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Consultant Vascular Surgeon - Varicose and Thread Vein Expert
 

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A Typical Varicose Vein Consultation

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Assessment of Varicose Veins

Successful treatment depends on a careful pre-operative assessment. No two people’s varicose veins are the same and the right procedure for one person may not be successful for someone else.

Full Medical History

Assessment begins in the outpatient clinic. Mr Gaunt will ask you to describe your condition and how it affects your life - work, social life, sport and self-image.

Previous trauma to the legs - such as fractures or ligament damage - and any previous history of varicose vein surgery, sclerotherapy or deep vein thrombosis (DVT) could all be relevant.

You will be asked about other medical conditions and any medications you take on a regular basis and if there are any medications you are allergic to. Finally, you will be asked about any conditions that run in the family, such as varicose veins or blood disorders.

Examination

Mr Gaunt will examine your legs to determine the extent, pattern and distribution of abnormal veins. He will also look for tell-tale signs that the veins are having a deleterious effect on the skin of your lower leg. This will help determine your future risk of developing venous eczema and venous ulceration.

Ultrasound Examination

Your veins will be examined during the clinic using ultrasound. Colour Duplex ultrasound is the mainstay of modern varicose vein assessment and many specialists consider this essential. Duplex ultrasound is a simple, non-invasive investigation which is vital to the correct assessment of all the veins in your leg and will determine which treatment is best for you.

The ultrasound scan often finds abnormalities which cannot be detected on clinical examination alone. In particular, the main veins of the leg - the deep veins - can be examined to ensure they are working normally before any treatment of varicose veins is contemplated.

Conclusion

Based on all this information from your medical history, physical examination and Duplex ultrasound scan, Mr Gaunt will discuss the findings and the various treatment options which are appropriate to your specific needs.

The consultation from start to finish usually takes about 20-30 minutes inclusive of the ultrasound scan and at the end of this process you will normally have all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Occasionally, more complex venous problems require more specialised investigations and Mr Gaunt will arrange for these to be performed if necessary.

Mr Gaunt will write you a letter summarising the consultation and supplying you with appropriate information leaflets.

Mr Gaunt’s office will be able to arrange a mutually convenient date for any treatment required.