How do you:
When you choose which doctor or clinic for your varicose vein surgery, it is always good to know what other patients think.
Unfortunately with varicose vein surgery, blood clots in treated veins after bad surgery, making them look “closed”. Many people think they have had a good result in the first few months. It is often a year or so after treatment that patients find varicose veins coming back again after inadequate surgery.
This means that patients’ reviews on review websites, Google, patient surveys etc. can tell you about the service – but not what really matters, the results!
So how can we tell whether patients are getting good results from varicose vein surgery or not?
In the 1990s, the “Bristol heart scandal” made national headlines. Heart surgeons at Bristol Royal Infirmary were criticised for poor outcomes in babies having heart surgery in the 1980s and early 1990s.
However, poor results can come for more than one cause. If the patients were very sick before surgery they were less likely to do well, despite good surgery. Or, of course, the medical care was substandard. So how do we know where the problem is?
After an inquiry, many recommendations were made. One of these was to create a national database. Such a database is called a “medical registry”.
Although medical research is essential to find out which treatments are best, research projects select just specific patients.
Therefore, if you want to know what results that a doctor, clinic or hospital gets from treatment, then every patient has to be followed up. This is what a medical registry does.
Nowadays, there are a large number of medical registries not only in heart surgery but also in obesity surgery, cancer surgery, and a great many other specialties.
Over the last five years, the College of Phlebology has been developing a special venous registry. This registry not only stores information from doctors and clinics, but it also allows patients to post their follow-up straight after surgery and then regularly over the following years.
This means that over time, we will truly know which doctors, clinics, hospitals, and which varicose vein treatment techniques give adequate results and which ones do not.
The College of Phlebology Venous Registry collects long-term feedback from patients. Therefore new patients can trust doctors and clinics who join the registry. Instead of posting good reviews and ignoring bad reviews, true outcomes and recurrence rates over the years will be available for all to see.
For the first time, patients will be able to choose their doctor on their long-term results. You will still be able to see other reviews for whether the doctor or staff were nice, whether the facilities were comfortable, or whether the service was cheap. However, none of these are much good if the varicose veins come back soon after treatment!
At The Whiteley Clinic, we have 20 years of experience in endovenous surgery. Prof Mark Whiteley, our founder, was the 1st to perform endovenous surgery for varicose veins in the UK. After years of research, we are confident that “The Whiteley Protocol” gives the best long-term results possible.
Indeed, our research and audits all suggest this. As such, doctors at The Whiteley Clinic are proud to be the 1st to use the College of Phlebology Venous Registry.
Other doctors, clinics and hospitals, and companies that produce medical devices to treat varicose veins and pelvic veins are able to become members of the College of Phlebology Venous Registry. We are confident that those that join will be the ones who are confident in their treatments and proud of their results.
We would encourage all patients to look out for the College of Phlebology Venous Registry logo choosing a doctor, clinic or hospital for their varicose vein treatments. Also, check the registration number on the logo to ensure the doctor is an active member of the College of Phlebology Venous Registry.