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We answer your Varicose Vein Questions

If you’re suffering from varicose veins or as some call them “leg veins” and are thinking about treatment, we understand you may have a lot of questions regarding the condition itself and options available to you. We thought we would help you out by answering some of the most popular varicose vein queries our patients ask us.

  1. Why do varicose veins appear?

Veins help transport blood towards our heart. This requires the blood to flow upwards, against gravity, with the assistance of a series of muscle contractions, as well as one-way valves, acting as one-way flaps preventing the blood from flowing backwards. Sometimes, these valves can weaken or break, or fail to close properly, causing our blood to be transported back to the legs. The backed-up blood causes the veins to gradually bulge, leading to varicose veins. These damaged veins have no purpose so it is completely safe for them to be removed.

This is not an uncommon occurrence. Approximately one fifth of us will experience varicose veins with time, and women are more prone to the condition than men. Risk factors for developing varicose veins include gender, age, obesity, genetics and pregnancy.

  1. What is a good treatment for the removal of varicose veins?

There are several options for varicose vein treatment. It will depend upon your individual requirements as to what treatment is appropriate for you.

NICE (National Institute for Clinic Excellence) recommend endothermal ablation (endovenous laser treatment (EVLA) or Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)) should first of all be offered to varicose vein patients. EVLA in particular is regarded by NICE as the Gold Standard varicose vein treatment. NICE then advise that patients unsuitable for such procedures, should be offered Foam Sclerotherapy, and if again unsuitable, surgery should be provided.

At The Private Clinic, along with NICE recommendations, we first of all offer EVLA to suitable patients and are proud to offer a team of pioneers of the procedure. For patients ineligible for EVLA, we offer liquid and foam Sclerotherapy, and the surgical procedure, Phlebectomy. A minimally invasive surgical treatment, a phlebectomy procedure requires much less downtime and recovery than the traditional surgical method, vein stripping, still used by many clinics.

Another option we provide is the innovative and quick and painless treatment, Veneseal, or ‘superglue’ treatment. Veneseal Adhesive (Glue) is a medical grade; safe glue using used to effectively and safely close off varicose veins.

Sometimes, a combination of procedures will be appropriate. At The Private Clinic, we perform free ultrasound scans in consultations to determine what exactly is required, and how treatment should best be tailored to your needs.

Please see below what each of our varicose vein treatments involves, all being minimally-invasive, walk-in-walk-out procedures, taking under an hour:

Vein Treatment

What’s involved in a vein treatment?

EVLA (Endovenous Laser Ablation)The damaged vein is located with the use of ultrasound technology, a laser fibre is inserted into the vein and the vein wall is collapsed with laser heat.
Sclerotherapy (Liquid or Foam)A chemical solution is injected within your varicose veins. This damages the vein and causes it to close off and the vein will gradually shrink, then disappear.
PhlebectomySmall incisions are made and a hook is inserted within the incision. This hooks onto a part of the vein and it is then removed.
VenesealThe leg is numbed prior to the insertion of a small catheter. An ultrasound guides the catheter through the varicose vein, and the catheter dispenses small measures of the medical grade glue, which closes the vein.


  1. What doctor do you visit for varicose vein removal?

With more minimally invasive varicose vein procedures now being available, clinics are able to offer a variety of practitioners for varicose vein treatments, such as nurse practitioners, physician assistants, ultrasound technologists and doctors.

Although, to ensure you will achieve the best possible results and care, we recommend you only select an experienced consultant vascular surgeon for the procedure, highly trained in diagnosing and managing varicose veins. At The Private Clinic, we only ever offer Consultant Vascular Surgeons for the procedure, with extensive experience in treating varicose veins.

Expert Vascular Surgeons

  1. What happens when a varicose vein ruptures?

Varicose veins can be susceptible to spontaneous rupture or bleeding, with veins most at risk being those closest to the skin surface. And what causes the vein to rupture? With time, varicose veins increase in size, and their walls gradually weaken and stretch out. And these very weak veins are also under high pressure, due to the pooling and ‘backflow’ of blood within the veins. This can lead to the veins bursting spontaneously and bleeding significantly. Being under high pressure, the bleeding is profuse and rapid and difficult to stop. Although painless, this is a big nuisance and can be problematic.

Immediately after a vein rupture, the patient must lie down and elevate the leg and apply direct pressure on the area. If this does not stop bleeding, you must get immediate medical advice.

What can prevent rupture? Varicose vein removal in the first place can prevent vein rupture from occurring. And if you have experienced vein rupture, treatment will prevent this happening again. The problem will additionally only become worse if not treated.

As well as spontaneous bursting, bleeding varicose veins can arise after minimal trauma. The injury would not need to be severe, a gentle knock or brushing against a furniture corner for example, may cause this.

  1. Are varicose veins harmful?

For many with the condition, their varicose veins are only a cosmetic problem. Although, complications from varicose veins often arise several years following the veins’ appearance.

Having untreated varicose veins can put you at risk of developing ulcers, blood clots, venous disease and hyperpigmentation. A recent study by The Journal of American Medical Association also found that adults with varicose veins were at a significantly higher risk of having deep vein thrombosis.  

In addition to such complications, Varicose veins can also cause several painful symptoms, including swelling, aching, leg fatigue, cramping, itching and heaviness.

Varicose vein patient review

“I, personally, am over the moon…I have my confidence back and that feels fantastic.” EVLA patient, Laura

On our website, read all about our patient, Laura’s, varicose vein treatment story.

Why choose The Private Clinic for Varicose Vein Treatment?

If you would like to fin out more about varicose vein treatment or to arrange a consultation with one of our renowned Consultant Vascular Surgeons, please call us on 0333 920 2471 or you use our online varicose vein contact form.

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