There are many so called old wives tales about varicose veins. Many of these have been shown to be wrong over the last 10 years or so. However patients, doctors and nurses still relay them.
With somewhere between 30-40% of the population having varicose veins or hidden varicose veins it is essential that people understand what treatment is available. It is very important that people do not get given false information about their varicose veins.
Some of these old myths, such as varicose veins being only cosmetic or that vein stripping is still an acceptable treatment for varicose veins has led many people to have no care or sub-standard care in the past. This results in the problems in the legs worsening.
Most people believe that ‘varicose veins always come back’. In many patients this is true because they see doctors or hospitals or clinics that do not check all the causes of the varicose veins and do not use the latest techniques tailored to individual needs patients. For more than 20 years, Professor Mark Whiteley has dedicated his research into finding ways to reduce the risk of recurrence after varicose vein treatments and he has methodically worked through the reasons that varicose vein treatments have failed in the past and worked out ways to correct this.
The result of this has been the development of The Whiteley Protocol® and the structured way that we investigate and treat patients at The Whiteley Clinic. We regularly perform audits bringing our patients back at one year, three years, five years and even recently 12 years to check that our results are as good as we believe them to be. We have shown that our recurrence rate is 3.3% per year which is the lowest it is possible to get. This shows that we have now successfully counted the first two causes of recurrent varicose veins and that the only risks of getting varicose veins back again after treatment with The Whiteley Protocol® is development of new varicose veins due to disease progression.