Varicose veins are enlarged, bulging veins which commonly develop in the leg. They can be very unsightly but also cause significant health problems. The most common symptoms include discomfort, aching and itching, which can be worse on standing, during exercise and in hot weather. They can also cause restless legs and cramps. More importantly over time they can lead to skin damage and ulceration, predominantly around the ankle, which can have a serious impact on general health and well-being.
Varicose veins often run in the family and are not preventable. National recommendations from NICE (the National Institute for Clinical Excellence) in the UK recommend all patients with symptomatic varicose veins undergo a full clinical assessment including an ultrasound scan, and appropriate treatment.
The treatment is usually minimally invasive and a variety of options are available, depending on the nature and distribution of the veins. Options include heat treatments (laser or radiofrequency), injection therapy including the use of ultrasound guided ‘foam’ or glue and rarely ‘stripping’ of the veins. As a practice we offer the full range of treatments available and all suitable options will be discussed with you during your consultation and assessment.