‘A simple solution
to a simple problem’

Mr. Jamie Barwell

Consultant Vascular Surgeon

In my career as a vascular surgeon I have treated over 1000 patients with varicose vein problems, using open surgical techniques and, since 2007, foam sclerotherapy.

I’m still amazed when patients come to me and say “You’ve absolutely transformed my life by treating my varicose veins.”


Guy’s Hospital Medical School – MBBS 1991


Junior Doctor posts


Training in general surgery, then specialising in vascular and renal transplant surgery


Fellow of Royal College of Surgeons of England


Awarded Sol Cohen (Vascular Society founder) and National Venous Forum prizes for MD thesis work


Consultant vascular and renal transplant surgeon at the Derriford and Nuffield Hospitals


European trauma course instructor

How we assess varicose veins

A simple clinical assessment – asking you some questions and examining the leg – will provide much of the information we need. We also carry out ultrasound mapping of the problem veins with ‘Doppler’ assessment of the flow to highlight the areas of refluxing blood within the veins. We can even provide a practical preliminary assessment from a photograph.

How we treat varicose veins

At Southwest Veins, we believe that varicose veins represent a simple problem and deserve a simple (and therefore cost effective) solution: our preferred treatment is ‘foam sclerotherapy’.

  • A chemical sclerosant (Sodium Tetradecyl Sulfate) is mixed with air or CO2 to form a foam which we inject into the varicose vein. This displaces the blood and allows the sclerosant to destroy the vein lining. We track the foam to ensure that the correct volume of foam is in exactly the right place
  • Carried out under local anaesthetic, this procedure takes around 20 minutes to perform and is relatively painless
  • The foam works by setting off an inflammatory reaction, so the veins may become tender, bruised, hot and red for a period of time afterwards. As this settles down the veins are replaced by scar tissue, with the blood flowing instead in the intact, deep veins of the leg
  • We carry out the treatment in the minor operations procedure room at the Nuffield Hospital in Plymouth.

Your recovery after treatment

After the procedure we give detailed instructions about keeping yourself mobile for the weeks following treatment. You should expect to go home half an hour after treatment and return to work the next day.

  • You will be fitted with light compression dressings for 2 days
  • After a couple of days it is normal to feel some discomfort (phlebitis) in the treated veins, which may continue for a few days or weeks after the procedure
  • You should avoid a long-haul flight for six weeks after treatment
  • Your surgeon will carry out a post-procedure clinical assessment a few weeks after the procedure
  • In 95% of cases, a single treatment of foam sclerotherapy is enough to treat the whole leg. For the other 5% a top-up session of sclerotherapy will be required (included in the package price).
  • As varicose veins are likely to recur over time, no treatment comes with a lifetime guarantee. However all the evidence we have so far indicates that foam sclerotherapy treatment shows an equal or improved outcome over surgery: you would have an 85% chance that your varicose veins would not come back within 5 years
  • Surgery for recurrent varicose veins was fraught with difficulties due to scarring but foam sclerotherapy is just as safe for recurrent as for first time (‘primary’) varicose veins.

Video appointments

I am now booking FREE initial consultations via video which are proving highly effective. This enables us to meet, virtually, face to face and for me to diagnose your condition and answer any specific questions.

Our fees

As part of our commitment to providing a simple solution for varicose veins, we will provide a full package of care for each leg we treat for a single fixed price of £1495.

This includes clinical assessment, venous duplex imaging, ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy, follow-up assessment and any necessary top-up treatment if required.

Single fixed price per leg


Includes any necessary top-up treatment if required

Interest-free payment plan

As an alternative to a one-off payment package our finance provider may be able to provide you with an interest-free payment plan provided by Chrysalis Finance.  Treatment is provided via Plymouth Nuffield Hospital.

Why can’t I get treatment on the NHS?

As part of recent NHS cost savings, various treatments have been seen as low priority as they were considered to represent quality of life improvements rather than physical health issues. In many cases – rightly or wrongly – varicose vein treatments fall into this category.

If you find yourself turned down for treatment under the NHS, we provide a simple, streamlined, cost-effective treatment pathway for your care.