Treatment by trusted experts for spider veins, varicose veins and thread veins.

Award winning service, with over 20 years of experience
Minimally invasive procedure that is performed under local anaesthesia and only takes about 30 minutes to complete
Safe environment, in Care Quality Commission approved facilities.
Gentle and extremely effective procedure that ensures patient comfort during and after treatment

Varicose Veins Treatment.

Up to 40% of women and 20% of men suffer from symptoms such as tired, heavy legs as well as prominent veins that are clearly visible under the skin.

This makes diseases of the veins one of the most prevalent conditions today. The primary causes include congenital connective tissue weakness, hormonal changes and long stretches of standing and sitting. Impaired veins are more than just a cosmetic problem – in the worst cases and in advanced stages, they can lead to painful skin ulcers if not treated.


Our varicose vein treatments are provided by Mr Nick Hickey, Consultant Vascular Surgeon.

Mr Nicholas Hickey

Consultant Vascular Surgeon

Mr Hickey studied Medicine at the University of Birmingham, graduating in 1984 with the Sampson Gamgee Memorial Prize in Surgery. He began performing vascular duplex ultrasound at the Selly Oak vascular laboratory (1988-90).

Surgical training continued in General and Vascular Surgery in Worcester and Stourbridge and was then appointed a Lecturer in the University of Birmingham, with specialist training in Vascular Surgery at the Queen Elizabeth and Selly Oak Hospitals. He was awarded a travelling fellowship by the Royal College of Surgeons to obtain further specialist training in the USA at Harvard University.

Mr Hickey introduced the techniques of Micro-Phlebectomy and PIN-Stripping to Worcestershire. He performed and published studies that demonstrated that the use of tourniquets reduced bleeding and bruising associated with surgery and that the use of pre-operative local anaesthetic infiltration reduced operative bleeding and postoperative pain. Mr Hickey also introduced micro-sclerotherapy for thread veins and small varicose veins and continue to offer this technique in his outpatient clinic. In 2003, he began performing Ultrasound-Guided Foam Sclerotherapy, Radiofrequency Ablation in 2004 and a year later Endovenous Laser Ablation.

What Should I Know?

While the heart serves as the pump for transporting blood in the arteries, the veins require additional pumping mechanisms to counteract the force of gravity when the body is upright.

For example, the transport of blood back to the heart by the calf muscle is supported by the valves in our veins. If these valves do not close properly, blood flows back into the legs and pools in the veins which become distended due to the increased pressure.

The condition in which veins malfunction in this way is referred to as varicose veins, varicosis or venous insufficiency. Pronounced varicose veins lead to problems with the drainage of blood and typically result in complaints and complications such as heavy legs, pain, swelling, inflammation and varicose haemorrhage (bleeding).

What can I do?

The earlier vein impairment is identified, the lower the risks. Varicose veins are often treated for aesthetic reasons. However, treatment is also highly advisable for medical reasons because the complications may be severe and can be avoided in most cases if the condition is treated in time.

The basic form of treatment for diseases of the veins is compression therapy. The principle underlying this type of treatment is to reduce the width of the vein by applying external pressure. However, once a vein becomes distended, it can never contract back to its original size, and so compression therapy needs to be applied for the remainder of the patient‘s life. Alternatively, the vein can be disconnected from the vein system. Surgical measures seek to completely eliminate venous diseases as far as possible.

Vein stripping was the standard surgical treatment for removing large varicose veins. This procedure extracts the diseased saphenous vein from the leg in its entirety. Surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia, and recovery takes approximately three weeks. According to literature one out of seven patients is expected to have damage to the adjacent nerves.

Radiofrequency therapy and foam sclerotherapy are additional methods in use. The latter involves injecting foam into the vessels where it causes an inflammation. When the inflammation is in remission, the veins scar over and the varicose vein scleroses.

The radiofrequency method involves insertion of a catheter into the vein and heating up the interior wall of the vein using radio waves. The vessel wall and neighbouring connective tissue denature and contract. In a matter of weeks, a long fibrotic cord develops. According to manufacturer specifications, potential complications include vessel perforation, thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, vein inflammation, bruising, infections, and sensitivity disruption (paresthesia).

Treating veins close to the skin surface may cause skin burns. The risk of sensitivity disruption is higher when the treatment is performed at or below the calf. This method has to be used with caution in patients with pacemakers and implanted defibrillators.

How we treat Varicose Veins at Stratum Clinics.

We have a number of methods for treating varicose veins, spider veins and thread veins. Please contact us to find out more:


Sclerotherapy involves injecting a solution directly into the vein. This causes the vein to scar, forcing blood away to healthier veins. The collapsed vein is reabsorbed into local tissue and eventually fades.

After sclerotherapy, treated veins tend to fade within a few weeks, although occasionally it may take a month or more to see the full results.


Foam sclerotherapy

Foam sclerotherapy is usually carried out under local anaesthetic meaning you will go home the day of the procedure. Your surgeon injects a specially mixed foam into the affected vein. The foam reacts immediately with the vein wall. It causes inflammation within the vein and pushes out any blood in the area. This eventually closes off the vein. Over several weeks or months, your varicose vein will shrink and disappear.


Phlebectomy or Stab Avulsion

Phlebectomy (also known as stab avulsion, microphlebectomy or ambulatory phlebectomy) is a technique to remove varicose veins. In this procedure, several tiny cuts (incisions) are made in the skin through which the varicosed vein is removed.


The ELVeS Radial™ Laser procedure

The ELVeS Radial™ procedure is a gentle and extremely effective procedure that ensures patient comfort during and after treatment. biolitec®, a pioneer in the area of minimally invasive therapy, introduced the first generation of lasers for the treatment of varicose veins as early as 1998.

Based on continuous research and enhancements and many years of experience, the ELVeS Radial™ procedure was developed together with world-renowned experts and introduced in 2008. It is based on the removal of the defective vein through complete closure of the inner vessel wall by laser irradiation.

In combination with the world’s first ever radial emitting laser probe ELVeS Radial™, the clinically proven ELVeS Radial™ laser with its special wavelength of 1470nm provides a uniform beam pattern in order to avoid the risk(s) of perforation, discomfort or skin burns. In addition, the need for local anesthesia can be reduced to a minimum. The patient will notice desired results immediately after this gentle, minimally invasive procedure.

ELVeS Radial™ represents a minimally invasive procedure that is performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia and only takes about 30 minutes to complete. In this procedure, the ELVeS Radial™ probe is inserted into the affected vein through a small puncture site. The probe is then used to direct the laser light into the vein using targeted radial emission. The laser seals the vein. Patients experience little or no pain during or after the procedure. Patients can also resume normal activities immediately after treatment with ELVeS Radial™.

Patients choosing this treatment will benefit from the following advantages:

  • A virtually pain-free recovery
  • Maximum patient comfort
  • Short treatment times
  • No scarring
  • Little or no post-operative bruising
  • Excellent medical and cosmetic results
  • Quick return to normal activities


Which clinics offer varicose vein treatment

We currently treat and remove varicose veins in Oxford and Cheltenham, to book an appointment with either clinic, please call 0800 048 9230 and a member of the team will talk you through your consultation and then book you an appointment with Mr Nick Hickey.

Stratum Clinics Oxford 

Stratum Clinics

Cantay House, 38-39 Park End St, Oxford OX1 1JD

Stratum Clinics Cheltenham

Stratum Clinics

5 Ormond Terrace, Regent St., Cheltenham, GL50 1HR

0800 048 9230
to arrange a consultation now

A member of the team will then book you an appointment with one of our specialists.

Lines open 8am-6pm, Monday to Friday.


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