Varicose Vein Treatment

Our varicose vein treatment pathway

We offer varicose vein treatment using minimally invasive techniques that are clinically proven to have the best outcomes for our patients. Our world class treatment pathway has been designed by Professor Stephen Black, one of the UK’s leading vascular surgeons.

How varicose vein treatment works

Step 1: Initial consultation - Duplex ultrasound

Vein disease is a progressive condition, and our ultrasound scanning team, led by the award-winning Fabrizio D’Abate, will help you understand whether varicose vein treatment is the right first step for you at this time.

During this phase, we assess the cause of your varicose veins, get a full and accurate 'map' of them, detect any clotting or other abnormalities in your deep veins and determine what the best course of action is.

At the conclusion of your initial appointment, you will have a better understanding of your condition, the options available to you and the implications of any vein treatment that we prescribe.

Step 2: Your minimally invasive procedure

Radiofrequency Ablation

Current scientific evidence points to Endovenous Radiofrequency Ablation (EVRF) treatment as the best overall option. Unlike other techniques, it can be completed under local anaesthetic (we also use numbing cream), carries lower risks of scarring and post-op recovery time, and consistently delivers excellent results.

This is a minimally invasive form of thermal treatment that uses radio energy to generate and direct a precise source of heat. Thermal treatments like this are recognised by the UK’s National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) as the best option for varicose vein treatment procedures.

Foam Sclerotherapy

Occasionally, we use this ultrasound-guided treatment that consists of a special foam being injected directly into the damaged vein to close it. Sclerotherapy is an older form of surgery, but it is precisely the use of advanced duplex ultrasound scanning that makes it as modern and reliable as other, newer techniques.

If the idea of an injection does not appeal to you, there is no need to worry; this is a virtually painless procedure that is also carried out under local anaesthesia. Sclerotherapy carries a low risk of varicose vein recurrence and aftercare is as simple as the procedure itself.

Step 3: Recovery

Our aftercare team, led by Vanessa Livingstone, a highly experienced specialist vascular nurse, is always available to answer any questions you may have and provide crucial guidance if any issues emerge.

How long it takes to return to normal life after treatment will depend on each individual, but patients are typically able to carry on as before within a matter of days or even hours. However, if you’ve had varicose vein treatment, you may have to wait up to 48 hours before bathing the affected area.

We recommend you keep your stockings on continuously in the first 48 hours and once you've bathed, you can put your stockings back on during the day for the next 2 weeks, or for as long as you can tolerate them. We recommend that you avoid any long-haul flights for 6 weeks.

Patients are typically advised to return 8 to 12 weeks after their initial treatment to have any residual varicose veins treated with further foam sclerotherapy. Our fixed prices include up to 2 further follow up treatments for the veins initially identified to be treated.

Step 4: Measuring the impact in your quality of life post-treatment

We constantly monitor the medical, cosmetic and mental health benefits of the treatment we provide throughout your journey. This is because, in addition to benefits such as reduction in pain, itching, swelling, or skin discolouration, significant improvements in self-esteem also arise upon varicose vein treatment.

At several points, we will ask you to complete the Aberdeen questionnaire, an internationally recognised measurement of vein treatment outcomes. This information helps us understand the progress you are making, as well as the positive impact that the treatment is having on your life.

This data will be used anonymously for research and training purposes, as it helps us ensure that improving patient outcomes are the focus of how our treatment is developed over time.

Why choose the UK Vein Clinic

Our approach is driven by results, and our care pathway is managed by leading vascular surgeon Professor Stephen Black. Thanks to our experience in performing these operations, we're also able to guarantee the result: the varicose veins we target for treatment will be closed successfully for the price you pay.

The criteria for getting your varicose veins removed on the NHS is now severely restricted, which has led to many people not seeking treatment due to cost concerns. That’s why some of the NHS’s leading vascular experts helped set up the UK Vein Clinic: to keep offering world-class treatment and lasting relief to as many people as possible.

