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10 Varicose and Thread Vein FAQs

What are veins?

Veins are blood vessels that carry blood around the body. Their main role is to return blood from the organs back to the heart. Organs use oxygen from the blood to help perform their functions and thy then release the used blood back into the veins. This blood is then taken back to the heart and into the lungs where the carbon dioxide is released, and fresh oxygen inhaled and put back into the blood. There are different types of veins which vary in size and function with the largest being in the centre of the body.

What are varicose veins and spider veins?

When the valves within a vein become weak, it becomes harder for the blood to travel through causing it to instead sit within the vein. This causes the vein to stretch and become enlarged which is then known as a varicose vein.

A spider vein is another type of damaged vein which instead does not tend to swell or become enlarged, but they do sit close to the surface of the skin and you can often see them as red, blue or purple lines on the skin.

Can I get varicose or spider veins?

Varicose veins and spider veins are common, and anyone can be at risk from developing them.

Key risk factors that can contribute to the formation of varicose veins includes:

  • Family history
  • Age
  • Being overweight
  • Pregnancy

Key risk factors that can contribute to the formation of thread veins includes:

  • Genetics
  • Age
  • Trauma
  • Medical Condition
  • Hormones

What treatments are available for varicose or spider veins?

There are lots of treatments around for varicose veins and spider veins. At home treatments include leg elevation, compression stockings, weight loss and diet changes however these are unlikely to treat the veins completely and are more to prevent the formation of further veins and to help with any discomfort.

For a more permanent treatment you may be advised varicose vein surgery or cosmetic thread vein treatments such as

  • Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA)
  • VenaSeal
  • Sclerotherapy
  • Phlebectomy
  • Cutera CoolGlide (Thread veins only)
  • IPL Photorejuvenation (Thread veins only)

Do I need to get my veins treated?

It is not essential to get your veins treated if the reason is purely cosmetic. However, it is worth remembering that having varicose veins especially can you put you at risk of developing blood clots, ulcers, further swelling, hyperpigmentation and other forms of venous disease.

At The Private Clinic, we offer all varicose vein patients a free ultrasound scan at your consultation which will help your vascular surgeon to see if there are any underlying issues that need to be dealt with before your start treatment.

Treatment for thread veins is again, not essential however they can continue to get worse if left untreated and in some cases are the first sign of a more serious vascular problem, so it is always worth getting them checked out.

Do compression stockings help with varicose veins?

Compression stockings can help with the discomfort of varicose veins and can also assist with the prevention of further varicose veins. They are designed to increase blood circulation in the leg and come a variety of strengths and measurements. They can help to reduce swelling, aching and cramping but they do need to be worn on a daily basis for the results to continue.

Who performs varicose vein treatments?

Varicose vein treatments at The Private Clinic are performed by some of the UKs best Vascular surgeons. Our team of expert vascular surgeons are able to offer the most advanced, minimally invasive treatments for all types of veins. Many of our surgeons are members of The Vascular Society for Great Britain and Ireland and/or the European Society for Vascular Surgery.

When it comes to choosing a surgeon for varicose vein treatments always be sure to check to see if your surgeon is board certified, ask how many patients they have treated and ask to see before and after photos. We recommend asking friends, family members and even your GP for recommendations and always meet with your surgeon before booking in for any type of varicose vein removal procedure.

Find out more about choosing the right vascular surgeon here.

Are there any side effects from varicose vein surgery?

There are always certain risks or side effects that can occur when you undergo any type of medical treatment or procedure and these should always be discussed with your surgeon before undergoing any type of varicose vein treatment.

Side effects will vary depending on which treatment you undergo, EVLA and Foam Sclerotherapy treatments can cause slight swelling or bruising and VenaSeal can result in inflammation or pain in the treatment area. These are all common side effects and should only last for 1-2 weeks.

Removing varicose veins is a very safe procedure. The veins are no longer functioning and are therefore not needed. Once they have been removed, the blood is re-routed to healthier veins located deeper under the skin.

A full discussion on the risks and side effects of varicose vein surgery will always be discussed at your consultation.

How long do the results from varicose or thread vein surgery last?

The results from varicose vein surgery and thread veins procedures are designed to be permanent. There is a chance that you may develop new varicose or thread veins following surgery, but the treated vein is very unlikely to appear again.

How can I prevent varicose veins?

There is no guaranteed way to stop the formation of varicose veins, especially if you are genetically prone to them. A few recommendations to help include:

  • Live a healthy lifestyle
  • Keep at an ideal weight
  • Avoid sitting or standing for long periods
  • Wear compression stockings
  • Regular exercise

Why choose The Private Clinic for Vein treatment?

To find out more about varicose or thread vein treatments at The Private Clinic, please call, 0333 920 2471 or use our veins online contact form to book a consultation.


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