Varicose veins are bulging and blue veins that occur on the legs.
Around a third of the population develop varicose veins at some time during their life.However, some sufferers may feel
their varicose veins are unsightly, or they could be experiencing pain, especially if they have been standing for long periods. Problems can be purely cosmetic, such as thread veins and other skin blemishes, or much more serious – such as deep vein thrombosis or venous leg ulcers. Those who do suffer serious discomfort should not leave symptoms untreated as problems can progress to conditions which are then difficult to treat.
Varicose veins occur at any age in both men and women, but most commonly in women after pregnancy. They are extremely common, with approximately 30% of the population suffering from them at some stage of their lives. Left untreated they can develop to create venous ulcers on the legs, which are difficult to treat.
Varicose veins are caused by the failure of valves in the venous system of the leg.
Normally, these valves ensure that blood flows upwards from the feet back to the heart. When they stop working properly, blood accumulates in the vein and it becomes a varicose vein.
In order to determine the correct treatme nt it is essential that patients have an accurate venous duplex scan, as not doing this can result in the wrong operation being performed and the veins recurring at an early stage. A painless and non-invasive ultrasound is used to detect varicose veins and gives the surgeons the information they need to decide how to best treat your condition