When should I have my varicose veins fixed?

We advise patients to have there varicose veins attended to for 2 reasons. Firstly, if the veins have become a medical problem causing complications such as bleeding, superficial thrombosis or are associated with causing an ulcer (click here to learn about venous ulcers). The second reason for attending to your veins is that you simply do not like the way your legs look or feel. 

It is acceptable not to have your varicose veins treated if they are causing you little or no symptoms but they will usually continue to grow. The risks of complications are relatively small.


How Common is Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are extremely common affecting approximately a third of women and a quarter of men.


What will happen to my circulation if the varicose veins are removed?

Your circulation will actually get better. Removing the varicose veins will actually improve your circulation as we only remove bad veins were the blood is flowing in the wrong direction. This will reduce the workload of the good veins.


What tests are required and how do you determine the best way to treat my veins as there are so many options?

Usually the only test required apart from a good clinical examination of your veins is a duplex ultrasound. This is a totally non invasive procedure where we examine the fow in the veins in your legs with sound waves. From this we can examine the direction of flow in your veins to assess the valves in your leg. This will help determine the best way to treat you.

We strongly recommend that this be done at a vascular laboratory and performed by a full time vascular ultrasonographer who only performs vascular ultrasound testing. For more information  about duplex ultrasound go to the western vascular diagnostics website.


How long will my treatment take?

This depends on the form of treatment chosen but usually this takes less than an hour and sometimes only a few minutes.


Will my varicose veins return after treatment?

Once you have formed varicose veins there is always a chance that you will develop further varicose veins due to a biological weakness that caused the veins to occur in the first place. Patients who undergo treatment in the main get very good results, but one should always be on the look out for further veins and present early when new varicose veins form as early treatment is easier and simpler than late treatment.


Do I need to wear stockings after treatment?

This depends on the type of treatment you undergo. Graduated compression stockings are required after sclerotherapyultrasound guided sclerotherapy,   endovenous laser ablationor  clarivein.  They are important to the success of the procedure by ensuring that the treated veins remain closed. They also reduce the amount of bruising seen. The time that stockings should be worn, varies depending on the procedure that they are undergoing but generally lasts from one to two weeks. There is no evidence that prolonged compression stockings have been shown to protect you from making new veins. so we do not recommend ongoing or permanent wearing of stockings to prevent recurrence.


Where will I get the stockings from?

Stockings can be purchased from the Western Vascular Centre.