The result of a misdiagnosis will end up costing you more than just your money in the long term. Medicine is not a great industry to buy cheap and reducing costs usually means cutting corners elsewhere.
Here we look to answer the question that ‘if the equipment, treatment and outcome are the same – then why is it cheaper’?
In recent years, there has been a rapid rise in the number of clinics and hospitals offering treatments for varicose veins – many offering the techniques that The Whiteley Clinic brought to the UK back in 1999. Whilst choice is great for consumers, it does present the problem of which clinic to choose and why.
Many of the newer clinics have based their attraction to patients on their prices alone and have looked to undercut their competitors by offering techniques at what look to be very favorable prices. But at what cost?
The first key to the successful treatment of varicose veins is the diagnosis. Get the diagnosis wrong and the entire treatment plan is likely to be a waste of time, effort and money as the varicose veins will return. A full and detailed venous duplex ultrasound scan must be carried out by a Vascular Technologist or someone who scans veins all of the time. This will accurately diagnose the cause of the varicose veins and then assist the clinical team throughout a patient’s treatment plan.
This initial diagnosis is an obvious area for clinics to save money and cut their costs and often you will find nurses and sometimes even the consultants themselves doing these scans ‘as part of the consultation’.
This 51 year old patient came to The Whiteley Clinic in November 2014. A few years previously, she had been to see a specialist vein doctor who did his own duplex scan and then treated her legs with Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA). Since her operation, the same varicose veins have returned and are now getting worse.
She came to see The Whiteley Clinic for a second opinion. Her legs were scanned by an expert vascular technologist who discovered that the incorrect vein had been treated. Her Great Saphenous vein (GSV) had been destroyed when in fact it was her Anterior Accessory Saphenous Vein (ASV) that was the cause of her problems.
This patient will now pay to have EVLA to her Anterior Accessory Saphenous Vein, the treatment that she should have already had.
Sadly, this is not uncommon and The Whiteley Clinic often sees patients where this diagnosis, as well as incompetent perforator veins and pelvic veins have been missed by the inadequate and quick scans, usually performed to keep prices low.
At The Whiteley Clinic we always perform a full and detailed venous duplex ultrasound scan as part of The Whiteley Protocol®. Each scan is performed by a The Whiteley Clinic trained vascular technologist, taking 30 – 45 minutes to ensure every cause of the vein problem has been identified. Using a whole team and not a single person by themselves is part of the NICE Guidelines for varicose veins.
The Whiteley Protocol® is research led and is based on 15 years of collated data from our own experience, studies and audits. Using The Whiteley Protocol® we can demonstrate that our patients have the lowest possible recurrence of varicose veins.
For more information on the conditions we treat and the procedures we undertake, please visit our website.