Varicose Veins Surgery

Veins are blood vessels that return blood from all organs in the body to the heart. They also act as storage spaces for blood. Veins can bulge with pools of blood when they fail to circulate blood properly due to faulty valves. These visible and bulging veins are called ‘varicose veins’ or smaller ‘spider veins’, often appearing blue or dark purple.

These are more common in dependent areas like legs and thighs, but may develop anywhere in the body. The body habitus and occupation may be contributory; a positive family history is significant.

Many people with varicose veins do not have any physical symptoms. They may, however, have concerns over the cosmetic appearance of the varicose veins.

Symptoms of varicose veins may include:

  • dull ache
  • cramping
  • fatigue
  • swelling
  • itching
  • skin discolouration
  • sometimes ulceration

Management of Varicose Veins

There are many treatment modalities to tackle varicose veins. They vary based on the size and location of the varicosities, presence & duration of symptoms and accompanying skin changes.

Treatment includes conservative methods like:

  • Leg elevation while sitting or sleeping
  • Compression dressings with single or multilayered systems
  • Compression stockings

Potential therapy options include:

  • Sclerotherapy

In this procedure, small or medium-sized varicose veins are injected with a solution or foam that scars and closes the veins. In a few weeks, the treated varicose veins should fade. Although the same vein may need to be injected more than once, sclerotherapy is effective if done correctly. Sclerotherapy doesn’t require anesthesia and can be done in the outpatient clinic.

  • Laser Treatment

New technology in laser treatments can be used to close off smaller varicose veins and spider veins. Laser treatment works by sending strong bursts of light onto the vein, which makes the vein slowly fade and disappear. No incisions or needles are used.

  • High Ligation and Vein Stripping

This procedure involves tying off a vein before it joins a deep vein and removing the vein through small incisions. This is an outpatient procedure for most people. Removing the vein does not adversely affect circulation in the leg because the deeper veins take care of larger volumes of blood.

Recovery and Result

The recovery is quick and involves physical therapy for sustained effect. Obesity and prolonged standing are significant contributors. Lifestyle changes go a long way in keeping varicose veins under control.

There is a chance of recurrence of varicose veins and many factors influence the rate at which they may return. These include the underlying cause and the treatment method used. An injected vein that was not completely destroyed by sclerotherapy may reopen, or a new vein may appear in place of the one removed as part of healing.