Varicose Vein Treatments
About varicose veins
Varicose veins are common. They are enlarged and twisted veins in the leg that are often blue or dark purple in colour.
Normal veins in your legs have many one-way valves to help the upward flow of blood back to the heart.
If you’ve a varicose vein the valves in your vein will have stopped working properly. Your blood can then flow in the wrong direction and cause the vein to swell and this is known as a varicose vein.
Varicose veins can run in families and may be made worse by pregnancy, hormone changes, ageing, obesity, leg injuries and standing for long periods.
Often the only symptom of a varicose vein is its appearance. They may cause pain, aching and heaviness of your legs that can be worse at the end of the day.
Varicose veins do not improve without treatment. Sometimes they worsen and eventually lead to other complications.
Sclerotherapy is an injection treatment for varicose veins normally used for smaller veins such as thread and spider veins. It’s performed on an outpatient basis, under local anaesthetic and offers a fast recovery and is successful in most patients.
During sclerotherapy, your surgeon will inject a liquid, often in a foam state, into your vein using ultrasound guidance. It’s also called ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy. The procedure damages the inside of your vein and causes it to close. The blood is then re-routed so that it passes through healthier veins. The vein will turn into scar tissue and be reabsorbed into local tissue, eventually fading.
Several veins can be treated at one time. Spider veins typically respond to treatment in three to six weeks.
At Berkshire Independent Vein Clinic, we offer a simple laser treatment to seal varicose veins called endonvenuous laser therapy (EVLT) or endovenous laser ablation (EVLA).
EVLT is a minimally invasive procedure, usually performed under local anaesthetic, that can be used to remove all types of varicose veins. It’s often the first treatment choice for varicose vein treatment.
During EVLT, your surgeon will insert a catheter into your vein under ultrasound guidance. A thin laser is passed through the catheter to the top of your varicose vein. The laser will heat up the vein wall and destroy it. It moves along the whole vein until the it’s entirely closed. The blood will then be re-routed through healthier veins.
We also offer radiofrequency ablation that involves heating the wall of your varicose vein using radiofrequency energy.
Varicose vein surgery
Varicose vein surgery is a minor surgery procedure, usually performed under general anaesthetic, that takes about one hour. It’s normally recommended if other techniques such as sclerotherapy and endothermal ablation treatments haven’t worked or aren’t suitable for you or if you’d like the varicose vein completely removed.
Ligation and stripping is the most frequently used varicose vein surgery. During varicose vein surgery your vascular surgeon will make an incision in your groin and the back of your knee or ankle. Your vein will be tied off (ligated) and then removed (stripped). Once your vein is removed your blood will re-route through other healthy veins.