The modern treatment of varicose veins uses non-surgical vein procedures such as Endovenous Laser and Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy.
It is no longer necessary to treat varicose veins with surgery. The latest walk in/walk out, non surgical techniques of Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) and Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy (UGS) are available at Palm Clinic. We are able to treat almost all varicose veins, regardless of size, non surgically.
Dr John Barrett introduced Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy to New Zealand and was one of the first exponents of Endovenous Laser Ablation. Dr Barrett is Chairman and a Foundation Fellow of the Australasian College of Phlebology. Dr Barrett works with four other phlebologists at Palm Clinic which is the busiest Vein Clinic in New Zealand.
Palm Clinic is an affiliated provider to Southern Cross for varicose veins. Medical necessity criteria apply.
Treatments are generally covered by medical insurance including Southern Cross, Tower, Sovereign, Unimed and others when meeting 'medical necessity criteria'.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are large dilated blood vessels that have a bluish colour and protrude above the surface of the skin. Varicose veins are commonly associated with symptoms such as aching, throbbing, tired legs, varicose leg ulcers, cramp, heavy legs, burning, itching, varicose eczema, leg swelling and restless legs.
Varicose veins occur in saphenous veins or their tributaries which lie just under the skin in the fat space. Saphenous veins in normal legs carry blood from the legs back to the heart and lungs but when these veins become dilated and varicosed the blood falls down the leg because the non return valves in the saphenous veins no longer work. The blood is then carried up the deep veins of the leg which lie within muscle but some of this blood falls down the varicose vein creating a useless loop of circulation. Treatment closes the useless varicose vein which allows blood to travel back to the heart and lungs again via the normal deep veins.
What causes Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins can occur...
- As a hereditary medical vein condition - varicose veins tend to run in families.
- In both men and women, but are more frequent in women. Oestrogen may play a role in varicose vein development because both puberty and pregnancy often seem to start varicose veins.
- During pregnancy the enlarged uterus can restrict blood flow out of the legs putting pressure on the veins, and cause varicose veins.
- As a result of occupations with prolonged standing, varicose veins can occur.
- As we get older, varicose veins are more prevalent
- Obesity is a risk factor for varicose veins
What are the symptoms?
Do all varicose veins require treatment?
Although varicose veins are not a life-threatening condition, most people with symptoms (such as aching) notice an increased quality of life after vein treatment. Or if you are symptom-free but dislike the appearance of the veins, you may choose treatment for cosmetic reasons.
For more serious complications such as varicose eczema or varicose ulcers it would be wise to have the varicose veins treated in order to improve the eczema or ulcers.
If you have ankle swelling caused by varicose veins it is sensible to treat the varicose veins to reduce the oedema.
Which treatment is right for me?
The two main treatments are Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy (UGS), and Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA). You can find out more about these two procedures above – but generally speaking, UGS tends to be used for smaller, twisted veins; while EVLA is used for larger, straighter veins. Surgery is another option but not offered at Palm Clinic, although non-surgical treatments are appropriate for most people.
As the first step in your varicose vein treatment, we will take a vein map of your leg using ultrasound. This will help us plan the most effective and safest treatment for you.
Will I need time off work?
What will it cost?
Do I need a referral from my GP?
What investigations are needed?
After the initial consultation where your Palm Clinic vein physician will examine your varicose veins you will then proceed to an ultrasound mapping of your deep and superficial veins which will provide an accurate diagnosis and help to define the best technique for your treatment.
"I am sure most people approach vericose vein treatment with some trepidation - I certainly did!. Well my experience with Palm Clinic means that you needn't worry. Right from the first visit I was impressed with the complete service at Palm Clinic, and working in the health industry I have high expectations. You can't miss the investment in the latest equipment and hi-tech facilities but it is the people that stand out. Clearly the team are complete professionals however it is their personable, engaging nature which made trips to Palm Clinic a pleasure which was unexpected. You can tell the team get on well and enjoy their job, and the interaction with their clients - to me a sign of a well oiled team. I personally appreciated their very attentive approach - there was a lot of follow up to make sure that my treatment was completed as expected. I felt in safe hands and recommend them without hesitation. Thanks team - at every level the service was superb."