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Caused by a weakening of the valves which help our blood flow round our bodies properly, varicose veins are the result of that flow being disrupted or even partially reversed. This causes the volume and pressure of the blood within the vein to increase, causing the vein to stretch and bulge.
Thankfully, and although they have been linked with blood clots and ulcers, varicose veins are not usually a particularly dangerous condition. However they can sometimes be painful and cause feelings of tiredness or heaviness in the limbs. They are also often unsightly and potentially embarrassing.
That’s why at The Edinburgh Clinic we offer three treatments to counteract the visibility and impact of varicose veins, helping you to feel less discomfort and more confidence in your appearance.
One of the most common approaches used to treat varicose veins at The Edinburgh Clinic is Sclerotherapy.
In Sclerotherapy, a chemical called a sclerosant is carefully introduced into the problematic vein or veins causing them to seal closed. However, don’t worry! Your body has many veins carrying blood to the right places, and when the problem vein seals, the blood flow will simply redirect to another healthier route.
The closing off of the varicose vein reduces the pressure of the blood within and allows the vein’s swelling to reduce significantly.
A similar treatment, Foam Sclerotherapy, is also offered at The Edinburgh Clinic and solves the problem in much the same way. However, in this case, the treatment is targeted at larger and deeper-lying veins, and uses a sclerosant which has been altered to become a foam.
This foam is injected into the correct area, sometimes across a number of sessions, before blocking off the problem vein and again forcing blood to find an alternative route in order that the pressure can be reduced and swelling dealt with.
The third approach to treating varicose veins at The Edinburgh Clinic is Venefit Targeted Endovenus Therapy, or Venefit for short.
With Venefit, instead of blocking off the troublesome vein, it is closed up entirely through the use of heat generated by radio-frequency energy. This energy is applied through a small catheter.
As with both Foam and regular Sclerotherapy, the blood flow previously travelling through the affected vein will find an alternative route, and the swelling of the varicose vein should disappear almost entirely.
The physical and self-esteem benefits of varicose vein treatment can be significant, and the surgery comes with little in the way of downsides. As a non-invasive surgery, there should be little to no pain during or after the surgery, and no scarring. The procedure lasts for around one hour and while a few days’ rest is advised, most patients can walk immediately afterwards and return to normal life very soon after.
The results of varicose veins surgery should be seen within 7-14 days of the procedure, and some swelling, bruising or itching may occur for a few days. Patients will also need to wear compression stockings for a while after treatment, which may be slightly uncomfortable at times.
However, gaining your freedom from the visible and tangible impacts of varicose veins should make any such inconveniences well worth it – a view supported by the fact that more than 50,000 varicose vein operations taking place in the UK alone every year.