Treating Varicose Veins
What are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are swollen and enlarged veins that usually occur on the legs and feet. Often they appear lumpy, bulging or twisted in appearance with a blue or dark purple colour.
Varicose veins develop when the small valves inside the veins stop working properly. As these valves begin to weaken the blood cannot efficiently flow back to the heart. Instead the blood flows backwards and get’s collected within the vein, eventually causing the vein to become swollen and enlarged (varicose).
The common symptom of varicose veins is a complaint of pain, described as an aching or cramping in the legs. Other common symptoms include: tiredness, restlessness, burning, throbbing, tingling, or heaviness in the legs.
Treatment of Varicose Veins
If your varicose veins are causing pain or discomfort, A New You offer three treatments to cure and prevent (all of which will be discussed during consultation):
- Foam Sclerotherapy
- Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT)
Sclerotherapy is a procedure for improving the appearance of superficial blue or red veins.* The veins are injected with a solution called Fibrovein. This disturbs the internal lining of the vein, causing the blood to clot within the vein. In time, the body will destroy the vein and it will disappear.* The solution is used in different concentrations, depending on the size of the vein.
Sometimes foam injections are recommended. This procedure involves making small volumes of the Fibrovein solution into foam. In this form, it can be used to treat larger underlying veins which cannot be treated with conventional Sclerotherapy.*
What Can I Expect?
The vein will be marked on the leg using ultrasound scanning. A local anaesthetic will be injected into a small area of skin and then a small needle will be placed into the vein – again using ultrasound scanning. Slight stinging may be experienced during the procedure, but it is usually painless. The passage of solution will be monitored and injections may be repeated two to three times.*
Once the treatment is completed, the needle will be removed and compression pads will be applied. Compression stockings will be given to support the treated veins during recovery. Plenty of walking and normal activity is advised but driving on the day of the procedure should be avoided where possible. Depending on the number of veins to be treated, two to three sessions may be needed.*
Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT)
EVLT® is a minimally invasive procedure that uses targeted laser energy to shrink the wall of superficial veins, causing the vein to dissolve so that blood cannot flow through it.* Thus eliminates bulging of the vein at its source. This type of vein is not important for the transfer of blood to the heart. After treatment, blood diverts to the many normal veins in the leg.*
What Can I Expect?
After a local anaesthetic is administered, a laser fibre is inserted through a small needle hole in the skin and into the vein.* The laser is slowly heated and the vein collapses around it. The procedure usually takes forty five minutes.* There is minimal post-operative pain, and the recovery period is quick. Walking immediately after the procedure is encouraged to stimulate blood flow, with normal activities resumed soon afterwards. Bruising or soreness can be treated with non-aspirin pain relief.*
Sometimes blood flow inside a vein may stop and cause a clot, resulting in the vein becoming hard, red and tender. This condition is called Thrombophlebitis. Sometimes if the underlying causes of varicose veins have been treated successfully, the lumpy veins on the surface will clot and result in Thrombophlebitis.* If the clots are small they can be treated with Sclerotherapy. Larger clots may need to be removed by a Phlebectomy.*
What Can I Expect?
This procedure can be performed under local anaesthetic. Tiny incisions are made in and around the affected area and a Phlebectomy hook is used to pull the varicose vein out. Whilst it sounds invasive, it is actually a superficial procedure and the results are excellent, provided that the underlying causes have been properly corrected.*