Varicose Veins and Venous Disease

Varicose veins are a common medical problem.

Veins are the blood vessels that carry blood from the body to the heart. Veins have valves which ensure that blood only flows in the correct direction. In patients with varicose veins these valves are incompetent or leaky. Chronic high pressure in the veins from incompetent valves results in varicose veins and their complications.

Varicose veins can be problematic in many ways:

  • they can be unsightly
  • they can cause pain and swelling of the leg
  • blood clots can form in them (superficial thrombophlebitis)
  • they can bleed, rarely
  • they can cause skin rashes (varicose eczema)
  • they can result in leg ulcers

The veins can be investigated with a non-invasive ultrasound test. Occasionally an invasive test such as a CT venogram or catheter venogram is required to investigate venous disease.

Varicose veins can be treated by a number of means. These include:

  • Compression stockings
  • Surgery
  • Sclerotherapy
  • Radiofrequency or Laser Ablation

We will discuss the treatment options after review of your history, physical examination and investigations and decide which treatment is best for you.