Page last updated:
31st May 2023

Venous intervention

If your problems are caused by venous hypertension / insufficiency there are simple procedures available on the NHS to treat the veins which are not working correctly, therefore, providing a permanent solution to your issues. If the issues are believed to be coming from your veins you should seek a referral through your GP or healthcare practitioner to your local vascular specialist team.

Varicose vein intervention is minimally invasive and should not require a prolonged hospital stay. Most centres perform these treatments as walk in walk out procedures. The intervention works by sealing shut or removing the damaged vein so that blood is redirected to healthy veins instead. This can be done by traditional operation or by newer endovenous techniques.

The three main types of venous intervention are:

Endothermal ablation

This works by inserting a wire into the vein and applying heat to seal it shut.

Ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy

A chemical – called a sclerosant – is mixed with air or another gas to produce a foam. The foam is injected into the vein and ultrasound is used to check that the foam is going to the right places. The sclerosant in the foam creates scarring inside the vein, which closes it.

Ligation and stripping

This is a surgical procedure usually done under general anaesthetic in a theatre setting.  The varicose vein is tied off and physically removed. This type of procedure is not offered in all vascular centres and only performed in specific cases.