Minimally Invasive Treatments for Varicose Veins
The Oaks Hospital is one of relatively few hospitals able to offer a choice of three modern minimally invasive treatment techniques.
Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT)
The aim of laser treatment for varicose veins is to reduce the scarring and discomfort often associated with surgery. EVLT treats varicose veins without the need for a cut in the groin. It involves passing a laser fibre along the abnormal vein. Using ultrasound to guide the fibre, the surgeon is able to treat the vein without stripping it out and the technique can be performed under local anaesthetic. Refinements to the laser system in 2011 have seen increased precision through the use of a gold-fibre tip and different wavelength laser to minimise discomfort and speed recovery.
"Although I had read elsewhere that the removal of veins using the laser technique caused very little discomfort I was slightly sceptical on the basis that if it sounds too good to be true it invariably isn't. In my case the removal procedure took around 30 mins during which time my leg was slightly numb from the local anaesthetic. After about another hour I put on the support stocking and felt no pain whatsoever then or indeed later. The same afternoon I worked from home and took the bus into work and back for the next two days. During the fortnight after the operation I exercised regularly and went for an 8 mile walk after seven days and played squash after ten days. All in all a very satisfactory experience. Thank you very much!"
BH, Colchester, Essex
Ultrasound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy (USFS)
USFS is a non-surgical treatment suitable for many varicose veins which involves the injection of a foam into the vein. This destroys the lining causing it to shrivel up and disappear. Foam injection is not usually painful and normally causes no discomfort, although sometimes a little aching is felt for a few minutes. Normally one leg is treated per appointment. If the varicose veins affect both legs treatment to the other leg is given 1 or 2 weeks later. The procedures are carried out in our Outpatients Department meaning minimal disruption to your daily activities.
VNUS Closure® Procedure
VNUS procedure involves heating and closing the vein from within, using radiofrequency energy and is usually performed under local anaesthetic on a walk in walk out basis, although it can also be performed under general anaesthetic. (Options for anaesthesia can be discussed during your consultation). It generally takes around 30–40 minutes, and you would normally be free to leave after in as little as an hour. Daily activities can usually be resumed within a day, avoiding strenuous activity such as heavy lifting. Most patients experience an instant relief of symptoms.
The procedure is not appropriate for all patients and the suitability of the treatment will be discussed at your consultation.
Benefits of EVLT, USFS and VNUS Closure® Procedures
- No need for general anaesthesia or overnight hospital stay
- You can usually walk immediately
- No scarring
- Much less pain and bruising than conventional surgery
- Faster recovery
- Minimal time off work is required
- Minimal need to take any pain relief medication following the procedures
If varicose veins symptoms are causing worry, then assessment by a vascular specialist is recommended. A careful medical history and usually ultrasound examination of the legs is necessary. Your consultant will then discuss the pros and cons of the available range of treatments.
Please contact Oaks Hospital Services Advisors on 01206 987669
or via the online form for further details of varicose vein treatments at the Oaks Hospital and how to make an appointment.