Tuesday, 16 March 2010

4000th Local Anesthetic Varicose Veins Patient

In the same month that we celebrated our 11 year anniversary of doing the first keyhole surgery operation for varicose veins in the UK, we operated on the 4,000th patient to have walk-in walk-out local anaesthetic surgery for varicose veins at The Whiteley Clinic.

This picture shows the official photograph being taken - Mr Mark Whiteley on the left, Mrs Jennifer Rothera in the middle, and Mr Barrie Price (who performed the operation) on the right.

When Mark Whiteley performed the first VNUS Closure operation in the UK in March 1999, it was performed under general anaesthetic.

This continued to be the practice until about 4 years ago when The Whiteley Clinic built a specialised "walk-in, walk-out" operating theatre for local anaesthetic varicose vein operations.

Not only do patients get the very latest techniques that reduce the risk of getting veins back again, but they also get tiny incisions (usually only 2 - 3mm called "keyhole" surgery), low risks of complications and a long lasting result. Being under local anaesthetic, they are back to full mobility straight away - albeit wearing a stocking or occasionally a bandage. Gone are the days of 2 - 3 weeks off of work after vein stripping!!!!

Mrs Rothera wrote the following:

A few weeks after my treatment I received a 'phone call from The Whiteley Clinic informing me that I was their 4000th patient and would I like to write a testimonial. Without hesitation the answer was "yes".

Years ago I had had my veins stripped and increasingly over the last few years, I have suffered from very painful bouts of phlebitis. Until now I had only ever been offered anti-inflammatory oral medication. I had varicose veins over my right ankle and inside my thighs, but visually they didn't look too bad.

However, in June 2009, the pain became so excruciating that something had to be done (an NHS scan gave me a clean bill of health, but they left me with the pain!!). Fortunately, I was quickly able to attend The Whiteley Clinic where a scan showed a diagnosis of extensive thrombophlebitis, running from my thigh to my calf. Six months of anticoagulation medication followed before treatment could begin. The consultant surgeon, in my case Mr Barrie Price, explained everything to me in words and diagrams. He proposed three procedures, pioneered by the Clinic: laser, radio-frequency and ligation techniques. I was given The Whiteley Clinic booklet, which is excellent.

The day of the first procedure finally arrived and naturally I had my qualms, which immediately began to fade when I walked into the friendly, calm, confident atmosphere of the Clinic. All of the nursing staff with whom I had contact were amazing; as individuals they each showed a caring attitude and collectively in the operating theatre there seemed to be a great team spirit. If you want to know what is going on they will tell you (I always want to know everything, but I gather some people don't want to know anything). All you feel are the initial injections. You can lie back and listen to the music, watch the procedure is on the monitor screen, or join in the conversation!

You are given a post operative patient information leaflet, which is only double sided A4, but so well put together and so explanatory that any bruise, lump or bump you might experience is explained away. They telephone you the day after to see how you and there is a 24-hour helpline available.

I have had 3 procedures over 3 weeks. My left leg has recovered well; my right leg, with all the major problems got all the side-effects in the book, but even now after only 6 weeks the bruising, swelling and the pain have gone and my legs are looking better than they have for years and I can wear strappy sandals again! Maybe veins are like icebergs, a few visible blue or prominent veins are an indication of possible problems below the surface. If anyone reading this has these, or similar symptoms, I recommend a visit to The Whiteley Clinic; don't leave it as long as I did, 'phone them today!

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