Varicose veins

Many of us will suffer with varicose veins at some point in our lifetime, which can result in aching legs or an uncomfortable throbbing sensation. The appearance of these veins can also be a cause of upset or concern.

We use the latest techniques including Clarivein® and Radiofrequency ablation






Vascular Consultants at Spire St Anthony's Hospital

Mr Tahir Ali
Mr Eric Chemla
Prof Ian Loftus
Mr Tom Loosemore
Mr Sudip Ray
Mr Paul Thomas
Mr Matt Thompson

Whilst certain lifestyle factors, such as maintaining a healthy weight and keeping active, can reduce the risk of varicose veins, there are certain risk factors which are unavoidable for many of us. These include pregnancy, sedentary professions (office workers) and getting older.

Spire St Anthony’s Hospital is able to offer modern treatments for varicose veins, including minimally invasive options such as Clarivein® and sclerotherapy, and surgery such as radiofrequency ablation.

Our experienced vascular consultants will discuss the treatment options with you, building a treatment packages suited to your individual needs.

What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are caused by a backflow of blood in the superficial veins near to the skin. This is due to the valves in the vein becoming weakened or damaged over time. Blood collects in the affected vein, causing it to become engorged or twisted in appearance. Once the vein is damaged, it does not tend to recover without treatment and will usually get worse over time.

What are the symptoms of varicose veins?

Symptoms of varicose veins will differ between individuals but can include:

  • Blue or purple discolorations under the skin
  • Aching or discomfort in the legs
  • Swelling of the ankles
  • Itchiness of the legs

Treament options for varicose veins 



Clarivein® is a newly available, minimally invasive treatment for varicose veins, which can be performed using a local anaesthetic. A rotating catheter is inserted into the affected vein(s) which releases a drug to seal the vein from within. The vein will then dissolve over a period of approximately 6 weeks. The patient is advised to wear a compression stocking for 1 week following treatment, and can return to regular activities (including driving) immediately after the procedure.


Radiofrequency Ablation 

Radiofrequency ablation is a modern, minimally invasive, surgical technique for treating varicose veins. Directed through a catheter, radiofrequency energy is used to heat up and close of the varicose vein in the leg. This method of treatment can be used to remove larger varicose veins and can be carried out under mild sedation.


Foam Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is best used to eliminate smaller varicose and spider veins. Treatment includes an injection of salt solution into the vein. This causes the lining of the blood vessel to swell and stick together, sealing off blood flow. The vein the fades from view over time. 


Varicose vein treatment aftercare

The amount of time needed for recovery is dependent on the type of treatment undertaken. Generally, the legs treated will be bandaged to have time to heal, and could be placed in an elasticated treatment stocking. With foam sclerotherapy, ClariVein® and ELT/EVLT™, patients are recommended to continue their usual activities and to stay active after their treatments. Your consultant will provide you with more advice about varicose vein treatment aftercare, depending on the type of treatment you have.

The next step

The first step in having your veins treated is to book an appointment with a consultant. We would require a GP referral letter in order to book an intial consultation. You will have a scan on the veins called a Duplex scan. The purpose of this is to identify the exact sites where the valves have failed. It will also show whether all the other veins are healthy including the deep veins. The outcome of the scan will allow the consultant to offer the correct treatment.

For further information or to book an appointment, call us on 020 8335 4678 / 79 or complete the form on the right-hand side of this page.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:


Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.


Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...

Prof. Ian Loftus - Consultant Vascular Surgeon

Prof Ian Loftus specialises in the treatment of varicose veins and holds regular clinics at Spire St Anthony's.
Clinic Time: Alternate Tuesday pm

For outpatient appointments please call 020 8335 4678 / 79 

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)