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The path back to lovely legs

PUBLISHED: 15:10 06 June 2014

Varicose veins can present real problems for those afflicted by them.

Varicose veins can present real problems for those afflicted by them.

Archant

Springfield Hospital’s consultant vascular surgeon, Mr Tom Browne, provides his expert insight into at the treatment options for varicose veins and reveals the truth behind surrounding myths

The effect of varicose veins is very real and very personal. However, whether they cause pain, throbbing or embarrassment, today they can be dealt with swiftly and efficiently.

Varicose veins may occur for a number of different reasons. There may be an inherent weakness in the vein walls or valves, causing swelling. Hormonal changes during pregnancy or pressure as a result of the pregnancy can also cause varicose veins, while the presence of a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can cause damage to the valves, resulting in varicose veins.

The symptoms can vary from aching, uncomfortable legs, swollen feet and ankles, a burning or throbbing sensation, muscle cramp or dry and itchy thin skin over the affected area to mild irritation with unsightly blue veins in the skin.

Consultant vascular surgeon, Mr Tom Browne, practises at Springfield Hospital in Chelmsford and explains more about treatment options and explodes some of the myths surrounding varicose veins…

Getting the right treatment

It is important to get to the cause of the problem and this is done through clinical examination and with Duplex scanning. The scan shows where the actual problem lies and is very accurate for planning treatment.

Whatever the cause of the varicose veins, there are a number of excellent treatment options available which should be tailored to the individual patient. Conservative treatment of wearing compression stockings may be enough to treat some cases, while sclerotherapy, radio frequency, endovenus laser treatment (EVLT) and phlebectomy (removal of the vein) can be used alone or in combination to get the best results.

Your vascular surgeon should discuss the various options, given the exact condition, cause and extent of your individual case and the type of anaesthetic that is appropriate. The newer, minimally invasive methods of treatment can achieve an excellent result and facilitate a rapid return to full activities. These procedures can often be carried out under local anaesthetic.

Varicose veins...

true or false

Have all your babies before having vein surgery

Not true. You are better off having them treated when they become problematic.

Wait for your veins to get bad before you have them done

Not true. Don’t leave your varicose veins to get worse. You could end up with irreversible skin changes.

If you have them done, it puts pressure on other veins and you get recurrence

Not true. This is not what happens.

My job has caused the veins

Not true. If you have varicose veins, you were destined to have them. Certain jobs can exacerbate them, but do not cause them. n

Find out more

If you are suffering from varicose veins,

then speaking to a vascular specialist is recommended. Springfield Hospital offers fast access to a consultant who will take a medical history, examine you, carry out a Duplex scan and discuss which treatment option is most suitable. If you would like further information or to book an appointment, please call the Springfield Hospital Services Advisors on 01245 234100 or visit www.springfieldhospital.co.uk

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