Laser Surgery for Varicose Veins
What are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are abnormal, dilated or swollen blood vessels caused by the valves in the veins not working properly. This means that the blood instead of flowing towards the heart flows down in the wrong direction. You can often see the varicose veins under the skin as blue or purple veins that are bulging or twisted.
Varicose veins are very common; around 50% of men and women have these surface leg veins. Varicose veins are not just a cosmetic nuisance. Half of all patients who seek treatment do so because of pain and discomfort.
The veins are investigated with a non-invasive ultrasound test.
Sometimes the only problem is that the veins are cosmetically unappealing. However, there can be swelling of the feet and ankles, aching legs and some skin discolouration.
Varicose veins can be problematic in several ways:
- cosmetically unappealing
- throbbing or pain in the legs
- they can get clots in then causing inflammation (superficial thrombophlebitis)
- they can bleed if they are traumatized
- they can cause changes in the skin’s appearance
- long standing varicose veins can lead to leg ulcers
Varicose veins can be treated by a number of methods. These include:
- Compression stockings
- Endovenous Laser Ablation
- Radiofrequency Ablation
Treatment will depend on history, physical examination, investigations and patient preferences.
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