Do you have any questions? Please see below, the answers to the most common questions that patients ask us. If your question isn’t covered here feel free to give us a call and ask away.
Is it necessary to treat varicose veins?
Patients with as aching, throbbing, leg swelling or pigmentation are generally advised to see a vein specialist for assessment and possible treatment. There are some instances that surgical treatment is not recommended including severe venous disease affecting the deep venous system.
But don't we need all the veins we are born with?
For every visible vein on your leg, there are many more under the skin. By sealing off the few abnormal veins from the many normal ones, the circulation is repaired and normalised.
Shouldn’t I have Surgery for my Varicose Veins?
Endovenous Laser therapy, Radiofrequency Ablation and Foam Sclerotherapy are excellent treatment options for most patients as recommended by NICE (The National Institute for Clinical Excellence). There is a move in the UK towards non-hospital treatment of varicose veins but individual treatment options will vary which will be discussed at your initial consultation.
Are the treatments safe?
All treatments carried out at our clinic are performed by doctors specialising in the field. New treatments in general are considered safer than surgery yet there will always be the rare possibility of complications as with any medical procedure.
What does the consultation involve?
The first consultation occurs in our clinic in Harley Street. During the first meeting your consultant will carefully complete a history and physical examination. Then a colour duplex ultrasound scan of your leg will be performed if required. This scan will identify the anatomy and the underlying cause of your varicose veins i.e. whether you have any faulty valves in your legs. The consultant will then discuss the results of the scan directly with you, explaining exactly what the problem is and what treatments you are suitable for. They will outline the proposed treatment plan and discuss the costs involved. All our prices are upfront and fixed so there will be no nasty surprises when you come to pay.
How long do the treatments take?
Endovenous laser ablation takes, in experienced hands, about 30 minutes per leg. Each foam sclerotherapy takes about 30 minutes.
Does Laser hurt?
There is minimal pain associated with the procedure. If you are anxious, EMLA numbing cream can be applied to your veins 45 mins before the procedure. Patients who are highly anxious can request sedation at an additional cost. For patients requesting these treatments a carer or relative is required to drive you back home.
Do I feel the fibre going up my leg with Laser Treatment?
No. The veins have no nerve sensation so you do not feel the passage of the laser fibre.
Can I walk straight having Laser Treatment to my veins?
Yes. The local anaesthetic is only placed around the vein and not into the leg muscles so walking are unaffected.
Can I drive myself home after treatment?
Following EVLA treatment, we do not advise that you drive on the day of the procedure. This is due to the local anaesthesia used to numb the skin during the procedure. You can drive the following day. If you are undergoing Foam Sclerotherapy you can drive yourself home.
Do I need someone to come with me when I have laser treatment on my varicose veins?
No. Because the procedure is done under local anaesthetic you are able to walk to the tube station or take a taxi.
Can I continue with my usual sporting activities?
Yes. Low intensity exercises e.g. cycling, swimming and light weights at a gym can be continued without disruption. However, you should refrain from high intensity exercise e.g. running, heavy weights, kick boxing for the first 4-5 days after treatment or until you are able to return to these activities without discomfort.
How long do I need to wear compression stockings or bandages for?
Immediately following any treatment you will need to wear a Class II Compression stocking. Your stocking must be worn for 1 week following any treatment. The stocking should be worn continuously for 3 days and nights (72 hours) following treatment. After 3 days you may take the stocking off to have a warm (not too hot) bath only. Very hot baths should be avoided for two weeks. No showers allowed. When you get out of the bath, please sit down to dry yourself and put on your stocking. Don’t stand up until the stocking is fitted. To reapply the stocking, turn it inside out up to the heel, put your foot in first and then roll up bit by bit. There should be no creases or wrinkles. You will be supplied with one pair of Class II Compression Stockings.
Do I need to take time off work?
Rarely. Almost all procedures performed are walk in walk out procedures with no down time required. Almost all assessments and treatment for varicose or spider veins are carried out without the need for hospitalisation, sedation, loss of work time or disruption to your every day activities. All patients walk out of our clinic after any type of treatment!
How soon after treatment will my symptoms disappear?
Most patients report an immediate improvement in their symptoms which should continue in the next 1-2 weeks following the procedure. Bruising and swelling is usually mild-moderate in appearance and should disappear within 3-6 weeks after the procedure. You’ll be wearing a compression stocking for a week after the procedure so you won’t be able to see your leg for a week. When you take your stocking off it’s likely that the veins will look a bit better but they won’t have gone yet. This is a two stage procedure: we do the Endovenous Laser treatment first and then when we see you for follow up around 6 weeks later we do some injections of the actual varicose veins if there’re any left.
How long can it take after treatment to go on holiday abroad?
There is a very small increased risk of thrombosis following any procedure. We do not advise that you go on long flights (over 4 hours) for 4 weeks following any treatment. Short flights (less than 4 hours) are fine. You will have to wear a support stocking for a week following any treatment. Therefore, you cannot swim for a week, and we do not advise that you horse ride, but apart from that you can carry on as normal.