At The Whiteley Clinic, we regularly audit the results of our varicose veins treatments. Last year we checked patients from 15 years ago. The results show that we have the lowest possible recurrence rates after our varicose veins treatments. They are the same as the natural occurrence of varicose veins in people who have never had them before.
Many doctors, clinics and hospitals quote our results as if they are their own. But most do not do their own audits. As such they really do not know if their patients are getting such good outcomes.
In reality, it is highly unlikely that they do. Most do not use our techniques, such as pelvic vein embolisation, TRLOP and diagnostic duplex ultrasonography by a specially trained clinical vascular scientist. Furthermore only doctors and clinical vascular scientist working at The Whiteley Clinic work to The Whiteley Protocol. This protocol has been developed from audits and research.
When choosing who you trust to treat your varicose veins, you need to make sure that any results that are quoted are really from the doctor, clinic or hospital that you are talking to. You may well find that they are quoting “representative figures” taken from one of our papers, rather than their own results. It is highly unlikely that the two will be the same. In medicine it is better to get a good treatment first time and have the lowest rate of recurrence, then go for the cheapest option and then spend the rest of your life having to have it retreated again and again.
It is highly unlikely that the two will be the same. In medicine, it is better to get a good treatment first time and have the lowest chance of recurrence, than to go for the cheapest option and then spend the rest of your life having to have it re-treated again and again.
Ever since Mark Whiteley performed the first endovenous surgery for varicose veins in the UK in 1999, increasing numbers of doctors and clinics have taken up these new techniques. Primarily these new ways of treating varicose veins are endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) and endovenous radiofrequency ablation (RFA).
In patients that are not suitable to have these treatments, there is a role for ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy. However recent research from The Whiteley Clinic suggests that foam sclerotherapy should not be used in big varicose veins that can be treated with laser or radiofrequency (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26790396). This is supported by other published data from clinical studies of foam (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27561823).
The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published their clinical guidelines in summer 2013 agreeing with this (https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg168/).
Most doctors and clinics that you see advertising varicose vein surgery are now offering these techniques. Unfortunately for most patients, these are the techniques that The Whiteley Clinic was researching and using back in 2005.
Because of our priority in the field of varicose vein surgery, we have continued our research and development into varicose vein treatments, whilst everyone else was trying to catch up with what we started.
It is for this reason that most doctors, clinics and hospitals still do not perform TRLOP closure of perforators, and do not even look for the one in five women whose varicose veins come from the pelvis, never mind performing pelvic vein embolisation. Furthermore, despite NICE clinical guidelines, there are still some doctors who even do their own venous duplex ultrasound scanning or even strip veins!
When you do choose where you should have your varicose veins treated, you need to understand that not all doctors, clinics or hospitals are the same. In exactly the same way that not all hairdressers or builders are the same, doctors vary too. In the UK most doctors who treat varicose veins do not treat varicose veins all of the time. Most usually perform vascular (arterial) or general surgery 3 – 4 days per week and only treat varicose veins occasionally.
Importantly, if anything does go wrong with your treatment, or you to get an early recurrence due to missed pelvic or perforator veins, then the way the UK system works is the patient carries the responsibility as they have signed the consent form. Regardless of whether you have been advised on where to go by doctor or insurance company, only the patient can choose and sign the consent form.
As such, it is essential that you when you do choose your varicose veins doctor, clinic or hospital, you make sure that you are confident in your choice. Be sure that you certain what you are choosing – the best quality or the lowest price. The two are not the same!
If you have any questions at all about varicose veins treatments, please contact us: https://thewhiteleyclinic.co.uk/contact-us/