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Varicose veins are a common condition which affect up to 3 in 10 adults, with women being more likely to develop them than men. They appear as swollen, enlarged or twisted veins just beneath the surface of the skin and often have a blueish colour. Although any vein in the body can become varicose, they most commonly develop in the legs and feet, particularly in the calves.

Symptoms include aching, heavy and uncomfortable legs, swollen feet and ankles, muscle cramping, dry skin and colour changes in the lower leg.

  • Trunk varicose veins: these are near to the surface of the skin and are thick and knobbly. They are usually visible, often quite long, and can look unpleasant.
  • Reticular varicose veins: these are red and are sometimes grouped close together in a network.
  • Telangiectasia varicose veins: also known as thread veins or spider veins, these are small clusters of blue or red veins that sometimes appear on your face or legs.

Varicose veins, thread veins and spider veins may look unsightly and can make people feel self-conscious. The treatments we offer here at The McIndoe Centre are as follows:

  1. Ultrasound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy
  2. Endovenous Laser Ablation
  3. Sclerotherapy

The process of each surgery differs slightly, all of which are described below.

Commonly known as EVLA, this is a well practised method to treat varicose veins. It’s become so popular due to its minimally invasive, yet highly effective treatment of varicose veins. The procedure works by heating up the veins (as opposed to stripping them away) with a laser, which then kills the walls of the veins until your body absorbs the dead tissue.

In most cases, EVLA is carried out under local anaesthetic, which makes it appealing to patients as it becomes a ‘walk in, walk out’ procedure. EVLA takes around 30 minutes to an hour depending on the patient and the severity of the veins. After surgery, you may experience mild pain for up to five days but this can easily be managed with pain killers.

This non-surgical, minimally invasive treatment is popular for treating small to moderate varicose veins.

Your surgeon begins by injecting a special foam into your vein. This process involves creating foam by agitating the drug (sclerosant) with a small volume of air. Once the foam has been injected into your vein, it will shrink and seal off. During the treatment, your surgeon will use an ultrasound scan to identify the vein. You can treat multiple veins during this treatment.

This procedure has received incredibly positive results with studies revealing that foam sclerotherapy is the most effective way to treat veins that have recurred after previous surgery.

This procedure is used to treat spider veins and thread veins. The process works similarly to ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy. A fine needle is used to inject a sclerosant into your vein, which will eliminate the vein over a few treatments. Spider veins usually react well to this treatment, with many patients’ veins fading between 2/3 months. Depending on the patient and severity of the spider veins, further treatment may be required.  Post-surgery, you need to wear compression stockings for up to one week which will be provided for you.

There are multiple benefits of having vein treatments at The McIndoe Centre. Whether it’s confidence-boosting or improvement in your mobility, the benefits are numerous. Here are four of the main reasons why patients opt for varicose vein surgery:

1. Confidence Boosting

Having your veins treated means you can get back to wearing whatever you want without having to worry about using a concealer when wearing shorts or dresses. You’ll save time getting ready to go out and will greatly improve your self-confidence by no longer having to worry about people noticing your veins.

2. A Reduction in Discomfort

Some patients often report feeling discomfort due to the presence of the veins. Once you have been assigned your specialist, they shall perform an ultrasound of the affected areas in order to identify the veins. This will allow the specialist to eliminate the veins at their source and not just the immediately visible veins seen through your skin.

3.  Sleep Better at Night

Some patients may find themselves struggling to sleep due to the pain caused by their varicose veins. Pain may present itself in the form of restless leg syndrome or irritable shaking of the legs. Due to its interference with sleep, restless leg syndrome is considered a type of sleeping disorder – resulting in some studies linking varicose veins with restless leg syndrome.

4. Increased Mobility

It is not uncommon for varicose veins to cause swelling, which in turn, interferes with normal movement. This means that many people who are usually active would become less so due to their varicose veins. Having your veins treated by one of our specialists can eliminate the source of the swelling, resulting in improved mobility and eventually seeing your active self fully restored.

You may experience some minor discomfort in your leg(s). This is entirely normal, with most patients describing the pain as ‘minor stinging or burning.’ It is normal for some of the smaller incisions to bleed slightly over the first day or two. Stockings and/or bandages are often required to minimise the bleeding – especially for the first 48 hours. Any bandages and stockings can be removed after 10 days. 

The complications of vein procedures are rare – however there are minor aftercare factors you may want to be made aware of, such as:

  • Bruising around the leg
  • Discolouration of the skin
  • Swelling of the thigh and slight pain post-surgery

In extremely rare cases, varicose vein surgery can cause blood clots, infection and scarring.

Demand is growing among men for varicose vein removal treatment, with as many as 56% reported as suffering from the condition. The treatments listed above are suitable for men and women alike so if you are suffering with varicose veins it is best to seek the advice of a professional.

Maintaining your results couldn’t be easier. A healthy diet, exercise and light-support socks should be all that’s required. Additionally, about one in 15 patients see a recurrence of varicose veins within 10 years following surgery.

Everyone's treatment plant is tailored to their own individual needs. With 0% finance options available, you can find a treatment plan to suit you. The initial consultation for varicose veins will cost £200 and includes a Venous Duplex Ultrasound scan. For more information, we would be delighted if you wanted to arrange a consultation with us. You can call the Helpline for free and professional advice on 0800 917 4922. Guide prices are available here

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