Paying for your treatment

At the UK Vein Clinic, treatment is offered for a fair, fixed fee. To learn more about our different pricing plans for varicose vein treatment, visit our Pricing page here.

For those of you who have medical insurance, did you know that your Axa or Bupa health policy covers all consultations, scans, treatment and aftercare? When booking an appointment, our clinical team will ask you for details of your private insurance membership number and any pre-authorisations you have received from your insurance provider.

If any information is missing at this stage from Axa or Bupa, we will follow up with them directly to ensure that your treatment has been approved, so you can have full peace of mind throughout the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I expect during my visit?

First, our specialist vascular scientist and General Practitioner team will carry out a full duplex ultrasound of the affected area and advise you on your treatment options

Depending on the outcome of this consultation, we’ll book you in for a return visit where we’ll carry out treatment. We only carry out minimally invasive treatments, so you’ll be able to walk in-and-out the same day. Six to eight weeks after your treatment, we'll arrange to see you again, to ensure the veins we have targeted have been properly closed

What treatments do you offer?

We focus exclusively on specialised, minimally invasive thermal treatments using radio waves, namely Radiofrequency Ablation. We do so because these treatments have been proven to offer the best available outcomes for patients (as recognised by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence)

Another minimally invasive technique available at the UK Vein Clinic is Sclerotherapy or, more specifically, Foam Sclerotherapy. It consists of a harmless foam solution being injected into the varicose vein, blocking off blood flow to the vein and allowing the vein to dissolve into the body

How long does the treatment take?

All our treatments are minimally invasive so you can walk in and walk out the same day. A typical treatment session generally takes between 30 and 45 minutes

Is it painful?

Most patients report only slight discomfort, if any, during the procedures (although everyone’s response to treatment and threshold for pain will vary)

Radiofrequency Ablation is carried out under local anaesthetic - small injections are given in the affected area until it becomes completely numb. The treated area can feel tender or numb immediately after treatment, and some patients report feeling the vein as a sore line or string inside the skin for a few days afterwards

It's also common for the treated area to start to feel more sore in the second week after treatment. Any discomfort like this can be managed using simple over-the-counter pain relief (such as Paracetamol, Aspirin and Ibuprofen)

Sclerotherapy does not require general anaesthetic either. Very well tolerated by the vast majority of patients, it’s a brief injection to close each vein: similar to having a blood test or flu jab

What are the drawbacks of treatment?

We only use non-invasive treatments that minimise the risk of complications and post-op pain. However, all procedures can lead to minor adverse effects such as bruising, redness, and tenderness in the treated area. Some patients find the area feels numb for a few days; others experience some minor discomfort that is usually managed using over-the-counter pain relief. Very occasionally, some patients experience a slight staining of the skin that will mostly clear up over time

Will I have to wear compression stockings after the operation?

If you’ve had varicose vein treatment on your leg(s), we will ask you to wear compression stockings continuously for the first 48 hours post-treatment and then keep these on during the day for the next 2 weeks, or for as long as you can tolerate them

I’ve got a pacemaker. Can I still get treatment?


Is it ok to get treatment if I’m pregnant?

You can have your scan and consultation, but we may recommend waiting until after the birth to undertake treatment

Is it ok to get treatment if I’m diabetic?


Can I fly, drive, or exercise after surgery?

We advise patients who have had radiotherapy on larger varicose veins to avoid long-haul flights for 6 weeks after treatment, because of the increased risk of thrombosis in a pressurised plane cabin. You can choose to drive again as soon as you feel comfortable enough to perform an emergency stop. How soon you start exercising again will depend on the speed of your recovery, but you can carefully resume exercise as soon as you’re happy to do so

Where to find us

We're pleased to be able to provide our world-class varicose vein treatment in a variety of places throughout the United Kingdom. Learn more about your treatment options, including endovenous radio-frequency ablation (EVRF) and foam sclerotherapy, at the clinic closest to you


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