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 Health, having been a member for many years.

Within two weeks of contacting benenden health 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.

“The service I received was excellent. It was all very easy and straightforward going through benenden health. 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, or EVLT. This is a minimally invasive technique done under local anesthetic 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 .”


Amanda Madigan’s varicose veins were making her life pretty miserable.

They were painful, especially when her job as a midwife required her to stand for very long periods, they would make her legs swell and resulted in her sometimes feeling totally fed up at the end of a long, hard day.

But following surgery at benenden hospital she is now confident that her life will improve dramatically. She had Endovenous Laser Treatment on her left leg in July 2014 and six weeks later it was completely pain free. She had surgery on her right leg in August 2014 and is confident she will have similar results.

Mrs Madigan, aged 48, who lives in East London, is pleased that her benenden health membership allowed her to access the treatment.

She said: “Years ago I had the veins in my right leg stripped, with the NHS, but they came back again at the top. I went to my GP and he said I couldn’t have my varicose veins treated on the NHS this time as I did not meet the very strict criteria which the NHS has since set. I’d been a member of benenden health for several years so I called them and they were able to help.”

“I’ve been so pleased with the service I’ve had. I’ve recommended benenden health membership to all of my friends.”

“The first leg is perfect now. I’ve got no problems at all. I feel sure the other leg will be the same too, once I’ve had time to recover from the surgery. It has given me a new lease of life – it has really made a difference. Before I’d be reluctant to put on high heels and go out for dinner as my legs would be so swollen and painful, but now there’s nothing to stop me!”


Catherine Bayley says her right leg is now “a million times better” after having surgery for varicose veins at benenden hospital.

Catherine first began having problems with varicose veins, in both legs, at the age of just 20 – and as the problem seemed to be getting worse at the age of 31 she decided to do something about it.

Being a member of benenden health she visited her GP and asked him to refer her to benenden hospital. Very soon afterwards she had an appointment for a consultation and was then booked in for surgery, in July 2014. Just six weeks after the Endovenous Laser Treatment to her right leg she said: “The results are amazing. It is a million times better than it was.”

“My legs were unsightly. The varicose veins would stick out and they were painful. My legs would ache and it always seemed to be worse in the hot weather.”

Miss Bayley, from Sidcup, was so pleased with the results that six weeks later she had EVLT on her left leg, in August 2014. She said: “I wouldn’t wear skirts before and I certainly would not have worn shorts, but now I’m hoping that I will be able to.”

“The staff at benenden hospital were all very kind and professional. I felt very well looked after and confident that I was in capable hands and was being treated by professionals. I’d like to thank all involved during my treatments.”


There was no worrying about having a general anaesthetic when Caroline Swan went to benenden hospital for varicose veins surgery.

All that was necessary was a local anaesthetic, to numb the area being treated and while the surgery was being carried out Mrs Swan was able to take her mind off things by plugging into her iPod and listening to Luther Vandross and Michael Jackson.

Mrs Swan had Endovenous Laser Treatment, or EVLT, on her left leg in May 2014 and returned in August 2014 to have the same treatment on her right leg.

She’s suffered problems with varicose veins for many years – and 11 years previously she’d had the veins stripped.

Mrs Swan, of West Sussex, said: “The newer EVLT surgery is a lot better than how things were done 11 years ago. I didn’t have to be put to sleep and there was no need for an overnight stay. Also the recovery time is a lot quicker.

“I couldn’t fault the service I had at benenden hospital. My surgeon, Mr Chaloner, was lovely and so were all the nursing staff who helped to put my mind at rest. They were very pleasant and answered all of my questions.”

Mrs Swan came to benenden hospital having been a member of benenden health for many years. Her GP referred her as she was suffering with pain, swelling and cramp.

Just a week and a half after surgery Mrs Swan was able to go on a holiday to the Isle of Wight, where she enjoyed walking and sightseeing.