Do you want to get rid of your varicose veins? With varicose vein surgery, you could be one of the 50,000 people each year to benefit from this straightforward procedure, with smoother legs in just an hour.
Varicose vein surgery can be used to get rid of spider or thread veins under your skin, banish bulging veins from your legs and give you the confidence to wear shorts or skirts without worrying about the way that you look.
What causes varicose veins?
Varicose veins are veins in the leg that become twisted and bigger due to weakened valves, which causes the blood to collect in the vein rather than flow to your heart. There are several things that can increase your likelihood of developing varicose veins, including pregnancy, aging, weight gain, or with a job that requires you to stand for long periods of time.
Varicose veins appear when blood runs backwards down the leg through the veins. The veins in the leg contain one-way valves that are meant to prevent this from happening – however, sometimes the vein walls are weak and the valves fail to prevent blood from running back through the veins. This is what causes the blood to flow backwards (see Figure 1).
The cause of varicose veins. When the veins enlarge, the valves fail and blood flows backward.
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Although varicose veins rarely pose a significant risk to your health, they will not get better by themselves. They can also cause inflammation, itchiness, pain and discomfort; which is why, along with the cosmetic benefits, so many people have turned to varicose vein surgery.
What are the symptoms of varicose veins?
Early signs include discomfort, aching, heaviness, fatigue, burning, throbbing and cramps. Without treatment, irritation of the skin around the ankles and swelling of the feet can occur, potentially leading to leg ulcers and skin damage. In some cases a blood clot can develop, which can be a serious health risk.
How are varicose veins treated?
As there is more than one type of varicose vein treatment, your surgeon will advise you of the most appropriate option during your consultation.
For superficial veins or thread veins that do not have a major valve problem, a treatment called sclerotherapy may be the best option. In this procedure, a chemical substance (sclerosant) is injected into the vein through a fine needle. This causes the walls of the vein to glue together and the vein to shrivel up, turn to scar tissue and fade away. For larger underlying veins, the sclerosant is made into a foam. Depending on the number of veins, you may need more than one sclerotherapy treatment.
For deeper, larger veins, a Venefit procedure may be more appropriate. Venefit Targeted Endovenus Therapy vein treatment is a minimally invasive procedure performed using local anaesthesia. A thin catheter is inserted to the valve and heated via radiofrequency energy. As it is withdrawn the heat collapses the vein and seals it. The body naturally reroutes the blood using healthy veins.
Will varicose vein surgery hurt?
As varicose vein surgery is minimally invasive and conducted under local anaesthetic, you will hardly feel anything – although some experience a slight burning or tingling sensation. Most patients say that it’s comfortable and painless.
You will be able to walk away following the procedure and return to your normal activity within the space of an hour. Although, you should refrain from any strenuous exercise or heavy lifting for a few days. Some may experience a temporary itching or a slightly swollen, red or bruised area at the site of the injection. This should disappear within a couple of days.
Following the procedure, it is also vital that you wear compression stockings for up to 6 weeks. Your consultant will explain this to you and the stockings will be provided by the hospital.
Will I have scars?
As the treatment is minimally invasive, you will not have any scars. You’ll notice improvements to the look of the area that was causing you problems in one to two weeks.
This page is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.