This 69-year-old lady came to The Whiteley Clinic with severe recurrent varicose veins of both legs. Not only did she have big varicose veins on both sides, but she had the beginning of brown skin changes at the ankles. Such skin changes are due to having varicose veins left untreated.
Skin damage at the ankles secondary to varicose veins is classified as CEAP C4. This is important because it means the patient is heading towards venous leg ulcers.
The patient had undergone stripping of her veins 10 years before. She had been told at the time that the stripping would cure her veins.
She had a venous duplex ultrasound scan performed by a The Whiteley Clinic vascular technologist. All of The Whiteley Clinic technologists specialise in scanning veins and work within The Whiteley Protocol®.
The scan showed that on the right side, the previous stripping had been unsuccessful and the target vein had grown back again. Not only this, but the previous surgeon had not treated 2 other major veins in the leg, nor four incompetent perforating veins.
On the left side, the scan showed that she had had a successful stripping of the target vein.
Unfortunately, because she had had open surgery, she had a whole nest of new varicose veins called “neovascular tissue” growing in the groin. In addition to this, she 2 other major veins which had not been treated in this leg, as well as three incompetent perforators.
So her recurrent varicose veins were due to a combination of open surgery causing regrowth of the veins, and also several veins including perforators that had not been treated previously.
The Whiteley Protocol make sure that all causes of varicose veins are identified and treated using the optimal techniques for each vein.
Eight weeks after the foam sclerotherapy, her recurrent varicose veins had disappeared, her legs were starting to look fabulous (see photographs) and all of the aching in her legs had disappeared.
The brown stains around her ankles had virtually faded.
Varicose veins are often thought to be “only cosmetic”. This is often not true. Many doctors will also say that they “always come back again”. Neither is this true if patients are assessed and treated according to The Whiteley Protocol.
When varicose veins start causing:
then they are medical problems not cosmetic (See NICE Guidelines). Research shows that approximately 1 in 20 people will deteriorate every year to the next worse stage of vein disease if they leave their varicose veins untreated.
Using The Whiteley Protocol®, we have shown that we can stop varicose veins coming back again in the majority of patients. We have shown that we can reduce the recurrence rate to the same chance of a person who has never had varicose veins before, developing varicose veins in the future. This is the lowest possible chance of recurrence and is approximately 3 to 4% per year.
The patient remarked, as she left the clinic, that she wished that she had come to us in the first place!