Endovenous laser therapy: the cost-effective and less painful way to treat varicose veins
- Credit: Archant
Up to a third of people in the UK suffer with varicose veins, with many experiencing pain and discomfort. We talk to vascular specialist Dr David West about the minimally invasive and cost-effective treatment of varicose veins without surgery
Varicose veins are caused by failure of the small valves in the veins that normally ensure blood flows in only one direction, from the heart to the feet. Mostly found on the legs and feet, these swollen and enlarged veins are often lumpy, bulging and may be blue or dark purple.
They can be hereditary and it’s believed that women, older people and those who are overweight are more likely to develop varicose veins. Pregnancy can also increase the risk.
Patients aren’t usually seeking treatment for cosmetic reasons but rather due to a number of symptoms, including legs feeling itchy, painful and heavy. Following treatment, patients usually find these problems — which they perhaps didn’t attribute to their varicose veins — disappear.
The majority of people rarely experience any serious issues with varicose veins but a significant proportion do. Problems include the development of leg ulcers which can cause a lot of pain and discomfort, even while being treated. Varicose veins can also lead to deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Treatment of varicose veins is unlikely on the NHS – and it’s a minefield when it comes to choosing where to go, and how you should have your varicose veins removed.
Dr David West, former NHS consultant and Medical Director of Veincentre, focuses on non-surgical, minimal invasive treatment of varicose veins. Traditional varicose vein surgery consists of pulling the vein out of the body, or ‘stripping out the vein’ which is not only painful, but also requires general anaesthetic and has a higher chance of complications and a high recurrence rate.
Instead, Dr West and his colleagues at Veincentre provide, among other minimal invasive treatment options, Laser Endovenous Therapy (EVLA). This varicose vein laser treatment works by finding the source of the affected vein and killing off the cause – meaning that the treatment is more likely to be effective and long-lasting. In most cases, recovery is quick and most patients find that they can go almost straight back to normal. Many even have their veins treated during their lunch hour.
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“We treat people from the age of 18 to whatever the age they may be; older age is not a reason to not have this treatment. I remember a lady who was 90 and she wanted to walk her dog, go to the shops and just do normal, everyday things, and she was finding it increasingly difficult. She had this treatment and was absolutely delighted,” said Dr West.
Veincentre was created by Dr West in 2003 following a conference the year before which left him enthused about the revolutionary methods of treating varicose veins. He started small, with his wife, Deborah, booking in appointments at opportune moments on her mobile phone. However, Veincentre has now expanded to six clinics, including one in Bristol, and, with the prospect of onward investment, there are plans to double the venture. Veincentre clinics have now undertaken 30,000 procedures and have won the Patients’ Choice Award 5 STAR on numerous occasions.
Dr West’s intention has always been to provide cost-effective treatment for patients with varicose veins, as well as providing medical care with the best results. By focusing on only the treatment of varicose veins, Dr West and his colleagues are truly specialised in the field.
As with any form of private medical care, the removal of varicose veins can be expensive. However, Veincentre is transparent with its costs and has fixed prices when it comes to the four stages of treatment. An initial consultation costs £250 with treatment costs at £1,695 for one leg, or £1,995 for both. They are also determined to keep costs down by running the business efficiently and eliminating as much waste as possible without compromising on quality and outcomes.
According to a report published by Private Healthcare UK — Veincentre was named as the most competitively priced clinic in the UK for varicose vein removal treatment in 2017.
Veincentre has clinics in Bristol, Stoke-on-Trent, London, Manchester, Nottingham and Oxfordshire. To find out more and enquire about the treatments Veincentre offers, visit the website or call 01782 753960.