These are enlarged, tortuous veins that usually appear on the legs. Varicose veins are a common condition and it affects up to 25-40% of all females and 10-15% of males. It estimated to affect nearly 15-20% of all adults.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF VARICOSE VEINS?
Risk factors are age, family history and pregnancy whereas obesity, prolonged standing and trauma, infection have all been known to make varicose veins worse.
The main problem is that these veins have “faulty or damaged” valves. These one-way valves are located throughout the length of the inside of these veins. “Faulty or damaged” valves are also known as incompetent valves.
Veins should return blood from the legs to the heart and usually there are one-way valves that prevent the blood from flowing backwards (reflux). These one-way valves are located throughout the length of the inside of these veins.When these valves become “faulty or damaged”, they are called incompetent valves and the blood now flows in both directions thereby causing pooling. This pooling of blood in the leg veins over a period of time causes the veins to bulge and protrude from the skin surface.
What Are the Symptoms?
Some patients have no symptoms whilst others may experience:
- Calf aches
- Calf heaviness
- Discolouration of the skin
- Hardening of the skin
- Nocturnal calf cramps
- Swelling of the legs
- Ulcer formation
Whilst it is difficult to prevent the onset of varicose veins, certain actions can be taken to reduce the severity of these varicose veins.
- Avoid prolonged standing
- Avoid wearing high heels
- Do not cross your legs
- Elevate legs when possible
- Regular exercise especially brisk walking, jogging
- Support stockings
- Weight management
Before treatment can be instituted, a duplex ultrasound should be performed. The ultrasound will be performed by our surgeon. It is performed to determine the exact pattern of abnormal blood flow ( reflux) and the location of the abnormal or “faulty” valves.
Treatment for varicose veins is targeted at the superficial leg veins or the long saphenous vein. It is important that the deep leg veins are assessed before treatment to ensure they are normal.
The duplex ultrasound is performed in the clinic with conduction gel, there is no downtime, no pain or needles.
The results of the scan are immediate and with this result, the best treatment plan can be tailored for each individual patient.
- Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT®)
- Conventional Vein Surgery
- Ultrasound Guided Sclerofoam Therapy (UGFT®)
- Ambulatory Phlebectomy
Which treatment is right for you?
Dr Sanjay believes that patients that understand their condition make informed decisions and reap the most satisfactory outcome. With his unique patient- centred approach, Dr Sanjay explains to all of his patients the nature and treatment options of their vein condition. As a patient, you will be included in the decision making treatment process.
Before any treatment is suggested, all patients receive educational material, have a full history taken by Dr Sanjay and undergo a complete clinical examination which may include a duplex ultrasound to evaluate the venous circulation. After the examination and consultation, you will understand the nature of your vein condition and then treatment options can be discussed to cater to your individual needs.