What are Varicose Veins?
Many factors contribute to developing varicose veins, including family history and standing occupations.
The condition now affects almost 50% of people over 50 years of age and varicose ulceration (a complication of varicose veins) is a significant drain on the resources of our health system.
Veins carry the deoxygenated blood back to the heart, which pumps it onto the lungs, so that it can receive a new oxygen supply. Obviously moving blood from the legs to the heart is against the force of gravity (“Up Hill” if you like) and the veins have “one way valves” in them to prevent the blood falling back down. When these valves fail the blood falls back into the leg veins, under gravity, causing further pressure and damage, leading to varicose veins.
Symptoms may include:
- aching or throbbing
- heavy legs
- restless legs
- swollen ankles and feet
- itching and eczema
- pigmentation and ulceration
- the appearance, which is a cosmetic concern to many people.
The extra pressure in the legs leads to swelling and fluid retention as well as damage to the skin from the waste products of metabolism, in the venous blood, that leach into the skin. Over time the skin damage may become severe leading to ulceration.
Doctors sometimes underestimate the importance of cosmetic issues to our patients and forget that wearing long trousers and skirts in summer is far from ideal.
However, there is good news! Modern office-based techniques can successfully treat varicose veins without surgery and with minimal downtime.
Varicose veins can be assessed by Dr Weaver with an ultrasound examination. This will identify your problems and our office based, non-surgical treatment can remove the varicose veins and treat the common symptoms.