Why do we get them?
Although Varicose Veins are completely harmless, they can affect your confidence if left untreated, leading many people to take action to remove them.
Varicose veins are most common on the legs and are usually flesh coloured, blue or dark purple in appearance, and can also be lumpy or twisted. They are caused by weak vein walls and valves, especially if the walls have been stretched and have lost their elasticity. They particularly affect women and can also occur due to genetic inheritance, ageing, having a sedentary lifestyle, obesity or leg injuries.
Prevention and Reduction
In some cases, varicose veins are caused by genetic inheritance, however by ensuring you maintain a healthy weight to reduce pressure on the legs, and avoid sitting or standing for hours at a time, you will help to prevent new varicose veins from forming.
Our treatment options have helped thousands of varicose veins sufferers, and at The Harley Medical Group we recommend having your varicose veins treated in a safe, clinical environment. The results of your varicose vein treatment will be permanent, however you may need ongoing treatments if new varicose veins appear.
Varicose Veins treatment
Don’t let your varicose veins hold you back. With minimally invasive Varicose veins treatments such as Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) and Sclerotherapy, the cosmetic appearance of your veins will be improved. Before you decide which treatment to go for, book in for a consultation with one of our experienced advisors, we also carry out an ultrasound analysis, before an expert surgeon provides a bespoke treatment plan to address your vein issue.
We only offer the best varicose vein treatments at The Harley Medical Group, which work to shrink the affected veins and make them disappear. One treatment, EVLA works by using a laser to destroy the veins from the inside. It is approved by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), and as the procedure usually only takes about 1-2 hours (depending on how many veins need treating), you can also return home the same day too.
Let Us Help
Our years of experience in the field of Cosmetic Surgery ensure that you can rely on The Harley Medical Group to assist you with a tailored treatment programme for varicose veins. We offer consultations to understand your individual requirements and are there for you every step of your journey with a thorough after care service to ensure that your experience is positive throughout.
*Consultations are FREE and you are under no obligation
Frequently Asked Questions
Varicose veins are caused by weak or damaged valves in your veins. Muscles contracting in your lower legs act as pumps, using the elastic veins to push blood to the heart. A series of tiny valves also open to help pump the blood towards your heart, and then close to stop it from flowing backwards.
If the valves are not functioning correctly, then blood can flow backward, where it collects in pools, resulting in stretched and twisted swollen veins commonly known as varicose veins.
Varicose veins are generally just a cosmetic issue. While there is no proven connection between the appearance of varicose veins and the pain caused, sometimes they can become extremely painful, especially during the warmer season and at night time.
Varicose veins can be treated with Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) or Sclerotherapy.
EVLA is approved by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence and is carried out using a laser. The treatment is performed under a local anaesthetic and aims to treat the underlying condition as well as combat the appearance of symptoms. The procedure can take up to 2 hours, depending on how many veins need treating. You can return home the same day.
Sclerotherapy is a less invasive procedure which involves injecting the varicose veins with a solution which causes them to shrink and gradually disappear. This procedure generally takes less than an hour.
Varicose veins are rarely dangerous and do not usually require treatment. However, if you’re experiencing discomfort which you can’t find relief for, get in touch with a doctor.
The most common risk factors of developing Varicose veins include:
Age: the risk of developing varicose veins increases as you get older. The valves that regulate blood flow in your veins age too, meaning that over time, they become weaker and less efficient.
Gender: varicose veins are more likely to be found in women. Hormonal fluctuations resulting from pregnancy, menopause or pre-menstruation cause changes in hormone levels which may affect the valves’ performance.
Pregnancy: during pregnancy, the blood flow increases to help support the baby, along with the womb, adding extra strain to the veins. This, alongside other hormonal changes may lead to varicose veins.
Weight: being overweight adds pressure to your veins and compresses the valves and walls. Losing weight may help, although in many cases treatment is needed.
Lifestyle & Occupation: office jobs or jobs that involve standing all day may result in the development of varicose veins. Exercising regularly to compensate for long periods of sitting or standing may help prevent varicose veins.
Family history: if your family members have or had varicose veins, there is a higher chance you may develop them too.
Other conditions: in rare cases, varicose veins may appear as a result of another underlying problem. These include a previous blood clot, a swelling or tumour in the pelvis and abnormal blood vessels.
Although Varicose veins are typically harmless, you should see your doctor if you experience the following symptoms:
- Severe and continuous pain and swelling in the legs
- Heavy, aching legs at the end of the day, or following physical activity
- Muscle cramps in the legs (especially at night)
- Varicose veins are red, warm and tender to the touch and/ or are prone to bleeding on their own or due to injury
- The skin surrounding the varicose veins is dry and/or itchy
Ignoring some of these symptoms can lead to serious health issues including blood clots, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), skin ulcers and other conditions.
Yes, heredity is one of the risk factors of Varicose veins. If one of your family members has varicose veins, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will get them too, but you are more likely to develop them at some stage in your life.
Although Varicose veins indicate a blood flow issue, they are not an indicator of heart disease. Nevertheless, they can point to other serious conditions, such as DVT or Pulmonary Embolism.
As a low-impact form of exercise, walking can help strengthen the calf muscles and pump blood through your veins without putting strain on the valves.