In 2014, I swapped my surgical gloves for a patients’ gown and I had my own superificial vein reflux treated by laser (endovenous laser – EVL). My surgeon was Dr Robin Windhaber who performed the laser procedure EVL under local anaesthesia as a walk in walk out procedure.
So what decided me to have my veins treated? Way back in 2002, my colleague Wendy Parsons (a vascular sonographer) and I were looking to invest in new ultrasound equipment for the clinic and we decided that image quality would be a major consideration in the choice. We wanted to see which machine would allow us to see veins with the best image quality. Wendy would scan my legs and we would see which ultrasound machine gave the best picture.
To my horror, she discovered that I had reflux and faulty valves in the main superficial vein (the great saphenous vein) of both legs. How could this be? I had no varicose veins on the surface to see and I had no symptoms. In typical male fashion (according to my wife!), I decided to ignore the scan results. Then a few years later, my legs began to ache and swell at the end of the day particularly in warm weather and on holiday. My legs would also itch and sometimes they would stop me from sleeping with restlessness. So, I started to wear medical graduated compression socks in the hope that they would prevent deterioration. While I wore them, my legs felt fine and by moisturising my legs before bed, all seemed under control .
Until 2013 that is, when things got worse and varicose veins began to appear. One day, while on holiday (I was wearing shorts, and it was hot, so no socks), Jane, my wife, noticed lumpy varicose veins on my legs. “You need to have something done, before you have a real problem”, she gently advised me! The time had come for intervention. Not for me surgical stripping. I wanted endothermal ablation and more importantly I wanted it done at my own clinic by people I trust. Back in 2014, Robin and I used to work together at the VeinCare Centre.
I had the procedure done on both legs and within 2 hours I was on my way home posing for photographs outside the clinic. I had no pain during or after the procedure and I was back at work on Monday. I was apprehensive at first even though I knew everyone and I knew what was coming, but I soon relaxed once we were underway.
What a change! Now in 2019, 5 years later, my legs are comfortable and there are no varicose veins. I still wear medical compression socks – only at work – because I believe they will reduce the risk of more veins in the future. We live in an era, when vein treatments couldn’t be easier.
For more information about Endovenous Laser Treatment for Superficial Venous Reflux, do please get in touch