How to treat varicose veins?

Varicose veins are veins that have become enlarged, swollen, twisted and more prominent in appearance. They are often blue or purple in colour but can also be colour-less. Varicose veins occur when the valves within the veins that control blood flow become weak and instead of moving the blood along, it instead sits within the vein which results in the enlarged appearance.

For most patients, varicose veins are just cosmetic concern but for some, they can cause pain and discomfort as well as feeling self-conscious of the appearance of their legs.

Typical physical varicose vein symptoms include:

  • Swelling of the feet and/or ankles
  • Legs that feel heavy and ache
  • Burning or throbbing sensation in the legs
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dry or itchy skin

There are lots of options out there to help people relieve the pain of varicose veins such as:

Compression Stockings

Compression stockings can easily be found in many pharmacies and high street stores. They are often worn to prevent the occurrence of venous disorders such as ulcers and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and can also help to boost circulation in the legs. They are often recommended to people with troublesome varicose veins as they can reduce pain and aching in the legs which is associated with varicose veins.

The relief from compression stockings will only be temporary however and there can be side effects from wearing them for too long so it may be worth discussing usage with your GP or pharmacist before purchasing.

Exercise

Exercise is often cited as the healing tool for most conditions but in the case of varicose veins it really can help. Regular exercise will encourage blood circulation in the legs which helps with the flow of blood through the veins. We recommend low impact exercises that focus of the calf muscles so walking, cycling, yoga and swimming are all good options to include into your routines.

Keeping moving throughout the day is also going to help keep the blood flowing through the veins so taking regular breaks from sitting down at a desk for example is ideal.

Diet

Diet is another common healing tool for many conditions but having a healthy diet full of the nutrients that your body needs is always going to help. If you are experiencing swelling, then reducing your intake of salty or sodium-rich foods which retain water is going to help to improve this. Instead, replace these with potassium rich foods which are known to reduce water retention so adding nuts, potatoes, lentils and leafy greens into your diet will hopefully reduce swelling.

Keeping to an ideal weight is always going to help with varicose veins complications as excess weight will put pressure on the veins so reducing this will alleviate swelling and discomfort.

Massage

A gentle leg massage can work wonders to reduce any discomfort and pain and it can also be great for encouraging circulation in the legs again. We do advise that you avoid pressing directly onto the veins however as this can damage fragile tissues.

Elevation of the legs

As if we need an excuse to put our legs up. – If your legs are feeling uncomfortable then try resting with your legs elevated, ideally at the same height as the heart or above it as this will help to improve circulation. If you know you are going to be sat down for long periods, then elevating the legs is encouraged to help relieve pain.

Clothing choice

The type of clothing or shoes that you wear could be causing the symptoms of varicose veins to become worse. High heels and tight jeans should ideally be swapped for flat shoes and loose-fitting clothing as tighter clothing can restrict the blood flow causing additional discomfort.

Surgical Treatment

All of the suggestions above can really help to reduce the pain and discomfort of varicose veins on a temporary basis, but for more permanent relief; surgical varicose vein removal treatment is going to be the best option.

We offer patients 4 types of minimally invasive varicose vein treatments that are performed by world-class vascular surgeons in our clinics across the UK.

EVLA (Endovenous Laser Ablation) is the NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) Gold Standard for treatment for Varicose Veins and the most popular choice at our clinics. Treatment involves locating the damaged vein with ultrasound before using laser heat to collapse the wall of the vein and destroy the cause of the problem.

EVLA Endovenous Laser Ablation varicose veins before after photo

VenaSeal is a closure system treatment that uses medical grade Sapheon Glue which is dispensed through the affected veins using a small catheter. The glue works to seal and close the veins, re-routing the blood into healthy veins located deeper within the leg.

VenaSeal leg veins treatmnet before after photo

Foam Sclerotherapy is an effective treatment for larger veins where a foam solution is injected into the varicose veins which coats the vein wall which causes the walls to become sticky and inflammation which pushes blood out of the vein before they then shrink down and disappear.

Foam Sclerotherapy treatment for larger leg veins before after photo

Phlebectomy is usually used for large veins that are close to the surface of the skin. Small incisions are made, and tiny hooks are inserted to remove the vein. The procedure does not involve stitches and the downtime is short, this procedure if often combined with another treatment such as EVLA to ensure that all the affected veins are treated.

Phlebectomy large veins on legs before after photo

Why choose The Private Clinic for Varicose Vein treatment?

 To find out more about varicose vein treatments or book a consultation please call, 0333 920 2471 or use our Varicose Vein online contact form.

Expert Vascular Surgeons

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