Endovenous laser ablation is one of the new techniques used to treat varicose veins. The young lady featured below, had calf varicose veins. These were causing her discomfort on standing.
She came ot The Whiteley Clinic and underwent a duplex ultrasound scan. This showing endovenous laser ablation and phlebectomy was the best option for her. Using the Whiteley Protocol, the size, shape, depth of the vein as well as other factors on the scan, tell us which technique is best to treat each vein. In this way, we can tailor treatments to be exactly right for our patients.
Six weeks later, she was very pleased with the result. The very small pinhole scars are healing well. They will be invisible well before next summer. She will also have the lowest chance of getting her veins back again. Our audit results show that the Whiteley Protocol gives the lowest possible risk of recurrence.
Endovenous laser ablation is recommended as the first-line treatment by NICE (National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence). The NICE guidelines for the treatment of varicose veins can be seen on https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg168/
However, there are many different sorts of endovenous laser device, many different wavelengths used and many different techniques employed.
At The Whiteley Clinic we continually research the different techniques that are available. Using the latest laboratory methods through our links with the University of Surrey, we are able to identify which vein is best treated by which technique.
Many people who claim to use endovenous laser ablation do not get such good results. This might be because of the device they are using, the wavelength they are using or more likely the power settings and technique they are using to close the veins.
We have recently published a research paper looking at all the different factors involved in the success or failure of endovenous laser ablation (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27178405).
In the past, doctors thought that varicose veins were simple. They thought that varicose veins were casued by one or two of the major veins in the legs. However, research from the The Whiteley Clinic has shown this is not the case. Every patient has a slightly different pattern of varicose veins. The underlying veins have different sizes, shapes and lie at different depths under the skin.
There is no one treatment that can be used successfully for all the different veins in the legs. As such, it is essential to have combinations of treatments. In this way each different sort of vein can be successfully treated.
The Whiteley Protocol is a three stage program that treats every patient as an individual. A high-resolution duplex ultrasound scan, performed by a vascular technologist who does nothing but ultrasound scans, makes a very detailed diagram of the leg.
Working in teams like this is as recommended by NICE. Many cheap clinics run by doctors doing their own scans against the advice of NICE. doctors doing their own scans have a much higher chance of missing relevant veins. This was proven by research presented at an academic meeting in New York.
Once the technologist has produced the scan, the consultant can then use the Whiteley Protocol to tailor the treatment to the individual patient. This might involve all three steps or may only need one or two. Within each step, one or more devices or techniques might be needed to get the optimal results.
By treating every patient as an individual, and tailoring treatment precisely to their own venous pattern, The Whiteley Clinic is able to get the lowest possible recurrence rates following varicose vein surgery. Not surprisingly, this leads to a very high patient satisfaction as shown by our patient satisfaction surveys (https://thewhiteleyclinic.co.uk/why-choose-us/patient-satisfaction/).