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Varicose veins can be painful, itchy and unsightly. Traditionally, varicose veins have been treated surgically. However, The London Clinic offers a revolutionary minimally-invasive procedure that uses laser energy to close varicose veins from the inside. The innovative technique offers virtually no scars, less bruising and a quicker recovery.

The highly-skilled endovascular radiologists treat varicose veins using the Endolaser Vein System (ELVeS) in The London Clinic’s state-of-the-art minimally-invasive treatment unit. If your varicose veins are achy or affect your body-confidence and self-esteem, varicose vein treatment can leave your limbs smooth and prevent pain and skin damage. 

What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are distended, lumpy veins that develop in the legs. They’re a common problem affecting as many as a third of people at some time. They arise when the valves that prevent blood flowing back down into the legs stop working effectively. Blood starts to collect and pool in the legs, the veins become swollen, the vessel walls stretch, and sag and the characteristic blue, gnarled veins appear.

Who can benefit from varicose vein removal?

Anyone with varicose veins can benefit from treatment. Many people are self-conscious about the look of their legs, but varicose veins are not just a cosmetic problem. 

Varicose veins can ache, especially if you're standing for long periods. The legs can also swell up, and there can be skin changes, including redness, eczema and thread veins. Severe veins can cause ulceration, which can be uncomfortable, prone to infection and difficult to treat.

The London Clinic provides expert therapy to close down the leaky vessels, remove ugly varicose veins, treat symptoms and safeguard against skin damage.

Treatment options

Not all varicose veins need treatment. For some people, compression stockings, regular exercise, reaching a healthy BMI and resting and raising the legs can help. Treatment is important if the veins are painful, if the skin is sore or inflamed, or if your symptoms interrupt your sleep.

Alternative treatments are also available, including:

  • Sclerotherapy: A chemical foam is injected to close the veins.
  • Surgical ligation and stripping: The surgeon closes a vein in the groin and makes small incisions over the legs to pull out the faulty veins.

The London Clinic provides expert assessment and investigation of your veins so that you can access the best treatment to resolve your symptoms. 

Varicose vein consultation at The London Clinic

Our specialist radiologists will assess and advise you in The London Clinic’s comfortable and well-equipped consulting rooms. They will take a detailed medical history, examine your legs and ask about the impact your symptoms have on your wellbeing and function.

They may arrange investigations in the cutting-edge imaging suite. These could include:

  • Vascular ultrasound scan: A lower limb venous duplex scan is an ultrasound scan of the leg veins. It identifies deep vein thrombosis and also shows vessels in which the valves have failed, causing varicose veins, so that the specialist can plan your programme of treatment.

They will let you know if preparation is necessary and take the time to answer all your questions and address any concerns.

Varicose vein surgery at The London Clinic

The radiologists at The London Clinic perform ELVeS varicose vein removal under local anaesthetic. It is usually a day case procedure, meaning you won’t need to stay in hospital overnight. 

Using a fine needle, the specialist will inject a local anaesthetic into the skin to numb the area. Using ultrasound guidance, they will place a hollow needle into the vein; this is used to insert a narrow plastic cannula through which the fine laser fibre can pass.

The ELVeS device precisely targets light energy at the vein walls. The consultant can monitor the path the laser energy follows on a computer screen. The laser targets damaged tissue, causing the walls of the faulty veins to heat up and then collapse. The ELVeS laser leaves surrounding healthy tissue unharmed. 

Finally, the consultant removes the plastic tube and the laser device and places a dressing over the needle puncture. Unlike some other varicose vein treatments, ELVeS leaves the skin smooth without changes in pigmentation, recovery is quicker, and there is less bruising.

Recovery and aftercare

Most people can go home on the day of varicose vein removal. The London Clinic's team will provide support as you recover. They will give you compression stockings to reduce bleeding, bruising and swelling. You should wear these day and night for a week, or as instructed by your consultant. 

Recovery following treatment is quick, with minimal downtime. However, you shouldn’t drive home from the hospital. Arrange for a friend or family member to collect you following the procedure. 

The varicose vein will gradually shrink and disappear. Your consultant will arrange a follow-up appointment to monitor your progress, and The London Clinic team is always on hand if you have any concerns.

Frequently asked questions

Is the treatment painful?

You shouldn’t experience pain during the procedure. There can be some stinging with the local anaesthetic, and you may notice tingling, itching or tightness during treatment and as you recover. This is normal and should settle within a couple of weeks.

Can the varicose veins come back?

The treatment is very effective. More than 99% of treatments are successful the first time. However, some people may develop varicosities in other veins and may need further treatment in the future.

Why choose The London Clinic?

The London Clinic is dedicated to providing the best, personalised healthcare with over 600 world-renowned consultants available to offer informed health advice and treatment. 

Spanning Harley Street and Devonshire Place, The London Clinic is situated in the heart of London’s internationally-known medical district. This central location, together with state-of-the art technologies and facilities that are not widely available in other hospitals, makes The London Clinic the hospital of choice for around 120,000 patients every year.

The London Clinic is an HTA licensed and JACIE accredited cancer centre with an ‘Excellent’ MacMillan Quality Environment Mark and with access to a Level 3 intensive care unit.

Offering affordable and competitive self-pay packages and expert support from Clinical Nurse Specialists and our specialised multidisciplinary team, over 98% of our patients said they would recommend The London Clinic to their friends and families.

Treatment cost

The London Clinic offers affordable, competitive self-pay packages for certain treatments. An All-Inclusive Package for this treatment is available from £2,495.

Patients have the option to spread the cost of treatment with Chrysalis Finance.

Please call +44 (0)20 3613 7502 to speak to our helpful team to find out more and to book an appointment.

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