The recommended treatment for varicose veins is laser (endovenous laser – EVL) or radiofrequency (RFA). However not all patients get good results from their varicose veins treatments.
In order to get the best results, doctors using laser and radiofrequency need to understand how they actually work. You might think this is obvious. However, in the real world, most doctors learn how to do a technique without fully understanding it.
This is a bit like driving a car. You can learn to drive adequately fairly easily. But to get the best out of a car, the more you know about it and the more you practice, the better your driving gets.
We find the same in the veins world. Most doctors in the UK only do veins as part of their work. They are usually busy vascular surgeons doing bypass operations or big operations on the aorta. This means that they only treat a very few patients with varicose veins each week.
Not only does this mean that such doctors get less experience per week, but in addition they don’t have time to fully understand laser and radiofrequency. This means that they use standard settings and don’t modify treatments for individual patients, to get the best results in each. Not surprisingly, the recurrence rate after varicose vein surgery is high. Most patients and doctors think that “varicose veins always come back“.
At The Whiteley Clinic, we have been researching varicose veins and the treatment of varicose veins since 1999. Our experts use the research driven Whiteley Protocol to ensure that all of our patients get individualised treatment plans. This results in us having the lowest recurrence rate that it is possible to get. We prove and monitor this with regular audits.
We also present our research, helping those doctors who want to specialise in varicose veins treatments.
At CACVS in Paris this weekend, Prof Mark Whiteley gave a lecture on:
“Understanding the mechanism of thermoablation using different lasers and RFA on the vein wall using immunohistochemistry, and optimising the LEED for each device. What is your evidence that it translates clinically?”
In this talk he was challenged to show how the varicose veins research done at The Whiteley Clinic actually improves the treatment of varicose veins in patients.
Mark showed his research, showing how you can use simple methods to see how radiofrequency works (see: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25217038). He then went on to show how this can then be proven in patients and when used in patients, success rates of 100% can be found at 1 year.
For more information about The Whiteley Protocol, see: