Varicose veins and minimally invasive endovenous therapies
Superficial venous incompetence in the lower limb and subsequent varicose vein formation is a common condition which affects a considerable proportion of the adult population in the UK. Symptoms including aching, itching, limb swelling, varicose eczema, lipodermatosclerosis and ulceration can be attributed to varicose veins and their underlying causes.
For over fifty years, surgical operations involving stripping of the great saphenous vein or short saphenous vein following ligation of the vein at the deep-superficial venous junction were considered the “gold standard” procedure for treatment of varicose veins secondary to superficial venous incompetence. However, problems associated with this procedure, combined with a greater understanding of the pathophysiology of venous incompetence, have lead to significant developments in alternative treatment modalities.
Today many varicose veins are treated using minimally invasive endovenous therapies including laser and radiofrequency ablation, which are largely performed under ultrasound guidance. During these procedures, a laser fibre or radiofrequency catheter is inserted in to an incompetent truncal vein and heat is used to damage the vein wall structure, causing the vein to either thrombose or collapse and seal closed.
Over the last five years, the NHS Trusts and private hospitals which IVS Ltd works closely with have begun to offer endovenous varicose vein treatments (in addition to the more traditional surgical option) to their patients. Due to the fact that these procedures are heavily reliant on ultrasound imaging, the role of the Clinical Vascular Scientist has evolved to meet the requirements of surgeons carrying out these treatments. At IVS Ltd, we perform over 5500 duplex ultrasound assessments of varicose veins per annum; every patient presenting with varicose veins is assessed in terms of their suitability for endovenous treatment, according to protocols developed using clinical evidence. Using duplex ultrasound, our experienced Clinical Vascular Scientists thoroughly examine the deep and superficial venous systems in a patient’s leg(s) and produce a comprehensive report “mapping out” their varicosities. These reports are then issued to the referring consultant/vascular nurse specialist, and help determine whether the patient is suitable for treatment, and furthermore, which treatment may be the most appropriate.
IVS Ltd is able to support endovascular/vascular surgeons in every stage of these treatments by supplying portable ultrasound, surgical consumables, laser/radiofrequency generators, and access to our highly trained scientists and their wealth of ultrasound knowledge. Our scientists have assisted with over 2500 endovenous varicose vein procedures, and are experienced in both laser and radiofrequency ablation techniques.
Looking to the future, IVS Ltd endeavours to develop our services further by training our scientists to perform endovenous varicose vein treatments themselves, under the supervision of experienced surgeons; we hope this will allow patients improved access to these treatments following the introduction of restrictions on NHS varicose vein referrals. IVS Ltd will continue to maintain an interest in new innovations in endovenous varicose vein treatments.
For more information on the range of procedures that we offer or to arrange a consultation, please visit The Manchester Vein Clinic.
✓ Can save 17% to 34% of the cost of setting up and running a vascular laboratory
✓ Reduces capital expenditure
✓ Lowers staff and administration costs
✓ 95% of inpatients investigated the same day
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