Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Varicose Veins Program launches one-stop clinic with female vascular ultrasound technologists for greater convenience and faster results
Experts at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi have stressed the need for proper screening to successfully treat varicose veins and prevent a reoccurrence caused by underlying issues that often go undetected.
Varicose veins are twisted, enlarged veins, often occurring in the legs. The cause of varicose veins is reflux, most commonly within the great saphenous vein in the thigh, which can lead to pain and ugly bulging veins. A family history of the condition, prolonged periods of standing, being overweight, old age, and multiple pregnancies can exacerbate varicose veins.
Many individuals with varicose veins remain asymptomatic, but others may experience pain, aching, heaviness and itching that can affect their quality of life.
Nicola Sedgwick, a Senior Vascular Scientist at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, said she often sees patients treated at aesthetic clinics with a reoccurrence of the issue because of inadequate investigation into the hidden cause.
“The first most important step in addressing varicose veins is a detailed diagnostic testing prior to any vein treatment by a specialized sonographer, even if it is to improve the cosmetic appearance of the patient’s legs,” she said. “This approach enables us to recommend the best course of action to address their specific concerns, whether they are medical or aesthetic.”
Nicola said a sonographer must spend at least 30 minutes to assess each leg.
“This timeframe is necessary because varicose veins can be complex, and you can get hidden varicose veins. We frequently see patients who have only had the visible veins at the bottom of their leg treated when the actual problem starts right up on the thigh. If the cause is not treated, there will be little or no improvement in appearance or symptoms and the veins may return within a few months.
She added that not all patients experiencing leg pain need to be prescribed varicose vein surgery either.
“Sometimes we find that there is no or little reflux at all, and the cause of the pain is a backache, bad knees or incorrectly fitted footwear. In these cases, we suggest that the patient see an orthopedist, wear compression socks, or schedule an appointment with our podiatrist.”
The Varicose Veins team of vascular surgeons, scientists and specialized nurses at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi provides tailored solutions for cosmetic issues, such as spider veins, and medical problems, including superficial venous insufficiency and varicose veins – generally two forms of the same condition.
Since 2016, the hospital’s highly experienced vascular surgery team has successful treated 230 varicose veins patients with a minimally invasive procedure that uses a safe-for-the-body medical adhesive to quickly and effectively close the vein, forcing the blood to be re-routed through other healthy veins in the leg. The procedure eliminates the need for invasive vein stripping surgery and avoids the high temperatures needed for laser treatment. This innovative technique requires minimal downtime and patients can often go back to their daily routine the same or next day.
To enhance convenience and decrease wait time for patients seeking treatment, the hospital recently launched its varicose veins one-stop clinic. From an assessment and detailed vascular ultrasound to charting a treatment plan, patients can be varicose vein free in less than two weeks.
“This unique one-stop clinic is led by a multidisciplinary team and provides a tailored plan for varicose veins patients without any delays. They come in for their appointment one day and by the following week we can have them booked for surgery. We are also the only hospital in Abu Dhabi with female vascular sonography technologists, which helps our female patients to feel as comfortable as possible during the screenings,” said Sedgwick.
To book an appointment at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Heart & Vascular Institute, call 800 8 CCAD (2223) or visit www.clevelandclinicabudhabi.ae.