Recurring Varicose Veins


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Varicose veins can recur even after treatment. This does not mean that the treatment was not successful but means that further varicose veins have formed. Varicose veins recur in about 20 % of patients who have had surgery.

What Causes Varicose Veins to Recur

Varicose veins can recur for several reasons including new problems and the failure to remove all of the veins in treatment.

If you are treated with ligation and the veins are not tied off properly, you may experience a build up of pressure, which can cause varicose veins to occur lower on the leg. Ligation is not seen to be a preferable treatment option as recurrence is high. This is because there are several ties that need to be made including where the superficial and deep veins join, and where the smaller veins join the superficial veins.

Sometime surgeons can miss veins, which should be removed. This may be because the veins are not visible when you lie down. To avoid this problem you should be honest with your surgeon about what you expect from surgery and which veins you want to be removed. It is also important that the saphenous vein be correctly stripped to decrease the chance of future varicose veins.

It is possible for new varicose veins to develop. If you are predisposed to varicose veins, it is possible that you will get them in an entirely different area. This can also be caused by problems affecting the deeper veins such as deep vein thrombosis. In order to reduce this risk, surgeons may explore your veins using an ultrasound scan.

Preventing the Recurrence of Varicose Veins

It is not possible to guarantee that varicose veins will not recur but there are ways to reduce this risk. You should try to reach and maintain a healthy weight, be more physically active, and avoid standing for long periods of time.

The best way to avoid the recurrence of varicose veins is to use a reputable and experienced surgeon. If surgery is accurate, you are less likely to develop further varicose veins in the same area. If possible, it is also recommended that an ultrasound scan be used to pin point any other complications and less visible varicose veins.

You should follow the after surgery advice precisely including the use of compression socks or bandages. You should also follow guidelines on exercise, which can reduce the recurrence of varicose veins by strengthening the walls of the veins. It is recommended that you do at least thirty minutes of moderate exercise five times a week to maintain optimum health.

Repeat Treatments for Varicose Veins

If you have recurring varicose veins you may want, or require further treatment. If you have had treatment on the NHS you will not automatically qualify for repeat treatments with them. For example if your previous varicose veins were causing you discomfort but your further ones do not repeat treatment would be considered as cosmetic surgery and therefore you would have to pay for private treatment.

Repeat treatment can be more complicated than the initial treatment and therefore it is important that you seek a specialist in recurrent varicose veins. You should also have an ultrasound to reduce the likelihood of thrombosis or further recurrences.

Further surgery can be more painful and complicated than the initial treatment due to scar tissue. Therefore, it is essential that you are fully aware of the risks of complications before considering repeat treatments. Repeat treatment may mean further surgery or ligation. The likelihood of recurrences should be greatly reduced after repeat treatments.


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