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Surgery is Never Necessary

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Varicose Vein Treatment should be by Endovenous Thermal Ablation and if this not possible, or required, Foam Sclerotherapy. Surgery should only be undertaken if both these fail.

Sufferers of varicose veins should now be offered less invasive treatments before doctors’ resort to surgery, health officials have said.

In the past, varicose vein “stripping” and compression stockings have been the only option for people suffering from complications arising from the condition. In recent years, new treatments have been developed. These new treatments could mean faster recovery times and shorter hospital stays, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) said. There is a new quality standard for varicose vein treatment. NICE has said that patients in England should first be offered laser treatment or heat therapy, followed by injections of special foam into the affected veins before doctors consider surgery or compression stockings. See NICE GUIDELINES for more information.

Up to a third of the adult population is affected by varicose veins. The condition commonly occurs in the legs and develops when small valves inside the veins stop working properly, causing them to become enlarged and the blood flow to run in the wrong direction.

Many people with varicose veins have no symptoms, but for some the swollen veins can cause pain, aching, itching, bleeding and even leg ulcers. In its new quality standard, NICE has stated that patients should first be referred to a vascular service if they have varicose veins that cause symptoms or complications. NICE’s deputy chief executive, Professor Gillian Leng, said: ‘Our quality standards aim to help healthcare professionals in the NHS pinpoint the areas where improvements are most needed to provide the best care for patients. ‘With our standard for varicose veins, we are highlighting the right tools and treatments healthcare professionals should use to help improve symptoms for affected patients.’

We believe that encouraging patients to opt for less invasive treatments is a positive way forward for the NHS. Traditional treatments have previously caused patients pain and discomfort. Offering less invasive procedures will free up space in hospitals as well as providing a more comfortable and less painful treatment. Hopefully, the NHS will implement this advice in the future.

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