This week, a UK researcher presented his prize-winning varicose veins research as an invited speaker at a prestigious international veins meeting in the USA.
Henry Ashpitel, a PhD student at The Whiteley Clinic and The University of Surrey, won first prize for varicose veins research at the Venous Forum of the Royal Society of Medicine in April 2015.
Due to the significance of this work, he was selected to present his research at The American Venous Forum as the top paper from the UK for the year.
His research study showed how endovenous laser (EVLT) acts on the vein wall when treating varicose veins. He did this by studying a completely new laser and how it affected a varicose vein during treatment. He then compared this to the laser that is currently the most widely used.
Before his research, doctors knew that endovenous laser (EVLT) “burnt” the vein. However they didn’t really understand the mechanism of how this worked. This meant that doctors did not know the best settings to use during treatment.
Henry was able to show that the laser actually makes the cells in the vein wall undergo a process called “apoptosis”. He showed that rather than the vein wall being “burnt” and it shrivelling away, the cells in the vein wall actually decide to die and allow the body to ingest them, using a totally natural process.
Because doctors have not fully understood the mechanisms of EVLT before, different physicians and different clinics and hospitals use different settings. The result of this is that some patients are under-treated and their varicose veins will come back again in the future.
Fortunately for patients treated at The Whiteley Clinic by The Whiteley Protocol®, Professor Mark Whiteley had correctly predicted these findings over a decade ago. All patients treated under The Whiteley Protocol using endovenous laser treatment (EVLT) have had the optimal settings to ensure that their varicose veins have the lowest possible chance to ever come back again.
Henry’s work builds upon 16 years of research from The Whiteley Clinic. Over the whole of that time, Prof Mark Whiteley has been building a research to and has been working towards finding the very best ways to treat varicose veins and venous diseases.
Initially all of the research work was done at The Whiteley Clinic in Guildford. However, as the research has progressed and has become recognised as some of the leading work in the world of venous surgery, Mark has formed a strong link with The University of Surrey.
Through this link, scientists from The University of Surrey are now working with Mark and his team. Their aim is the further understanding varicose vein treatments, leading to even better results for patients. The Whiteley Protocol is continually updated on the results of this research effort.
This latest research has given us a completely new understanding of how veins are treated with the new endovenous techniques (click here to see research).
We have recently published our research showing that sclerotherapy works by causing the veins to undergo “Apoptosis”. The study showed that the effect of sclerotherapy was limited to small veins with thin walls. This was a revolutionary discovery in the veins world.
Henry’s research has taken this a stage further. He has shown that laser has the same end result on the vein wall. Thanks to the power of the laser, bigger veins with thicker walls can be treated by laser.
By using these results, we can tell exactly which veins should be treated by which techniques to get the best results – the basis of The Whiteley Protocol®.