Chris Evans’ Varicose Veins Treatment

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Chris Evans, Virgin Radio Breakfast host, has frequently discussed his problematic varicose veins on his morning radio show. Varicose veins affect up to 30% of the population yet it’s a condition people are often embarrassed to talk about and in fact spend their lives covering up (quite literally). Chris, we thank you for talking about them so openly.

We are delighted that Chris has finally taken the leap and decided to get them treated. He, like so many others, has waited years before seeking treatment. On average our patients have been suffering with their veins for 10 years before starting their journey to vein free, pain free legs.

The most common things people say after treatment “I feel like I’ve got a new pair of legs” and “I wish I’d had them done them years ago.”

The modern treatments for varicose veins aren’t scary. They are performed under local anaesthetic with a doctor and nurse present and take no more than 2 hours in total. We try to make you feel as relaxed as possible, you can choose what music to listen to and our nurse is on hand to distract you throughout talking about anything and everything but veins (or alternatively, like Chris Evans you may even want to film the procedures being undertaken!!).

 

What treatment is likely to be needed?

First, it is necessary to have a duplex ultrasound scan on both of your legs to determine what is causing your vein problems. This is a non-invasive test and is akin to a baby scan but on your legs. It is pain free and is carried out at the same time as your consultation. The scan reveals the direction in which your blood is flowing. If the blood is flowing in the wrong direction, i.e. it’s not being pumped back up to the heart properly, this indicates that the valves in the veins are not working properly and hence require treatment.

 

Commonest Treatments Required for patients with definite Varicose Veins (i.e. those similar to Chris Evans’)

Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA), Foam Sclerotherapy Injections and, for some patients, Phlebectomies. All these vein treatments are minimally invasive, performed under local anaesthetic and are recommended by NICE (National Institute of Health and Care Excellence).

The treatments are walk-in, walk-out (or in Chris’ case, “jog out” and straight to the pub).

EVLA is used to treat the underlying vein problems, i.e. destroy veins containing the faulty valves causing all the cosmetic and symptomatic problems.

Foam Sclerotherapy and Avulsions/ Phlebectomies are subsequently used to treat the visible veins on the outside of the legs.

It is important to treat the underlying cause first as, without doing so, the visible veins will return (if you have a leaky pipe you can pop up the water on the floor but without fixing the pipe the water will simply keep coming back).

 

Why do people wait so long before seeking treatment?

“The thought of the procedure freaks me out, it’s going to be painful and I’m going to have to have time off work and time away from the gym.”

Although we would relish an excuse to skip the gym for a few days, lots of patients are concerned there will be a long recovery period following treatment which will restrict their normal activities, commonly the gym! For the vast majority of patients, treatment recovery does not impact their day to day activities. We do not advise you take any time off work and bed rest is an absolute no! Sorry, for those after a “get out of gym card” We’re afraid you’re out of luck! (Saying this, you can’t drive on the day, you’ll be wearing a support stocking for a week and so swimming is out, and we advise you don’t fly long (over 4 hours) for 4 weeks following treatment).

 

“My mother had her veins stripped and she was off work for weeks, she was in so much pain and after all that the veins came back.”

Surgical stripping is no longer the recommended treatment for varicose veins. Sadly, there are many vascular surgeons who still present this as the only treatment option available to you. This is not the case! Surgical stripping is performed under general anaesthetic, you have to have up to 6 weeks off work and the recurrence rates are up to 70%. If this is the only option you’ve been given, or you’ve been told your veins are “too twisty” for the minimally invasive techniques, please question this and seek a second opinion!

 

“I’m just being vain”

Excuse the pun but many fear they are simply being “vain” as there is a misconception that varicose veins are simply a cosmetic issue. Regardless of whether your primary reason for seeking treatment is cosmetic, if treatment is going to make you feel happier and healthier what’s shameful about that?

Over 98% of our patients answer “Yes” to all of the following questions:

“Do your veins affect your confidence?” Yes “Do your veins impact your choice of clothing?” Yes “Do your veins impact your sport and social activities?” Yes

The appearance of varicose veins can cause huge embarrassment to sufferers and seriously affects confidence. The results aren’t instant, but they will come and you’ll soon be wearing shorts on the beach again without worrying about your veins.

Any painful symptoms you have associated with your veins, such as aching, throbbing, swelling, itching, tired legs, eczema, should resolve within a few weeks of treating the underlying cause.

 

What can you expect from treatment at Veincentre?

Highly experienced, exceptionally skilled, kind and caring Consultants, Nurses and Admins who genuinely want to provide you with the best possible treatment and get your legs feeling and looking better.

We love what we do and are so passionate about the service we offer patients. We have undertaken over 35,000 treatments and seeing how much the treatment truly changes peoples’ lives is why we do what we do.

We only offer the very BEST varicose vein treatments recommended by NICE. Despite being at consultant level with an abundance of experience under their belts, we insist our consultants undergo extensive in-house training to ensure they meet our exacting standards before being granted practising privileges with us. The procedures are technically challenging and only the crème de la crème of consultants join the Veincentre team. You can read more about our training programme here.

First, before booking a consultation with us our dedicated patient advisers are on hand to listen to your vein problems, advise what the most likely treatment you’ll need is and provide you with the upfront fixed cost fees (no “from” fees). The NHS rarely fund vein treatment and so we know how hard it is to seek impartial advice regarding your problems and what treatment may be available and the best for you.

Getting your veins treated doesn’t need to be a long difficult process. We just do veins and so every stage of our process is as efficient as possible. We also have upfront, fixed cost prices and so we can tell you the maximum it will cost you at each stage before having the consultation. You can see our fixed costs here in addition to examples of patients’ full treatment journeys and the costs involved at each stage, here.

 

Do you have to have your veins treated?

No, not necessarily. If your veins don’t currently cause you any painful symptoms, there are no skin changes, ulcers etc. and the appearance of them doesn’t cause you distress then there is no immediate rush to get treatment. If they are not a major inconvenience to you, there may never be a need to get them treated. Please do not be scared into seeking unnecessary treatment, just because you have varicose veins does not mean they will turn ulcerous and be dangerous. Many people live with varicose veins their whole lives and don’t get treatment. Keep an eye on them and listen to your body. If they are causing you distress, symptomatic or psychologically, and you think enough’s enough, it’s time to get them sorted!

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