VARICOSE VEINS

Veins are blood vessels that carry blood from your organs back to the heart.  In the legs, blood travels from the feet back to the heart against gravity. The leg contains two sets of veins, the deep veins (responsible for 70% of blood flow back to the heart) and the superficial veins that lie just under the skin.

Along with calf muscle contraction, valves in the veins prevent blood from falling back to the feet in the standing position.  If the valves are incompetent, blood collects in the veins in the lower legs. The pressure of this blood distends the veins over time making them bulge and become tortuous. When this happens to veins in the superficial system we refer to these as varicose veins.

Varicose veins are very common, one in five people can be affected.  As long as the deep veins are patent and functioning well, then it is very safe to remove the superficial varicose veins with no long term effects.

PRINCIPLES OF TREATMENT

An ultrasound is often used to diagnose varicose veins. This needs to be done by an experienced vascular sonographer to make treatment decisions.  It uses sound waves to give a picture of the veins, giving the surgeon a complete picture of which areas are affected in order to determine an accurate treatment plan. Ultrasound is non-invasive and causes no pain or discomfort.

After a thorough examination and ultrasound, Miss.Balanathan will discuss the diagnosis and treatment options with you.  Treatment can include surgery, radio frequency ablation, injection sclerotherapy or other options.

YOUR MEDICAL HISTORY

Your surgeon will ask you about any health problems you may have had. Some health problems may interfere with surgery, anaesthesia and care after surgery. Your surgeon needs to know your medical history to help plan the best possible treatment. Please also provide your surgeon with a list of all medicines you are currently taking, or have recently taken, including aspirin, cough medicines, hormone replacement medicines, or the contraceptive pill.
Tell your surgeon if:

  • you have ever had an allergy or bad reaction to antibiotics or any other medicine.
  • you bleed heavily when you are injured or have surgery, or if you have any blood disorders, such as haemophilia.
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding. Surgery or injection treatment is not performed during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.