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Why do varicose veins recur?

by – June 14, 2016

varicose veins recur

To put it simply, varicose veins will come back if they are not treated correctly in the first place. This is known as recurrence.

Here we outline the top five reasons why varicose veins will recur and why the chances of recurrence are limited if veins are treated using The Whiteley Protocol®

Reason 1: Vein stripping

Veins that have been stripped will grow back again, but they will grow back with no valves. Research has shown this recurrence to be up to 23% within the first year and 83% between year’s five to eight post-surgery. Veins will never be stripped at The Whiteley Clinic and if you are offered this treatment else where you should decline.

Reason 2: Inadequate treatment

Veins can potentially re-open after inadequate treatment. This could be caused by the wrong power setting being used on a laser or foam sclerotherapy being used in a vein which is too large for this type of treatment. We tailor our treatments specifically to the patient’s veins and our own prize winning research ensures we know to use the right technique for each vein.

Reason 3: insufficient scanning

Many clinics will do a very quick ultrasound scan, sometimes performed by the surgeon, which takes around 10 minutes. Although using the right equipment, in the wrong hands a scan like this will not identify incompetent perforator veins. These veins, which tend to be small and difficult to treat, are very often overlooked. Not treating these veins is one of the major causes of recurrent varicose veins. Our The Whiteley Clinic trained Vascular Technologists perform duplex ultrasound scans which take around 45 minutes. These specialists always scan for incompetent perforator veins to obtain a full picture of the vein problem. Through ongoing research, it was The Whiteley Clinic who invented the TRansLuminal Occlusion of Perforators (TRLOP) procedure to treat this type of vein.

Reason 4: poor diagnosis

Most clinics will only check the main veins in the legs and, as a result, often miss the more subtle secondary causes of varicose veins.

Our Protocol ensures that our scans examine all of the veins in the legs. This may take longer but it allows us to identify all of the causes of vein problems and, in turn, tailor treatment plans for optimum results.

Reason 5: Undetected pelvic veins

Most clinics do not check for pelvic vein reflux in women. For 1 in 7 women, pelvic varicose veins are the major cause of the leg varicose veins. If the pelvic veins are not identified and treated, the varicose veins in the leg will return. Our published results show that the best way to identify pelvic varicose veins is by having a full pelvic scan to identify which veins need treating. Under The Whiteley Protocol®, all patients with varicose veins arising from the pelvis are offered this scan.

The Whiteley Clinic has a dedicated programme of continual research and development which means our recurrence rates after vein surgery are as low as it is possible to get.


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

The contents of this site are for informational purposes only and are meant to be discussed with your doctor or other qualified health care professional before being acted on. Always seek the advice of a doctor or other licensed health care professional regarding any questions you have about your medical condition(s) and treatment(s). This site and the information provided is not a substitute for medical advice.