Patricia Lambourne had suffered with painful and unsightly veins for many years. She'd tried various treatments but none of them had any long term effect and she was also told that it was extremely unlikely that she would be able to have surgery with the NHS, as she probably wouldn't meet the restrictive criteria.
Mrs Lambourne, aged 58, then decided to turn to healthcare provider Benenden, having been a member for many years.
Within two weeks of contacting Benenden Mrs Lambourne had an appointment to see a consultant at Benenden Hospital. Six weeks later she had surgery on her right leg and six weeks later she had surgery on her left leg.
Mrs Lambourne, of Kent, said: "Varicose veins run in my family and I'd had them for years. I had them stripped and injected, but neither worked. They were painful and they stuck out. They ached and they itched and as time went on I began to worry about ulcers.
I went to my GP and asked him to refer me to Benenden Hospital and I haven't looked back since!
Mrs Patricia Lambourne
"The service I received was excellent. It was all very easy and straightforward going through Benenden. I went to my GP and asked him to refer me to Benenden Hospital and I haven't looked back since!
"I was very well looked after at the hospital and the results following my surgery are marvellous.
"Also, it was great not having to have a general anaesthetic and not to have that grogginess afterwards. I simply walked in - and walked out afterwards.
"I would never have contemplated wearing shorts before the surgery, but now I'm not nearly as conscious about covering up."
Mrs Lambourne had Endovenous Laser Treatment at Benenden Hospital, or EVLT. This is a minimally invasive technique carried out under local anaesthetic and is the 'gold standard' in varicose veins treatment.
Her surgeon was Eddie Chaloner, the first surgeon in the South of England to use EVLT and pioneer in minimally invasive veins surgery. The advantages of EVLT are that there is no scarring, there is no cut to the groin, there is less bruising, faster recovery, it can be carried out under local anaesthetic, an overnight hospital stay is not needed and there is less chance of the varicose veins recurring.
Mr Chaloner said: "Varicose vein surgery has changed beyond all recognition in the last 10 years with minimally invasive laser surgery now being recognised by NICE as the treatment of choice and this means faster, easier and more effective surgery for our patients."
To find out more about our varicose veins service and EVLT visit: http://www.benendenhospital.org.uk/TreatmentAndServices/Veins/what-are-varicose-veins.aspx
Published 28 October 2014