At The Whiteley Clinic, we frequently see patients who have been told that their varicose veins are “too bad to treat”.
Indeed, in the last week, we have had two such patients. One male and one female.
In both cases, the patients had previously had many varicose vein procedures elsewhere. Some had been stripping but some the new endovenous treatments.
One of the patients was told that the only treatment would be to “remove a vein from the arm to bypass the leg veins”! The same surgeon then advised him not to have this. He was told to wear stockings for the rest of his life. The lady was just told that there was nothing more that could be done for her.
Both patients then had a specialised duplex ultrasound scan performed by a Whiteley Clinic trained vascular technologist. The scans showed that the patients were perfectly curable by a combination of endovenous surgery, TRLOP surgery and in one case pelvic vein embolisation.
Nowadays, using The Whiteley Protocol, it is incredibly rare for patients to have varicose veins that are too bad to treat.
Even when patients have been told that their deep veins are damaged, we frequently find that this is a misdiagnosis. Doctors who do their own duplex scans, or vascular technologists who do not perform venous scans all the time, often misdiagnose deep vein reflux. This is often due to blood leaking into varicose veins. When the varicose veins are treated properly, this reflux disappears.
More importantly, many of these patients have severe recurrent varicose veins due to multiple incompetent perforating veins. Unfortunately, many doctors do not treat incompetent perforating veins. Hence, they do not look for them. It is easier for them to tell patients that they are incurable, than to refer them to a true vein expert.
It would be more honest if such doctors told patients that their varicose veins were too difficult to be treated by them, but that there are other experts who could cure them – such as those at The Whiteley Clinic.
Looking back over patients we have cured after they have been told that their varicose veins were too bad to treat, we find regularly recurring reasons:
Most complex recurrent varicose veins have many incompetent perforating veins. Unfortunately, most doctors (and some insurance companies) do not believe incompetent perforating veins are a cause of varicose veins! The Whiteley Clinic invented the TRLOP technique in 2001 to treat incompetent perforating veins through a single needle.
Frequently, if the original treatment involved open surgery (tying and stripping the vein) the veins grow back in a very complex pattern. This is called “neovascularisation”. The Whiteley Clinic developed the “hedgehog technique” that successfully treats this problem.
Most doctors who treat veins do not check for pelvic vein reflux (or pelvic varicose veins). Even if they find it, they do not treat it. Not surprisingly, pelvic varicose veins continue to be one of the commonest causes of varicose veins coming back again.
It is amazing that a large number of our patients come in telling us they have had venous surgery and indeed have scars, only to find that all of their veins are still present on scanning! Many of these patients have been told the reason their varicose veins came back again was that they were “too bad to treat” and nothing more can be done!
Nowadays it is very rare to find anyone who is really too bad to treat.
Patients who might fall into this category usually have post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS). These are patients who have very swollen legs due to recurrent deep-vein thrombosis in the past. Their legs are very large and heavy. They usually get difficulty in walking due to pain when using the leg. This is called venous claudication.
However, even in these patients, many can now be treated with stents.
We have now seen numerous patients who turn up with letters from consultant vascular surgeons saying they have deep-vein problems, or post-thrombotic syndrome, only to find that they just have severe recurrent varicose veins. These can all be treated by The Whiteley Protocol.
If you have been told that your varicose veins are too bad to treat, and you want to know if that is true, please contact us. By following The Whiteley Protocol, we find that we are able to cure or improve most of those who do come to us.