top of page

  • Do I need a referral?

You do not require a referral as you are able to contact us directly to make an appointment to see one of our vascular consultants.


  • What should I do if I would like to be assessed for treatment?

Either call or email us and we can arrange an appointment for you.


  • How are varicose veins diagnosed?

We will look to diagnose varicose veins using duplex ultrasound.  During the assessment with one of our vascular scientists, an ultrasound probe is run over the skin surface, letting you see a picture of the veins and if they are faulty. This is seen by the flow of blood.  The scan will also help to map which treatment will be the best option for you.  Your deep veins will also be scanned so they can ensure the right treatment is offered to you.


  • What is a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)?

A DVT is the formation of a blood clot in the deep veins usually in the leg which can cause acute pain and swelling. There is always a small risk of DVT with any type of surgery. This is an extremely rare side effect of RF treatment

  • What is a Pulmonary Embolus (PE)?

A PE is a blood clot which can block off some of the vessels in the lung and can sometimes occur after a DVT. 


  • How effective is RF treatment?

There are multiple studies have shown that RF treatment has significantly better outcomes than conventional surgery in terms of less pain, less bruising and few complications. There is also a faster return to normal activities


  • Does it hurt?

You will have several injections during the procedure which can cause some mild discomfort which is when the initial catheter is going into the vein and also when the local anaesthetic is being put around the vein. You should not feel any pain when the vein is treated with heat.

  • Can I drive after treatment?

You will normally be able to resume your normal activities within 20 minutes of the treatment and should be able to drive home


  • Do I need to make any special preparations for the treatment?

You will have to wear loose-fitting trousers or a skirt because dressings may be applied after the procedure.


  • What are spider veins?

Spider veins are like varicose veins but smaller. They also are closer to the surface of the skin than varicose veins. Often, they are red or blue. They can look like tree branches or spider webs with their short, jagged lines. They can be found on the legs and face and can cover either a very small or very large area of skin.


  • What causes spider veins?

Spider veins can be caused in a number of ways including hormone changes, sun damage or local injury. They can also present as a result of larger underlying varicose veins which are not always visible. It is important that spider veins are fully investigated using an ultrasound scan to identify associated varicose veins. Failure to treat the underlying varicose veins may result in the spider veins recurring early


  • What is the treatment for spider veins?

Spider veins can be treated by injecting a chemical in them which causes the veins to stick together and seal up. This is called sclerotherapy. Small spider veins less than 3mm and close to the skin can also be treated using VeinWave. The probe heats up the red blood cells which heat up and close the veins


  • Are there any side effects?

Sclerotherapy – This can cause temporary bruising which settles over a few days but may lead to brown skin staining which may go after some time.

VeinWave –  You may suffer from slight discomfort at the time of treatment similar to a ‘nettle sting’. May also lead to redness and swelling which will settle down in a few days.


  • How much does the treatment cost?

The cost will be dependent on the outcome of the consultation and ultrasound scan. Once they have scanned you, they can assess if you need RF or VeinWave treatment on one or both legs. 


  • What is radiofrequency endovenous treatment and how does it work?

Radiofrequency works by generating heat which seals the varicose veins from the inside.  A small (2mm) incision is made in the leg and a catheter is inserted into the vein until it reaches the groin.  Anaesthetic fluid is then injected around the vein in order to numb the area and to ensure only the vein is heated.  As the catheter is withdrawn,  radiofrequency energy is applied to the vein wall, generating heat which seals the vein.  Over time, the vein shrinks down and eventually disappears.


  • How long does the RF treatment take?

The treatment is usually carried out under local anaesthetic on a walk-in walk-out basis and takes approximately 60 minutes, though you can expect to be at the clinic for a few hours on the day of your treatment.  You will be able to go home on the same day and can resume normal activities the next day.


  • What are the benefits of RF treatment?

Compared to traditional varicose vein surgery, where the vein is “stripped” from the leg  under general anaesthetic, RF treatment has several benefits:

  • Performed under local anaesthetic on a walk in walk out basis

  • Minimal scarring – usually one 2mm incision around the knee

  • Less painful

  • Less bruising

  • Shorter recovery time – patients can resume normal activities the next day

  • Fewer complications


  • What are the possible side effects or complications of RF treatment?

As with any medical procedure, there is a risk of side effects. Therefore, it is important to discuss any existing medical conditions with your consultant before going ahead with the treatment.

Side effects are rare and usually minor but can include some of the following:

  • Minor pain/discomfort and bruising, which can be treated with common pain relief tablets

  • Tingling or numbness, or a “pulling “ sensation in the thigh

  • Burning sensation in the varicose veins (phlebitis)

  • Wound infection

  • Skin discolouration

  • In less than 0.5% of cases, more serious side effects may occur, specifically deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE).

Phoenix Hospital, Chelmsford

Springfield Hospital, Chelmsford

Tel: 01245 241 340

  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Twitter Icon
  • White Google+ Icon
bottom of page