Varicose veins

Characteristics
 
Varicose veins are dilated and overfilled with blood and can be painful. They often appear when standing for long periods of time or during pregnancy when blood pressure in the veins increases. Veins have one-way valves that prevent blood from flowing backwards. When these valves fail, blood begins to collect in the veins rather than continuing towards your heart. The veins then enlarge and swell up. They can appear on superficial or deeper veins.  Family history, obesity, age, gender and hormones change are important factors. A duplex test can be done (combination of an ultrasound and a doppler) and will assess if the valves still work properly.

Treatments

Compression socks or stockings. These place enough pressure on your legs so that blood can flow more easily to your heart. They also decrease swelling. Medication can also be given to decrease the feeling of heaviness and pain and to improve blood flow.

Varicose veins can also be treated with laser therapy. The laser light is absorbed by the red colour of the blood which then clots. Results are only visible after 6 to 8 weeks and a second treatment is sometimes necessary. Before making an appointment in order to avoid pigmentation issues, be aware that :

  • The area treated can not be exposed to sun light 4 to 6 weeks before and after the treatment;
  • You cannot apply self tanner 1 week before the treatment.

Sclerotherapy can also be used to block off a larger vein. This causes the vein to close. You may need to wear compression stockings for several days or weeks to maintain the pressure until healing.

Endovenous laser therapy is a more recent treatment which can be considered as a perfect alternative to the traditional « stripping ». It allows the specialist to take off the whole vein without excision in the groin. The procedure is less invasive because it is done under local anesthesia but also because it is not painful. It also protects the peripheric tissues. Results are visible after a few weeks. Your doctor will then assess with you if other treatments are necessary (for example to treat the smaller varicose veins). This procedure leaves no scars.

Varicose vein stripping is a surgical procedure that removes varicose veins from the legs or thighs. This procedure is done under anesthesia.

Advice

  • Move as much as you can. Go for a walk, swim, ride your bike, etc.
  • Avoid warm places such as the sauna, warm baths, sun beds, etc.
  • Lift up your legs regularly to decrease pressure on the veins.
  • Try to live and eat as healthy as possible, avoid obesity.

Tips
 
We work in partnership at Mediclinic with a vascular surgeon for the treatment of varicose veins. If you want to make an appointment, contact us here.

Cost Price


Laser treatment varicose veins 120€ - 150€

Partners Mediclinic