A specialist vein surgeon at the Spire Murrayfield Hospital has warned that thousands of people in the borough are suffering from varicose veins.

According to surgeon Stephen Bair from Heswall, the NHS in Liverpool stopped treating varicose veins give years ago and in Wirral treatment has been suspended.

Stephen, who pioneered internationally recognised treatments for varicose veins for the past 30 years, said: “Varicose veins, if left untreated at an early stage, can cause problems like phlebitis, the inflammation of the veins, which is very painful and debilitating and causes rashes and venous eczema.

“Treatment at a later stage may require an operation under general anaesthetic and a stay in hospital rather than as an outpatient.

“Women in particular find them embarrassing and they can have a significant effect psychologically and socially.

“They may not feel comfortable showing their legs in shorts or with skirts and this inhibits them from enjoying holidays in the sun, swimming or even going to the gym.”

Stephen, 62, developed the four-layer bandage used all over the world to treat varicose ulcers in 1987 when he was a young surgeon at Charing Cross Hospital in London.

He has now created a new technique by using the ClariVein catheter - allowing people to avoid surgery to remove the varicose veins.

He added: “It uses sequential avulsions which is a series of tiny nicks in the skin through which you tease out the vein in stages.

“It’s much less invasive and you’re back on your feet and active a lot more quickly.

"The catheter gives a mild vibrating sensation like an electric toothbrush while the vein is destroyed from inside.

“It replaces painful laser treatment which required multiple injections of local anaesthetic and caused bruising, potential nerve damage and an average of three and a half days off work.

“ClariVein is genuinely a walk-in, walk-out procedure, with a rapid return to normal activities and without the pain, complications and higher cost of laser treatment.”

Stephen will open his new Liverpool Varicose Vein Clinic in Rodney Street in Liverpool in January with treatments also carried out at Spire Murrayfield Hospital.