Professor Mark Whiteley, whose Guildford clinic is in Stirling Road, is a globally-respected vein expert. He is the first doctor in the world using new technology to treat patients with varicose veins from outside the body. This technique avoids any invasive procedure or hospitalisation. It is called Sonovein echotherapy and it uses ultrasound to treat the damaged veins. Susan Boskovic, from Great Bookham, was one of the first patients in the world to be treated with Sonovein: “I had varicose veins in both legs and they were starting to become a problem. When I heard about Sonovein I contacted Professor Whiteley at his Guildford clinic and was delighted to hear it could treat my varicose veins,” she said.
Sonovein works by focusing a high-intensity ultrasound beam on the troublesome vein. An integrated low-intensity ultrasound beam lets the clinician see the vein being treated in real time, ensuring optimal treatment accuracy. As the treatment beam is delivered, the affected vein shrinks and is sealed closed. The system is so accurate it can treat veins which are notoriously hard to access, such as perforator veins, even if they’re close to an open ulcer.
For the majority of patients Sonovein is a completely painless procedure. Unlike traditional varicose vein treatments, no catheters or incisions are used, meaning patients are left with no scars or risk of infection. Scarring was a major issue for Susan: “I was not keen to have invasive treatment as I was worried about the marks it would leave on my legs.”
This first-ever Sonovein system has been installed in Professor Whiteley’s London clinic. Patients who attend his Guilford clinic, and who are suitable for this new treatment, are invited to London to receive it. Patients travel up in the morning and are back by teatime. Susan made that journey: “The treatment was incredible, quick, painless and, in all, it only took about 20 minutes. When it was finished, I was able to walk out of the clinic, go home and get on with my life.”
Any superficial vein may become varicosed, but those most commonly affected are in the legs. Lifestyle issues or hereditary predispositions may increase vulnerability to this disease. Also, certain overly-strenuous sports may put elevated pressure on the veins and damage them. Whilst for some, varicose veins only manifest themselves as superficial spider veins, many suffer from serious, aching pain and disability. Untreated, varicose veins can cause severe health problems, such as open leg ulcers. Professor Whiteley says: “Many of these disorders can be cured by treating the underlying varicose veins that are the root of the problem.”
Almost all varicose vein conditions can now be cured with the new vein treatment techniques pioneered at The Whiteley Clinic, even in those patients who suffer recurrences after previous surgery. Professor Whiteley believes there is now no reason why they should not be cured.essence info
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