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Research shows why varicose veins come back after stripping

by – August 28, 2015

It is widely thought that varicose veins come back after any treatment. This is incorrect.

Varicose veins come back after treatment for one of three reasons. These reasons are:

  • the wrong technique has been used
  • the wrong veins have been treated
  • new veins have started to reflux (disease progression)

Research just published by the The Whiteley Clinic shows that varicose veins regrow back after vein stripping.

Varicose veins come back after vein stripping - research published by The Whiteley Clinic

Varicose veins come back after vein stripping – research published by The Whiteley Clinic

This research project showed that 5 to 8 years after vein stripping, the majority of patients who had the treatment had regrown back their varicose veins meaning that the surgery had been a waste of time.

Using the above reasoning, the reason that varicose veins come back again after stripping surgery is that stripping is the wrong technique. It allows veins to grow back along the same route that they have been stripped away from.

Vein stripping in the Press:

Back in December 2010, Prof Mark Whiteley was quoted in the Daily Mail as explaining why vein stripping did not work (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1335718/Ladies-stop-stripping—varicose-veins–A-leading-vascular-surgeon-says-outdated-procedure-replaced-laser-treatment.html).

However it took until July 2013 before the National Institutes of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) agreed and came to the same conclusion (http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg168/chapter/1-Recommendations).

The National Institutes of Health and clinical excellence in their guidelines, CG 168, recommend that varicose veins should be treated first and foremost by (endothermal ablation) – in other words radiofrequency ablation or endovenous laser ablation. It is probably not a surprise to anybody who follows the research in the The Whiteley Clinic to know that this has been our recommendation since March 1999!

Further Varicose Veins Research at The Whiteley Clinic:

The Whiteley clinic research unit is continually performing research into the best ways to treat varicose veins and other venous conditions. As can be seen from our awards page, we are at the cutting edge of venous surgery in the world (https://thewhiteleyclinic.co.uk/research/prize-winning-varicose-vein-treatments/).

The reason that we continue putting so much of our time and effort into our research is so that our patients get the very best treatment – years before other clinics and hospitals can offer the same level of investigation and treatment.

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