This week Prof Mark Whiteley gave an invited Keynote lecture on Varicose Veins Ablation. Due to the current pandemic, this was given at a Webinar. Mark gave the lecture at the Egyptian Venous Forum VII International Congress.
Mark was the first surgeon in the UK to start performing endovenous surgery for varicose veins. He has continued to research the subject and is now recognized as a world authority on the treatment of varicose veins.
In 2019, Mark was selected to introduce the new non-invasive treatment for varicose veins. This is called “High Intensity Focused Ultrasound” (HIFU). It is the first treatment for varicose veins that is performed totally non-invasively.
The treatment is performed using the Sonovein Echotherapy machine made by Theraclion.
The varicose vein is imaged using a normal ultrasound. This is also called a “greyscale” ultrasound.
Once the major vein that cases the varicose veins has been identified, treatment ultrasound is focused through the skin and directly into the vein. The focused ultrasound energy heats up the target vein and ablates it.
The end result is the same as the best endovenous laser or radiofrequency ablation, but without anything being put inside the vein.
In 1999 Mark Whiteley introduced endovenous surgery into the UK. This is where a catheter is placed inside the target vein using ultrasound. It is performed under local anaesthetic – no general anaesthetic or sedation is needed. But the device is still passed into the vein and up inside it. Therefore, this is called “minimally invasive” vein surgery.
The new HIFU Echotherapy is treatment from outside of the body. The HIFU head is placed on the skin over the vein. Sound energy is beamed into the body through the skin. Nothing is placed inside the vein. Therefore, this is called “non-invasive” vein surgery.
Some doctors have suggested it is not totally non-invasive, as small amounts of local anaesthetic might be used to surround the vein to be treated. However, we do not need to use any local anaesthetic at all with the new Sonovein S.
HIFU treatment for Varicose Veins and Sonovein S is exclusively available in the UK at The Whiteley Clinic.