Varicose Veins Treatment
At Winfield Hospital we provide the latest varicose vein treatments for medical and cosmetic reasons. Medical treatment eases the symptoms of varicose veins and treats any complications. Cosmetic treatment of varicose veins addresses the aesthetic issues around varicose veins. It’s rarely available on the NHS. We understand the distress that unsightly varicose veins can cause and offer a full range of options to reduce the visibility of varicose veins.
Modern “walk in walk out” treatments such as sclerotherapy and EVLA are most frequently performed to treat varicose veins at Winfield Hospital. They allow patients to benefit from quick treatment in an outpatient setting with minimal pain and scarring.
Our general surgeons have extensive vascular experience and they’ll discuss with you the most suitable treatment based on your general health and the size, position and severity of your veins.
About varicose veins
Varicose veins are very common. They’re enlarged, lumpy, veins in your leg that often appear as a blue or dark purple colour on your skin.
Your leg veins have many one-way valves that help the upward flow of blood back to your heart. Varicose veins may develop if the valves stop working properly allowing the blood to flow in the wrong direction, which then swells the vein.
Often varicose veins run in families. Women are more likely to develop them. Hormone fluctuations in puberty, pregnancy, menopause, the use of birth control pills and HRT can cause varicose veins to appear as can ageing, standing for long periods of time, obesity, and leg injury.
Varicose veins often don’t show any other symptoms apart from their unsightly appearance which may cause distress and embarrassment. They may cause aching, pain and heaviness of the legs and these may worsen as the day progresses.
Varicose veins don’t get better without treatment. Often they get worse and may lead to other complications such as ankle swelling and varicose eczema (dry skin) and venous ulcers that are painful, difficult to heal and may become infected.
Sclerotherapy is a treatment normally for small varicose veins including thread and spider veins.
It involves injecting a liquid, called a sclerosant, which contains a chemical that damages the inside of your vein and makes it block up. It’s also called ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy as a special foam is injected into your veins by ultrasound guidance. The vein will scar and your blood will be re-routed through healthy veins. The treated vein is reabsorbed into local tissue and will fade over time.
Sclerotherapy is performed under local anaesthetic. It takes around twenty minutes depending upon how many veins are being treated. You may need more than one sclerotherapy treatment before your vein fades.
EVLT (endonvenous laser therapy) or EVLA (endovenous laser ablation) uses laser to seal the problem varicose veins. It’s a straightforward, quick, minimally invasive procedure that leaves no scar. It’s often the first-line treatment.
You’ll normally have a local anaesthetic for EVLT. During the procedure a catheter is inserted into your vein through a small hole in your skin using ultrasound guidance. A laser is passed through the catheter to the top of your varicose vein. It delivers short bursts of energy to heat up your vein and close it. The laser moves along and seals the entire vein.
The treatment takes less than an hour. You may have some bruising and pain in your legs after the treatment. You should be able to resume normal activities within one to two days.
Varicose vein surgery
Minor surgery may be recommended if sclerotherapy and endovenous laser therapy are unsuitable or if you want the varicose vein fully removed. Litigation and stripping is the usual surgical procedure used.
Varicose vein surgery is typically performed under general anaesthetic and usually takes around an hour for one leg. Your surgeon will make a cut in your groin and the back of your knee or ankle. The top of your vein will be tied and sealed (ligated) and a thin flexible wire will be passed through the bottom of the vein to carefully remove it (stripped).
The following Consultants offer treatment for Varicose Veins at Winfield Hospital