A new theory of varicose veins treatment, developed by a UK clinic, was revealed today at the American College of Phlebology annual meeting in Orlando.
Henry Ashpital, PhD student at the The Whiteley Clinic and the University of Surrey, presented some of his prize-winning research into the mechanisms of how varicose veins can be treated more successfully.
Using the latest techniques to show if certain genes are switched on and off in the affected cells, Henry has shown that the successful endovenous laser treatment causes a certain gene to be switched on and “upregulated”.
This is a very similar mechanism to how foam sclerotherapy works, as shown in previous research from the The Whiteley Clinic produced by one of the former PhD students.
Prof Mark Whiteley, supervisor of the research, developed his ideas of how varicose veins could be treated more effectively over two decades ago. He started using ultrasound to identify all of the veins before treatment in the 1990s, and started treating incompetent perforator veins in the same decade, a longer time before most other doctors considered these worthwhile.
In March 1999, Mark Whiteley performed the first endovenous thermoablation operation, using radiofrequency ablation to close varicose veins with heat. Subsequently he moved on to use endovenous laser and is now using this along with foam sclerotherapy for certain veins, clarivein, glue, TRLOP and coil embolisation amongst other things.
Using research as a basis for all of their treatments, Mark and his team have developed the Whiteley Protocol® – which is an ever expanding and improving research driven approach to treating varicose veins and venous disease.
Henry’s presentation to the American College of Phlebology today is merely the next step in the line of communicating the The Whiteley Clinic’s research with the rest of the medical world, allowing other doctors to provide better care for their patients.
In the past, doctors thought that removing veins by tying them and stripping them away was adequate treatment for varicose veins. Prize-winning and published research from the Whiteley clinic in 2007 show this was not true.
Since 1999, the The Whiteley Clinic has been using heat to close varicose veins using either radiofrequency ablation or endovenous laser ablation. This technique is called endovenous thermal ablation.
Some other doctors have been trying to get as good results using foam sclerotherapy but have found that, although this works very well in small veins, it does not work well in large veins.
The research presented today by the The Whiteley Clinic has shown why this is the case. Endovenous thermal ablation is needed for very big veins, although even this will fail if the wrong laser or the wrong technique is used. Foam sclerotherapy is unlikely to ever be able to treat some big veins because of its nature. However by understanding why this is the case, the The Whiteley Clinic is working with some companies now to improve their products and techniques.
It is by constantly researching vein diseases, investigations and treatments that the The Whiteley Clinic can continue to produce its excellent results by constantly updating and using the Whiteley Protocol®.