Varicose Veins Removal London & UK


Varicose Vein Removal at Clinics in London & UK »

Varicose veins are enlarged veins, which are visible on the surface of the skin. They are caused by pressure on the superficial veins, which weakens the valves and the vein walls causing them to expand and allowing blood to flow in the wrong direction.

Function of the Veins

The veins transport the blood from the body to the heart using the pump mechanism of the muscles to do this. Valves in the veins prevent the blood from flowing backwards, which can be particularly difficult in the legs where gravity is reacting against the flow of blood.

How are Varicose Veins Formed?

Varicose veins occur where the superficial veins, which are near the surface of the skin, are damaged. This can be caused by inactivity, increased pressure on the veins, age, illness, or injury. When this happens, the vein walls begin to stretch and the valves are weakened. The valves struggle to maintain the forward flow of blood towards the heart. When the valves fail to do this blood flows in the wrong direction building up in one section of the vein causing it to swell.

Where Can Varicose Veins Occur?

Varicose veins can occur all over the body although they normally appear on the legs due to the pressure placed on these through standing and walking. In certain areas varicose veins are known by other names such as varicoceles when they appear on the scrotum and haemorrhoids when they appear on the anus.

Who Can Develop Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins normally develop in older women who have had several children but they often occur in men as well. Varicose veins can be a complication of pregnancy, and male puberty. They can also occur in children although this is normally as the result of trauma or illness and should be checked out by a doctor.

Causes of Varicose Veins

The causes of varicose veins are unknown, and they can occur for no apparent reason. However, there are certain factors, which can greatly increase your risk of developing varicose veins. These include:

  • Old age
  • Multiple child births
  • Family history of varicose veins
  • Certain illnesses
  • Being overweight
  • Being inactive or immobile
  • Pregnancy

Signs and Symptoms of Varicose Veins

Varicose veins appear as blue or purple, bulging, inflamed, and sometimes lumpy veins that bulge through the surface of the skin. In many cases, they do not cause any symptoms, although they can cause:

  • Pain and tenderness
  • Heaviness and discomfort
  • Redness and inflammation
  • Swelling below the varicose veins

If your varicose veins are causing you any discomfort, you should speak to your doctor about treatment.

Diagnosis of Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are often diagnosed through a physical examination by a doctor or nurse. This is performed whilst you are standing, which makes the veins more visible. The doctor may also listen to the blood flow in your veins using a stethoscope, or check blood flow with an ultrasound scan.

Treatment of Varicose Veins

Many varicose veins do not require treatment and can be managed at home through observation, physical activity, and a healthy diet. If you are diagnosed with varicose veins and they are seen to cause you discomfort or other complications treatment can often be simple. Treatment will normally begin with moderate measures, such as the prescription of compression socks. If this does not work, options that are more radical may be taken. These consist of closing or removing the varicose veins so that the blood bypasses them flowing through the healthy veins. Where treatment is not available on the NHS it can be obtained privately.

Compression Stockings or Socks

Compression stockings or socks are usually the first step in treating varicose veins. They graduate pressure up the leg aiding the muscle pump mechanism to maintain blood flow towards the heart. This improves circulation and can ease symptoms such as swelling, pain, and inflammation.

Surgery

Surgery for varicose veins offers different options depending on the area, size, and severity of your varicose veins. It is effective in removing varicose veins and striping the saphenous vein, which is thought to cause varicose veins. Surgery is uncomplicated and involves only small cuts thus leading to a quick recovery.

Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy involves the injection of either liquid or foam chemicals into the varicose veins. This causes the vein wall to collapse and the vein is absorbed by the body. Sclerotherapy has a quick recovery time, although the results take a few months to fully emerge.

Laser Treatment

Laser treatment involves inserting a laser fibre into the vein. This destroys the vein wall causing it to collapse. It is a minimally invasive procedure requiring little recovery time and leaving little or no scarring. As with sclerotherapy the results are not instant.

Radiofrequency Ablation

Radiofrequency ablation is a similar treatment to laser treatment. Instead of inserting a laser fibre into the vein, the surgeon will insert a radiofrequency diode. This burns the wall of the varicose veins causing them to shrink and collapse.

Alternative Treatments for Varicose Veins

There are several natural or man- made products available to treat varicose veins. These include plant extracts, which can be rubbed on the skin to reduce the appearance and discomfort caused by varicose veins. There are also supplements available to improve circulation and strengthen the vein walls, which can prevent or reduce the appearance of varicose veins.

Complications of Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are normally complication- free but there are a few complications that can develop as a result of them. These include:

  • Bleeding that is difficult to stop and may require medical attention
  • Varicose eczema, which requires treatment with emollients or corticosteroids
  • Varicose ulcers, which require monitoring, cleaning, and dressing
  • Blood clots, which require monitoring to prevent infection

These conditions often require a two- sided treatment including treatment of the complication itself followed by the treatment of the varicose veins.

Avoiding Varicose Veins

Nothing can guarantee that you will not develop varicose veins, but there are things that you can do to avoid them. This involves living a healthy lifestyle. Preventative measures for varicose veins include:

  • Eating a balanced, healthy diet
  • Staying physically active
  • Avoiding standing for long periods of time
  • Avoiding tight clothing
  • Wearing compression stockings
  • Sitting and sleeping with elevated legs

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