There are many varicose veins treatments available nowadays. Stripping should never be used, as our prize winning research has shown that the varicose veins grow back again in the majority of patients (Click here to see: Research on stripping).
In 1999 Prof Mark Whiteley performed the first endovenous varicose vein operation in the UK (reported nationally in 2000). There are now many such techniques. These include endovenous laser (EVL), radiofrequency (RF) and foam sclerotherapy. There are other techniques, but these three are the most commonly used and are NICE recommended varicose veins treatments (NICE Guidelines for Varicose Veins).
So as there are different varicose veins treatments, how do we know which are the best ones to use?
Mark Whiteley has spent the last 20 years doing research, and building a research team, with the aim to find out the very best way to treat varicose veins.
Not surprisingly, it varies from patient to patient. His research has shown that you have to map exactly which veins have gone wrong in each patient. Once this is known, then depending on size, shape and depth of the veins, the best technique or series of techniques can be chosen.
As such, varicose veins treatments are now tailored to each individual patient. This approach is the basis of The Whiteley Protocol.
The lecture that Prof Mark Whiteley gave today was:
What Mark and his team have shown over the last 6 years is that immunohistochemistry can be used to understand exactly how each endovenous treatment works. Immunohistochemisrty uses antibodies to show which cells in the vein wall are alive and untreated, and which are dead or dying, leading to successful ablation and successful varicose veins treatments.