Footballer returns to playing matches following advanced laser therapy on varicose veins

15th November 2017 by Daryll Baker0

Former Rangers footballer Justin Wingate is returning to the football pitch after two decades following a revolutionary operation for varicose veins.

The 43-year-old had picked up a devastating injury which ended his football career some 20 years ago. The reconstruction surgery Justin Wingate had needed, left him with unsightly pins in his legs, which caused varicose veins to surface on the skin. Embarrassed about the appearance of the varicose veins, Wingate says he covered up his legs for 20 years.

Talking to the Daily Record, the ex-footballer spoke of how varicose veins impacted his confidence, commenting:

“By the time I was 25, I had the legs of a 70-year-old. It became a big issue for me in relation to my confidence.”

As well as suffering from confidence issues, which meant Wingate would wear long shorts and socks to cover up his knees if he ventured onto a pitch, the former Rangers players said the varicose veins became painful.

“By the time I was in my 30s, they got really painful too,” said Justin Wingate.

The football player said he heard about a laser ablation therapy, less invasive treatment for varicose veins that didn’t involve surgery or needles.

Wingate, who now works in IT, said he felt no pain with the laser treatment and in a couple of days following the therapy was mobile and is now playing for the amateur football club, Glasgow Hoppers.

“I can’t believe the difference it’s made, and it took no longer than a filling at the dentist,” he said.

Laser ablation therapy or endovenous laser treatment as it is known, involves removing superficial veins by cauterising them. The long saphenous vein is cannulated using an ultrasound machine. A laser wire is passed up the superficial vein to the groin. The laser is turned on and the vein is cauterised by pulling the wire slowly out.

The whole procedure is done under a general or local anaesthetic.

To discuss less invasive treatments for varicose veins including endovenous laser treatment, get in touch with the Vascular Consultancy, specialists in treating varicose veins and other vascular conditions.


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Daryll Baker is a Consultant Vascular Surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital London and Clinical Lead for North Central Region Vascular Services.

He read Medicine at Oxford University and trained in Vascular Surgery in Nottingham, London and Edinburgh. He obtained his research PhD from the University of Wales.


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