Ease varicose veins without surgery

Discover how Veincentre’s safe, effective, non-surgical varicose vein treatments are changing legs – and lives

Up to 30% of us will be affected by varicose veins at some point. But the latest in medical science means that sufferers can achieve smoother, healthier legs with simple, walk-in-walk-out treatments under local anaesthetic.

We asked Dr Mark Bratby, Deputy Medical Director at Veincentre, the UK’s leading varicose vein treatment clinics, to discuss the causes of vein problems and reveal the latest varicose vein treatments to let you step out both vein-free and pain-free.

What are varicose veins? Varicose veins are large, bulgy veins just under the surface of your skin. They are caused by faults in the valves that normally keep blood pumping against gravity. Blood starts to leak back into the veins, putting them under pressure and dilating them.

What causes them? There can often be a family history of varicose veins. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can markedly worsen varicose veins. Working in a job where you are on your feet all day can exacerbate symptoms. We see a lot of nurses and hairdressers in the clinic.

Can varicose veins cause health problems? In many patients they cause symptoms including pain, throbbing, itching, restless legs and cramps. Eventually they can predispose sufferers to leg ulcers later in life. Removing leaky surface veins improves circulation by allowing deeper veins to do their job of returning blood to the heart.

What’s the best way to treat varicose veins? Historically, treatment would have been an operation under general anaesthetic to remove or ‘strip’ the vein. In our practice, surgery is never required. It has been replaced by minimally invasive methods that use either radiowaves or laser energy to seal the vein. These take about 90 minutes under a local anaesthetic. The two most common and approved devices to achieve this are EVLA (endovenous laser ablation) and RFA (radiofrequency ablation). They are recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) and have been proven to be safer and more effective than traditional surgery. If a patient is unsuitable for either, an alternative called foam sclerotherapy may be offered.

How can doctors find out the cause of varicose veins? A Colour Duplex Ultrasound Scan, which is carried out during a consultation at Veincentre, is painless and will determine the underlying cause of any vein problems and guide treatment.

How successful are vein treatments? In 99% of patients, a single treatment is enough to tackle the problem. This is because with EVLA we treat the underlying cause of varicose veins and then finish off the cosmetic appearance with foam sclerotherapy. All patients are offered a follow-up consultation and scan to ensure the procedure has been completely effective. We can also tackle thread veins with a technique called microsclerotherapy.

Jessica, 56, a carer and dance teacher, had her veins treated at Veincentre in Cardiff and is now living life to the full. “I had varicose veins for more than 20 years but finally plucked up the courage to have treatment. I can’t believe the procedure was so quick and painless. I’m now so proud of my ‘Tina Turner’ legs and hope to return to working on cruise ships teaching people to dance. Everyone should have the confidence to embrace life and Veincentre has helped me do just that.”

Will I have to take time off work? Patients can return to work the day after treatment.

Can my veins be treated by the NHS? The majority of NHS groups have limited treatment for patients with progressed varicose veins that have developed into leg ulcers or bleeding varicose veins.

How much does private treatment cost? Veincentre aims to offer affordable treatment accessible to as many patients as possible. All our prices are available on the Veincentre website and are upfront and fixed. They include both the clinic and consultant fee. They have no “from” prices or hidden fees and they accept medical insurance.

Is there a clinic near me? Veincentre has 15 clinics around the UK, from Glasgow to Exeter, and is growing fast. To find a local clinic, book a treatment or for a free, no-obligation chat with our friendly patient advisers, call us on 03717 053035 Alternatively, visit the website,

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