Varicose veins are most commonly found in the legs (inner legs and calves) and they develop when blood begins to pool in the vein. Varicose veins often run in families, in elderly people and women are four times more likely than men to develop them. Certain life events and lifestyle factors can also lead to varicose veins, such as pregnancy, inactivity, use of birth control pills and more.
While varicose veins do not cause acute medical problems in most people, they are unattractive, affect a patient’s self-esteem, and can lead to complications such as swelling, discomfort, pain and venous ulcers if left untreated.
Treatments include EVLA (endovenous laser ablation), foam sclerotherapy injections, avulsions (phlebectomies), vein closures, surgery, ligation and vein stripping, and catheter assisted procedures with radiofrequency and lasers, and micro thermocoagulation.
EVLA is the British NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) Gold Standard treatment, which is non-invasive and involves sending an intense burst of light into the vein via lasers until the vein disappears. In Sclerotherapy, a solution or foam is injected into the veins that scars and closes the vein. It may be repeated a couple of times, depending on the size, but the vein closes in about two weeks and treated varicose veins fade.
Specialist vein medical centres offering minimally invasive treatments in the UK and Europe include:
Bristol, Guildford and London
Headed by Professor Mark Whitely, a Consultant Venous Surgeon and Consultant Phlebologist, they specialize in offering same-day walk-in, walk-out surgeries for varicose veins. The Whiteley Protocol®, designed by Professor Whitely, and based on award-winning and ongoing research, is trademarked. He performed the first endovenous ‘keyhole’ surgery with radiofrequency ablation in the UK in March 1999, as well as the first Microwave Varicose Veins Ablation in Europe in February 2019.
The Whiteley Clinic won the Best for Varicose Veins Treatments award in the 2020 Global Excellence Awards and has excellent ratings from the Care Quality Commission. An HD Duplex Ultrasound Scan is used to create a map of your veins to develop a personalized plan for treatment.
Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Newcastle & the UK Vein Clinic
Dr Newmans Clinic is proud to be a doctor-led service and a leading specialist in non-laser thread vein removal, through a treatment called thermocoagulation. This method uses microwave technology to heat fine blood vessels and destroy them quickly.
Under the brand UK Vein Clinic, Dr Newmans Clinics now work in partnership with Mr Stephen Black, head of the Vascular department at London’s Guys and St Thomas’s hospital and a fellow of the European Board of Vascular Surgery. They specialize in EVRF (endovenous radiofrequency ablation), as well as ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy and strictly follow NICE protocols.
Bristol, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Nottingham, Oxfordshire, Southampton, Stoke, and opening in 2020 in Birmingham, Cambridge and Cardiff.
Led by several Consultant Vascular Surgeons, the clinics specialize in EVLA. They are determined to keep their standing as one of Europe’s leading vein clinics through strict adherence to their core values of providing the best treatment at an affordable cost. They have excellent ratings from the Care Quality Commission and invest in recruiting top consultant vascular surgeons, intensive in-house training, and ongoing coaching. Their equipment is state-of-the-art, and they use purpose-designed and built treatment kits.
Sloane Street, Chelsea, London
The Cadogan Clinic, founded in 2008, needs no introduction, as they are known as one of the top private clinics in London offering cutting-edge medical solutions. They offer Clari Vein, Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT), Foam and Micro-injection of Varicose and flare veins (Sclerotherapy), Venus Closure-fast (Radiofrequency Ablation) and Lifestyle advice to improve vascular health.
The Varicose Veins service is led by Mr Ian Franklin, a Consultant Vascular Surgeon with 12 years’ experience at the Imperial College NHS Trust. He trains venous surgeons globally and is the programme director of the International Charing Cross Venous Course held in London annually.
Prague, Czech Republic
Established in 2002, the Prague Medical Institute works exclusively with the top specialists in Prague to offer the best quality healthcare and service to medical tourists. They offer surgical and non-surgical varicose vein treatment options to relieve pain and prevent complications, as well as to improve the appearance of blood vessels on legs cosmetically. Treatments include Sclerotherapy, Endovenous laser treatment (EVLT), MOCA – ClariVein Method (Mechanical Occlusion with Chemical Assistance) and VenaSeal Vein Glue (cyanoacrylate).
Headed by Dr Francis M Dhobb MD PHD, Consultant Vascular Surgeon and University Master in Aesthetic Medicine, a member of the Spanish Society of Aesthetic Medicine (SEME), American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine, The American College of Phlebology and the American Society of Angiology. Dr Dhobb is a board-certified General and Vascular Surgeon with a special interest in venous insufficiency with over twenty years’ experience and is one of the few surgeons with a full qualification in angiology, and a Masters in Aesthetic Medicine. The clinic offers a wide range of minimally invasive treatments in state-of-the-art facilities.
Lake Constance (Bodensee), Germany
Effective varicose vein treatments are offered on an outpatient basis by the department of general, viscerogenic and vascular surgery of Friedrichshafen Clinic, the largest medical complex in the south of Germany, on the shores of Lake Constance (Bodensee). Headed by Dr Gerbig, this speciality centre employs the most up-to-date advanced clinical technologies, using the latest equipment, performed by highly experienced specialists, with over a thousand specialists in their employ, and cater to medical tourists from all over the world. Some of the treatments offered include ligation, mini-phlebectomy and transluminal phlebectomy.