Varicose Veins

Up to 25% of people have varicose veins which are caused by blood flowing the wrong way down the leg veins due to faulty valves in the veins. Inherited and environmental factors are the main causes of varicose veins. Puberty, pregnancy and menopause may influence the course of the disease. Varicose veins may cause feelings of fatigue, heaviness, aching, burning, throbbing, itching and cramps in the legs. These symptoms are often accompanied by swelling of the ankle. Thread veins can also produce the same symptoms. Ultrasound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy This is our preferred method of treatment for varicose veins although we also offer radiofrequency ablation (VNUS ClosureFAST) and surgical treatment. All of these treatments have been approved by NICE for the treatment of symptomatic varicose veins. Ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy is performed as an outpatient procedure in our clinc which allows you to carry on life as normal. The treatment involves injections under local anaesthetic and takes about half an hour for one leg. The procedure causes minor discomfort and is carefully monitored using ultrasound imaging. A firm compression bandage must be worn for a week afterwards. Mild discomfort and a little bruising often follow treatment but this is much less than following surgical treatment. No time off work is needed, except for attending clinic appointments. All treatments currently available are equally effective but foam sclerotherapy is the most cost effective. Our own experience of treating more than 3000 patients over 10 years shows that this treatment is at least as effective as surgical treatment. Foam sclerotherapy is by far the most effective treatment for patients with varicose veins which have recurred after previous surgery.

More information from the British Vein Institute