Statistically one in five people will develop Varicose Veins as they age and women are known to be more affected than men. Varicose Veins normally occur in the legs – often around the backs of the calves, inside of the legs and thighs – appearing as lumpy and twisted blue or dark purple bulges under the skin.
As well as their distinctive appearance Varicose Veins can cause some discomfort through aching or heavy legs and swollen feet and ankles. Some patients have complained of burning, throbbing and cramping muscles and at times dry and itchy skin over the swollen veins.
In this blog we have a look at how Varicose Veins develop, the various treatment methods, and risks involved if left untreated.
How do Varicose Veins Develop?
It is thought that Varicose Veins are a heredity issue where as many as 50% of women over the age of 50 are affected. Increasing age, sun exposure and obesity can contribute to the development of Varicose Veins as well as hormonal factors including puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.
The role of veins is to carry the blood from the body back towards the heart. This is helped through muscle contractions as the blood being pumped is going upwards against gravity. Valves within the veins act as one way doors to prevent the blood flowing backwards. However if the valves begin to weaken blood can leak back into the veins and can begin to collect. Over a period of time the veins begin to swell and bulge – showing just beneath the skin.
How are Varicose Veins treated?
We offer four different treatment methods at The Private Clinic across the UK – London, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Bournemouth, Bexhill and Northampton. All our procedures are carried out by out by a Consultant Vascular Surgeon as a walk-in walk-out procedure and under a local anaesthetic.
During your consultation with your Consultant Vascular Surgeon an ultrasound scan will be carried out to assess the route of the veins and to mark their positioning. This scan, which is normally priced from £350, is offered to our patients free of charge during the consultation.
Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) of Varicose Veins is a NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) approved non-invasive and simple treatment technique by the use of a laser. Local anaesthetic is administered and through a small incision a probe is inserted. In order to stop the back leakage of blood into the vein, the laser delivers short pulses to seal the valves. The area is then bandaged to reduce any swelling or bruising.
VenaSeal is a closure system that uses medical adhesive to close varicose veins. Under ultrasound guidance, a catheter is passed into the vein which dispenses small amounts of medical grade Sapheon Glue which works to seal and close the vein. It is a is a great option for patients who have a needle phobia as VenaSeal only requires a single injection per vein.
Foam Sclerotherapy usually sclerotherapy is only recommended for thread veins however small varicose veins can sometimes be treated with liquid sclerotherapy but for larger veins we find foam sclerotherapy to be more effective. Foam sclerotherapy involves a foam solution being injected into the varicose veins where it coats the vein wall causing inflammation. This inflammation causes blood to be pushed out of the vein leaving the vein walls sticky where they will eventually close and within a couple of weeks the varicose vein will start to shrink and disappear.
Phlebectomy is carried out using a local anaesthetic. It involves removal of large varicose veins which lie close on the surface of the legs via micro incisions. These incisions are so small that stitches are not required and the patient does not require lengthy downtime.
Left Leg: Before Photo. Right Leg: After Photo
Left Leg: Before Photo. Right Leg: After Photo
What happens is Varicose Veins are left untreated?
For most people health problems from Varicose Veins are unlikely. However, for others, some complications can arise and it’s important to seek your doctor. Some patients who undergo treatments for Varicose Veins comment that after their procedure felt more energised despite not necessarily noticing any complications with their veins prior to treatment. It is normally noted that complications with the association of Varicose and Spider Veins are more likely to begin several years after their appearance.
Thrombosphlebitis is caused by blood clots forming within the vein and thus leads to the vein swelling. If this happens you may experience some redness and pain and warmth in the area of the Varicose Veins themselves.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency occurs due to a blockage within the vein or the leakage of blood around the valves of the vein. The veins are then unable to pump enough blood back to the heart or the blockage can interfere with the way skin exchanges oxygen and nutrients products with your blood. If this continues over a prolonged period of time it can lead to other conditions:
- One of the more serious complications associated with Varicose Veins are ‘Venous Ulcers’. Normally forming around the ankle area, an ulcer develops due to the increased pressure in the veins of the lower leg causing fluid to seep from the vein and slowly collect just under the skin.
- Eczema can also be a complication from the result of Varicose Veins. The condition can become permanent and it causes the skin to become red and scaly sometimes producing blisters on your skin.
- Lipodermatosclerosis normally occurs around the calf and is the hardening and tightening of skin which may cause the colour to turn red and brown.
These conditions can generally be treated quite quickly and easily however if you do notice any changes in your skin please see your doctor.
Why choose The Private Clinic for Varicose Vein Treatment?
We are one of the UK’s most recognised specialist Varicose Vein Clinics in the UK where our Consultant Vascular Surgeons have been the first and very few within the UK to pioneer the Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLA) treatment. Through their advancement of techniques and skill we have over a 95% success rate where thousands of our patients have regained their confidence and most importantly have been cleared of any hazardous health issues associated with Varicose Veins.
- The least invasive method for varicose veins and thread veins removal treatment for your legs, body and face.
- Our Consultant vascular surgeons are pioneers in EVLA(Endovenous Laser Ablation) and have treated thousands of patients.
- No lengthy downtime or recovery required.
- The NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) Gold Standard for treatment of Varicose Veins findings show that the success rate after five years for EVLA is 95.4%.
- A consultation with one of our Consultant Vascular Surgeons costs £150, including a free ultrasound scan of your legs (usually priced between £350 and £450 at most clinics and private hospitals).
- We focus on the underlying cause of your veins and you will only see a Consultant Vascular surgeon for varicose veins.
- We have treated thousands of patients who have regained their confidencewhilst avoiding health issues.
- Treatment takes one hour, you can go home shortly after being treated.
- Owing to our success, we have been featured on Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies , TLC’s My Naked Secret and featured in Harper’s Bazaar’s Cosmetic Tweakment Trends for 2019.
- We have carried out over 7,000 procedures in treating Veins.
- View our varicose vein before and after photos.
- Read our extensive varicose vein FAQs.
- Take a look at our varicose vein patient stories.
- Find out more in our varicose vein blogs.
- Download our varicose vein brochure.
Expert Vascular Surgeons
- Mr Constantinos Kyriakides, MD, FRCS(Gen). GMC 3275436
- Mr Dynesh Rittoo, MBChB, FRCS(Eng), FRCS(Gen Surg). GMC 3556456
- Mr Charles Ranaboldo, BM, FRCS, MS. GMC Number: 2939195
- Professor Rajiv Kumar Vohra, MBBS. GMC Number: 3158700
- Mr Tahir Hussain, MBBS,MS, FRCS. GMC Number: 3242669
- Mr Rajiv Pathak, MBBS, MS, FRCS, FRCS(Gen). GMC Number: 4585309
- Mr Ferdinand Serracino-Inglott, MD, FRCSI, FRCS(Gen), DIC MSc. GMC Number: 5206200
To find out more or book a consultation you can call 0333 920 2471 or use our Varicose Vein online contact form.