following one session, then usually no routine follow-up is necessary. If extensive thread veins, then multiple visits may be necessary.
|Covered by Insurance||Almost always (can be dependent on your policy)||Sometimes (can be dependent on your symptoms and policy)|
SURGERY vs MINIMALLY INVASIVE TREATMENTS
Is Surgery Required?
Treatment of veins using the traditional method of surgery, Vein Stripping, is no longer a recommended treatment option and in our hands, we have NEVER had to use surgery.
The main difference in technique between our minimally invasive treatments and surgery is that in the latter the main superficial vein (great saphenous) is stripped out and removed altogether whereas in our methods the vein is totally destroyed ‘in-situ’ (where it lies). The outcome is the same but the destruction of a vein can be achieved very much more easily than its removal with far fewer complications, no need for time off work and no general anaesthesia.
Of even greater importance is that the recurrence rate after surgery and the need for repeat operations is reported to be as high as 70% but our audits show only 1.16% of patients require repeat EVLA.
- Endovenous Laser Ablation
- Foam Sclerotherapy
- Phlebectomies/ Avulsions
- ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT OPTIONS
- NICE GUIDELINES ON VARICOSE VEINS IN THE LEGS
- TREATMENT RISKS
- VIDEO OF EVLA PROCEDURE