What are Varicose Veins?
Varicose Veins are dilated veins which you can often see as bulges on the legs however, you can still have Varicose Veins that have no visible signs on the legs. These are called ‘Hidden’ Varicose veins. This occurs when the valves in these veins which stop the blood from flowing back down your legs fail and the blood flows back the wrong way down your leg, which causes the vein to start dilating or bulging. These veins can become unsightly as time goes on.
While some people with Varicose Veins have absolutely no problems at all others have symptoms such as aching legs, bulging veins and swelling. It is important at this point to see a Medical Professional and have investigations such as Doppler, Venous Duplex Ultrasound Scan to determine if you have Varicose or ‘Hidden’ Varicose Veins.
Diagnosing Varicose Veins
A Venous Duplex Ultrasound Scan is the ONLY way to accurately diagnose Varicose Veins as this Non Invasive Scan can tell which vein is incompetent and where it is.
Some clinics, hospitals and GP’s will only offer a Doppler Ultrasound Scan but this is will not be as accurate as the Duplex Scan.
Treatment for Varicose Veins
If Varicose Veins are present then the Consultant Vascular Surgeon will decide on the appropriate treatment required. Treatments available for Varicose Veins include:
• Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA)
• Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)
• Ultrasound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy (UGFS)
• Ambulatory Phlebectomy
• Transluminal Occlusion of Perforators (TRLOP)
• Coil Embolisation of Pelvic Veins
Vein Stripping should not be a treatment option for Varicose Veins as it has been researched that Varicose Veins can grow back and cause more Thread Veins on the legs.
Common MYTHS about Varicose Veins
- Women get Varicose Veins more often than men
- Pregnancy causes Varicose Veins
- You should wait until you’ve had your family before getting your Varicose Veins fixed
- Varicose Veins are only cosmetic and can safely be left alone
- There’s no point in operating on Varicose Veins as they always come back
- Standing for long periods of time causes Varicose Veins
(The College of Phlebology)