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COVID-19 update:  Our hospital is still fully open for appointments and admissions, however visitors are not permitted.

London's Leading Varicose Vein Clinic

The Varicose Vein Clinic at St John & St Elizabeth Hospital provides the latest techniques in treating varicose veins, our state-of-the-art facilities ensure that our patients are offered the best possible treatment for their condition.

We work continuously to improve and expand our services, investing in the most current equipment and technology, delivering outstanding imaging services which minimise the time between diagnosis and treatment.


Our expertise

Varicose veins are prominent bulging veins on the legs. They are often accompanied by flares or ‘spider’ veins and may cause skin changes such as darkened patches, scaliness and ulceration.

Many patients seek help for varicose veins from a doctor because of the following reasons:

  • Veins are unsightly
  • Veins cause pain
  • Leg swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Itchiness
  • Eczema

The various treatment options available can be confusing and certain methods have a greater success with some people than others.

The Varicose Vein Clinic offers an assessment by a Consultant Vascular Surgeon who will discuss the options and then arrange for a specialist Ultrasound scan of the legs to be completed.

Once a diagnosis is made a treatment plan with full costs will be proposed.

What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are prominent bulging veins on the legs. They are often accompanied by flares or ‘spider’ veins and may cause skin changes such as darkened patches, scaliness and ulceration.

What causes varicose veins?

Veins have one way valves to keep blood flowing towards the heart. If the valves fail (called ‘incompetent’), the blood pools in the veins and the rising pressure causes the veins to stretch and bulge. Clearly this is made worse by standing up for long periods. Pregnancy typically makes varicose veins worse or more noticeable.

What are the symptoms?

Even before they are big enough to see, varicose veins cause local swelling of the skin and stretch tiny nerves in the skin. This can cause aching and heaviness of the legs, a feeling of burning in the legs, ankle swelling and itchy skin.

What treatment is available?

Compression

Tight fitting stockings support the veins from outside and help to stop the blood pooling and stretching the veins. These are used either after treatment or on their own.

Injection

If the problem is very localised, a chemical can be injected directly into the bulging vein causing it to shrink (known as ‘sclerotherapy’). This procedure may be sufficient on its own or may be necessary after surgery or laser treatment.

Surgery

If the whole vein system is incompetent, the varicose veins may be stripped from the thigh by making a groin incision under general anaesthetic. Full recovery from surgery can take several weeks and this procedure can be undertaken as a day case or overnight stay. Further visits may be required to eliminate secondary varicosities and superficial unsightly veins (spider veins).

Laser ablation (EVLT)

A non-surgical way of treating varicose veins has been developed which involves the insertion of a laser fibre into the varicose vein of the thigh from the knee to the groin using ultrasound imaging to guide the way. Further visits may be required to eliminate secondary varicosities and superficial unsightly veins (spider veins).

What is best for me?

The exact choice of treatment depends on the particular nature of your veins, your medical background and most importantly your wishes.

How do I decide?

You can come for an initial consultation and assessment at which time the surgeon will arrange for you to have an ultrasound Duplex scan to map out the condition of your veins, discuss your relevant medical background and explain the options to you, for you to decide.


Make an enquiry

If you have any questions relating to treatment options or pricing information, get in touch with us by filling out one of our contact boxes or giving us a call on 020 3370 1029.

Our Appointments Team have a dedicated and caring approach to finding you the earliest appointment possible with the best specialist.

If you are self-paying you don’t need a referral from your GP for a consultation. You can simply refer yourself* and book an appointment.

If you have health insurance (e.g. Bupa, Axa Health, Aviva), you will need to contact your insurer to get authorisation before any treatment, and in most cases you will also require a referral letter from your GP.

If you are not registered with a GP, we have an in-house private GP practice you can use. Alternatively, we can suggest the most appropriate course of action for you to take, given your location and individual circumstances.

*Please note – for investigations such as X-rays and MRIs, a referral will be required. However, we may be able to arrange this for you through our on-site private GP.

    Make an enquiry

    Our charity

    St John & St Elizabeth Hospital is a charity, which means that every time you come here for a treatment, you are helping someone less fortunate than yourself.

    Our aim is to care for the sick, whilst using the profits we make to fund our on-site hospice and clinics. We aim to make sure patients receive the support and treatment they need in an environment that is safe and secure, offering the very highest standards of care to all who seek it.

    As a charity, we must operate on a not-for-profit basis and our assets are used for charitable purposes.

    Careers

    Whether you’re looking for clinical, corporate or operational roles, take the next step in your career at St John & St Elizabeth Hospital.

    We pride ourselves on the close-knit community we have at the Hospital, and the development and happiness of our staff. Join a feel-good environment that provides you with opportunities to develop your expertise.

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