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Varicose Veins, Thread Veins, Spider Veins, PhotoDerm, Sclerotherapy, Surgery, Thrombosis
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Investigation of Varicose Veins
Ultrasound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy
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Thread Veins & Sclerotherapy
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New treatments

In the last 10 years several new ways have been developed for treating varicose veins. The aim is to avoid surgical treatment and allow a rapid recovery. New treatments for varicose veins include ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy, VNUS Closure and Laser Treatment (EVLA). Recent studies show that all of these work as well as each other in the long term. The results are as good as or better than surgery.


Ultrasound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy

This method is used as an alternative to surgery for large varicose veins.
The main surface is vein is injected with a special foam under ultrasound guidance.
The foam destroys the lining of the vein and a firm bandage is applied to the leg.
This type of injection is suitable for treating the main surface veins as well as varicose veins.
The procedure does not require an operating theatre and is usually carried out in a consulting room or treatment room. The injection causes only trivial discomfort.
The cost of this treatment is considerably less than surgery, VNUS closure and EVLA – laser treatment

VNUS closure - Radiofrequency ablation of Varicose Veins

A general anaesthetic or tumescent local anaesthetic is required. A wire is inserted into the vein from the knee or calf towards the groin under ultrasound imaging monitoring.
The end of the catheter is electrically heated by radiofrequency electric current. The catheter is gradually withdrawn down the vein heating up and destroying the vein as it goes.
The visible varicosities are not treated by this treatment and have to be dealt with by either phlebectomy or sclerotherapy.
Although surgery is avoided, an operating or treatment room is required. The cost of this treatment is also greater than ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy and similar to that of endovenous laser ablation.


Endovenous Laser Ablation of Varicose Veins

This method is similar to the VNUS Closure closure technique.
A general anaesthetic or tumescent local anaesthetic is required.
This time a laser fibre is passed along the vein from the knee or calf towards the groin to treat large varicose veins in the thigh. The progress of the wire is monitored using ultrasound imaging.
When the laser fibre is in position the laser is fired to heat the vein.
The vein near the end of the laser fibre is destroyed. Gradually the wire is removed from the leg until all of the diseased vein is destroyed.
Visible veins on the surface of the leg would need to be treated by an alternative method
The cost is more than for ultrasound guided sclerotherapy and surgery.


Creams and Pills

A range of creams to rub on thread veins and pills to treat vein problems is advertised from a number of sources.

Some of the pills may reduce aching from varicose veins.

No medication of any type removes varicose veins - whatever the suppliers may say!


Help! All these treatments! Which is the one for me?

Mr Philip Coleridge Smith DM FRCS
Reader in Surgery, UCL Medical School, London .
Consultant Vascular Surgeon BVI Medical Director
The West London Vein Clinic: Tel 0870 609 2389

 

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