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Varicose veins need a team approach – NICE Guidelines

by – July 1, 2016

NICE Guidelines recommend a team approach for treating varicose veins.

Traditionally, many doctors assess varicose veins by themselves. They often they use a hand-held Doppler device to listen to the veins. However, over the last 10 or so years, it has become clear that anything less than a full duplex ultrasound scan will miss problems and lead to sub-optimal treatment in a large proportion of patients.

Of course this means that to get the best results, patients not only need to have a duplex ultrasound scan of their veins, but it needs to be done by an expert.

Doctors who treat veins need to have many skills including talking to patients, examining them, operating and have many other demands on their time outside of the clinical room. If the same doctors try to perform specialist techniques like scanning their patients as well, it is unlikely that they will be anywhere near as competent as a dedicated vascular technologist who does nothing but scans veins every working day.

This has been our view since 1999 and all of our courses have always taught that scans should be done by dedicated ultrasound technicians (or indeed radiologists or other trained vascular scientists) who support the doctors assessing and treating the patients.

Although this has been popular with many areas of the medical community, it has been a great relief to find that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have produced guidelines that fully support The Whiteley Clinic’s position.

From now on, all patients with varicose veins, leg ulcers or any other venous problems covered by this guidance should be referred to a multidisciplinary team for assessment and treatment.

Read the NICE guidelines at:


For more information, please visit our website. Alternatively, contact us using the contact form, email at info@thewhiteleyclinic.co.uk or call us on 01483 477180.

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