The BAS (British Association of Sclerotherapists) interactive Masterclass Series kicked off on 8 October with three experts from the world of vascular surgery sharing their knowledge of 2020 varicose vein treatments.
One of the UK’s most experienced vein experts, Bruce Campbell, honorary vascular consultant at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and honorary professor at the University of Exeter Medical School (Exeter, UK), explored the complex trade offs between the different treatments available, the clinical and cosmetic outcomes and the financial implications for patients and practitioners. He went on to detail the treatments he currently provides and how he provides value and best outcomes for his patients.
Manjit Gohel, consultant vascular and endovascular surgeon, Cambridge University Hospitals (Cambridge, UK), honorary senior lecturer at Imperial College London (London, UK), addressed the key considerations when choosing a treatment modality for varicose veins. “20 years ago there were only two options for treating saphenous truncal disease: open surgery or stripping” he said. “Now, there is an absurd plethora of options available to us; over 30 different ways we can close off the saphenous vein. The paradox of having so much choice is that it becomes intimidating and what we end up doing is reverting to what we know rather than making the most of the different options.” He compared the merits of surgical stripping, thermal and non-thermal ablation and ultrasound guided sclerotherapy, and shared what he chooses in his own practice. “However,” he advised, “it is best to choose a modality with which the practitioner is familiar, and to recognise the strong advantage of having a selection of modalities at one’s disposal.”
Philip Coleridge Smith, consultant vascular surgeon, The British Vein Institute (Amersham, UK), emphasised that the most important factor in getting a good outcome is the surgeon, and the best treatments are the ones the surgeon is good at. He strongly advocates treating all tributaries and varices in addition to the saphenous truncal treatment. “If the residual varicose veins are ignored, after twelve months or so they are likely to be enlarged and the patient unhappy,” he said. He elucidated the advantages of foam sclerotherapy for primary and recurrent varices and described the approaches he takes in his practice.
BAS Chairman Stephen Tristram (Basingstoke and North Hampshire NHS Foundation Trust, Basingstoke, UK), one of the panellists, commented: ”We were very keen to adopt an interactive format for these webinars, and both the audience and panellists were encouraged to participate by questioning—or indeed challenging—the speakers and giving their own views through audience polls, thus providing a forum for meaningful debate of the key issues.”
Visit the BAS website for the recording of this webinar and for details on upcoming webinars in the Vein Treatment Masterclass.