Varicose veins affect 30% of the population and are caused when one-way valves within the vein fail, creating a flow of blood down the leg rather than upwards towards the heart. Blood begins to stagnate and this creates the bulky, prominent appearance typically associated with the condition. Although they are rarely dangerous, symptomatic veins cause aching and discomfort as well as an unsatisfactory cosmetic appearance.
Surgery to correct varicose veins has historically centred on removing the damaged vein by stripping it out of the leg altogether. In recent years however, the management of varicose veins has been revolutionised and now includes options which are focused on providing treatment with minimally invasive techniques. These new procedures, which work by destroying the inner lining of the vein, are done under local or no anaesthetic and allow patients to return to their normal duties much quicker than traditional surgery. They are proven to result in less post-operative discomfort and bruising, and leave little or no scarring. The recovery time is much shorter and there is no need for an overnight stay in hospital – in fact, most patients walk in and out of the clinic within 45 minutes.
If you are scheduled for surgery under anaesthetic to your veins, it is important you make an appointment in advance with the practice nurse at your GP surgery to have your bandaging removed and a stocking applied the following day.
To the right are information leaflets and links to further information