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Varicose Vein Treatment under Local Anaesthesia

At the VeinCare Centre, we monitor our patients’ vital signs during their vein procedures under local anaesthetic. We measure our patients’ pulse, blood pressure, oxygen levels and respiratory rate as well as having equipment that displays the patient’s heart trace (ECG). The majority of vein specialists do not bother with this. So why do we go to this extra bother?

Our procedures are in line with guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). We go further than NICE recommendations: we perform our procedure under local anaesthetic on a walk-in, walk out basis, because we believe that local anaesthetic is much safer than general anaesthesia. Nevertheless, although the procedures are performed under local anaesthetic, like most vein specialists, we use a technique called tumescent local anaesthesia in which large volumes of local are delivered via infusion tubing and a pump system. The local anaesthetic contains adrenaline that can sometimes speed up the heart, a phenomenon called tachycardia. If this happens, our patient can sometimes feel a little anxious. We can recognise what’s happening if we monitor our patient and we can reassure him or her.

We have observed over the years, that some people who are anxious can, paradoxically, develop a very slow heart rate on occasions (a bradycardia), and this is called a vasovagal reflex. If this occurs we can identify it at a very early stage from our  monitoring system and we can intervene to stop this reaction.

Very occasionally those with pace-makers may be sensitive to electronic equipment in the treatment room. We have noticed that this is sometimes an issue for people undergoing Radio-Frequency Ablation (RFA).

For these reasons, we believe that monitoring our patients’ vital signs is very important. We use a blood pressure cuff, chest electrodes and a finger oxygen meter. (pulse oximeter). Patient safety is very important to us, so that’s why and how we monitor our patients.

If you would like our free information pack which has details of our treatments under local anaesthetic, please use our contact form or call us on 01935 873951.