Varicose Veins are often thought to be an older person’s problem, but most people tend to get their first Varicose Vein in their teenage years. Varicose Veins are also thought to be only a cosmetic issue but, left unchecked they can cause considerable health issues that can compromise your enjoyment of life.

Varicose Vein Symptoms

Issues such as aching leg especially at the end of the day, throbbing, burning sensation, or restless legs can impact your life. These symptoms should not be dismissed as normal aches and pains. More advanced Varicose Vein problems show skin discolouration, usually around the ankles and leg ulcers.

Causes of Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are caused by the valves in the superficial veins of the legs no longer functioning. The blood in those veins cannot move up the body so it just sits in the veins stretching them over time and causing discomfort. There are two superficial systems that transport approximately 2% of the blood in the leg. These two vein systems are the Greater Saphenous vein and the Short Saphenous vein. When these veins no longer function they become Varicose Veins. Most of the blood is transported to the heart by the deep systems in the muscles.

The main causes of Varicose Veins are hereditary, obesity, injury to a leg and pregnancy. You are at a much higher risk if your parents or grandparents have varicose veins. Many people inherit vein disorders, about 30% of women and 25% of men have Varicose Veins. Symptoms of Varicose veins can include aching, throbbing, painful legs, itchy legs and unsightly veins in the lower leg.

Treatment Options

In the past surgical stripping was the only Varicose Vein treatment option. This meant having a general anaesthetic, being hospitalised and having weeks off work. Now there is a non-surgical option using Endovenous Laser and Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy (injections). Both these options are performed as a walk-in and walk-out procedure. There is no hospitalisation or general anaesthetic, no scars or stitches, no time of work or away from family. Using laser for Varicose Vein treatment is a great option. Compression stockings are worn for two weeks after the procedure and exercise such as walking or bike riding is encouraged.

Dr Nicole James at the Crows Nest Cosmetic & Vein Clinic has been treating vein problems in Sydney for many years and advises not to put off treating symptomatic Varicose Veins as they will only get worse over time.

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