Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are a common problem comprising unsightly stretched veins that protrude through the skin of the legs. A minority of veins if left untreated may lead to problems ranging from aching in the leg and swollen ankles to more serious problems such as phlebitis, thrombosis and ulceration.

Successful management of varicose veins includes thorough examination, relevant investigation which often includes colour duplex ultrasound scanning and appropriate treatment which may often involve some form of keyhole endovenous treatment or foam.

This depends on which stage your veins are at and whether there is any significant damage to the underlying valves. Extension of varicose veins is slow in most people and complications, if they occur, often only present many years after the onset of varicosities. Nevertheless varicose veins will not disappear of their own accord and will gradually worsen with the passage of time. We cannot beat gravity!

No. For the reasons given above the progression of varicose veins in many people is likely to be slow and there are other methods of controlling varicose veins that do not involve surgery. If however there is significant damage to the underlying valves, curing the problem may involve some form of keyhole endovenous treatment such as radio frequency ablation (VNUS). There are a variety of procedures available for the treatment of varicosities, which you should discuss with your venous surgeon.

Strictly speaking no, since most forms of treatment aim at obliterating the varicose vein and dealing with the underlying cause. If this is done correctly, the chances of recurrences are small. Nevertheless, there are some situations such as further pregnancies which may lead to the development of further varicosities in the future. Your venous surgeon will discuss the likelihood of further recurrences with you prior to embarking on any treatment.

Most patients have surgery either as a day case or with a single overnight stay. All patients are walking normally the day after surgery and approximately 50% will be back at work within a week.

A planned assessment for returning to work is made prior to surgery, and depends partly on the work environment (standing, sitting etc), general fitness and your usual exercise regime.