Varicose veins are dilated and twisted veins of the leg affecting 4/5th of the adult population.
They vary in severity and range from Spider/Thread veins through Reticular veins to Truncal varicose veins. The majority of the varicose veins are asymptomatic hence people affected do not seek medical advice. However varicose veins can cause the following symptoms:
- Aching, pain, ankle swelling, dry skin, itching
- Veins can get red and painful – thrombophlebitis which predispose to Deep Venous Thrombosis
If the leg is not protected or varicose veins treated, this can lead to increased pressure in the veins causing skin damage, which includes discoloration and thickening of the skin. This skin damage can lead to chronic venous ulceration.
To avoid all these complications early treatment is essential. To plan the treatment of varicose veins in addition to the sound understanding and clinical examination, venous Duplex ultrasound scan is essential.
The following treatments are available for varicose veins:
- Ultrasound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy (UGFS)
- VeinLite Transilluminated Microsclerotherapy
- Radiofrequency Ablation
UGFS is provided more and more for truncal varicose veins. It is performed under local anaesthetic and is an out patient procedure. The advantages are no incisions, no associated nerve damage, virtually painless with minimal bruising. The procedure enables an immediate return to normal everyday activities and the patient can go back to work the next day.