Although the latest minimal invasive procedures can be offered to most patients there will still be the occasional one who, given the choices, will opt for traditional treatment. Although we strongly advise against this, it can be arranged following consultation. We always accept that the final decision is the patient's. It is very important however to be presented with all the options with their risks and benefits. Sadly many patients are still only offered surgical stripping and not told about minimally invasive methods to remove their varicose veins.
Before looking at the different types of traditional treatment there are a number of simple, generally sensible, steps that you can take that may ease your symptoms or prevent them from getting worse. These include:
1. Try to maintain a healthy weight
2. Take regular exercise
3. Eat a balanced diet, including plenty of fibre to prevent constipation
4. Avoid long periods of sitting or standing
5. When resting, keep your feet up
6. Avoid very tight clothing around the waist and thighs
None of these however will make existing varicose veins disappear. The traditional treatments which have been used for the treatment of varicose veins include:
1. Support stockings
4. 'Alternative treatments'
Support stockings are elastic stockings designed to be worn all the waking day. They apply compression to the leg in a graduated way, i.e. greater at the ankle than the thigh, thus helping blood pass back up the leg. They must be fitted correctly to have any chance of helping. Although support stockings cannot make varicose veins disappear some patients do get relief from their symptoms whilst wearing them and are happy with this solution. Most patients however do not like the way they look or feel. Your legs can get hot and sweaty and can blister. Some patients are allergic to the latex. They can be difficult to put on especially for the elderly or infirm. There is little research about support stockings for varicose veins but that which does exist does not show much benefit, although in one study 1 in 4 people who tried support stockings before surgery decided to do without the surgery so presumably they must be doing some good!
The following description does not apply to foam sclerotherapy.
Injections of irritant chemicals into varicose veins to close them off has been used for many years and although not in vogue in the United Kingdom is still used extensively in Europe. Injections are quick and usually painless but do not work as effectively as surgery. Most people having injection treatment will need further treatment within 5 years. You have to wear support stockings or bandages for 2 weeks following each injection session and may need up to 3 sessions in succession.
Injections can have side effects: your skin can become discoloured and this can take a long time to recover. Inadvertent injection into arteries can lead to serious ulceration. Bruising is common but does not last long. Blood clots are common and can cause sore lumps but these can be dealt with fairly easily by squeezing them out through a small needle puncture like a zit. Some patients are allergic to the chemical but this is rarely serious. Despite, or perhaps, because of the fact that injections have been used for so long there has been little good research on their value. It has been shown that most people having injection therapy need another treatment within 5 years and that laser and RF are far more effective treatments with less recurrence.
As would be expected for such a common condition there is a whole host of different alternative remedies proposed. These include Butchers broom (box holly, knee holly, pettigree, sweet broom) witch hazel, gotu kola, water therapy, flavanoids and a high fibre diet.
A high fibre diet is likely to be generally helpful to your health and may prevent you straining through constipation but it has not been proven to help varicose vein symptoms. There is no good evidence that any of the other treatments work and some may cause harm through allergies and side effects.
Surgery is still the main stay of active treatment of varicose veins in the United Kingdom. In most parts of the country however it is not available to patients on the National Health Service unless they have obvious signs of skin changes or ulceration. Most surgery is undertaken under a general anaesthetic. The commonest operation involves a cut about 2.5 to 5 centimetres long in your groin at the top of your thigh and another cut about 1.5 cms long inside your knee or at your ankle. The major venous branches in the groin are tied off with sutures. The main surface vein running down the inside of your thigh is then stripped out with a special stripping tool. Many smaller cuts are also often made along the leg especially in the calf to pull out smaller varicose veins. Most such surgery is carried out as a day case. You will need to wear tight bandages and stockings for several weeks and may need injections to treat any residual veins not adequately dealt with by the surgery. You will need some time off work but this varies widely from patient to patient. Despite surgery for varicose veins being so common there is little good research to tell how well it works. It is fairly well accepted that surgery is the most effective traditional means of dealing with varicose veins and most patients are pleased with the results. However, there are problems which include: scars; bruising; pain; time of work; risk of DVT (deep venous thrombosis); nerve injury (patches of skin numbness); and recurrence,which is usually quoted as 10% but is almost certainly much higher.
Varicose Veins Treatment
Varicose veins treatment is essential for improving appearance and symptoms of the condition and preventing further complications. There are various forms of varicose veins treatment on the market, such as foam sclerotherapy, and the choice can seem a little overwhelming at first, but the team of specialists at Veincentre have the experience and expertise in traditional treatment for varicose veins to aid you in your decision on varicose veins treatment. You may have assumed that thread veins treatment is either out of your price range or too risky to go through with, but Veincentre offers affordable varicose veins treatment options like foam sclerotherapy that will help to rid you of your thread veins for good.
Varicose veins are enlarged veins caused by weak valves commonly found in your ankles and legs. They appear as swollen and twisted dark blue veins near the surface of the skin, in turn causing swelling, burning or itching for sufferers. With traditional treatment for varicose veins such as foam sclerotherapy, this can be incredibly uncomfortable, inconvenient and embarrassing for those with the condition, which makes varicose veins treatment all the more important. While varicose veins are a relatively common issue for both men and women, they can also lead to further unwelcome complications for sufferers who do not seek effective varicose veins treatment.
Traditional Treatment for Varicose Veins
In addition to offering our patients the latest varicose veins laser treatment and other innovative procedures for varicose veins treatment, there are also many traditional treatments like foam sclerotherapy that we can offer advice on. Whatever your ultimate choice, information on traditional treatment for varicose veins is always useful to have, and can be arranged following your consultation with us. These include support stockings, injections, foam sclerotherapy, surgery and various alternative treatments. All of these forms of traditional treatment for varicose veins can ease symptoms and help to erase your thread veins before a more modern varicose veins treatment are considered.
Of course, preventing thread veins from appearing or becoming worse is the first step towards traditional treatment for varicose veins, and our expert team are happy to advise you on the best ways to do this before a major problem actually emerges. Our advice for preventing varicose veins includes maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, eating plenty of fibre as part of a healthy diet, avoiding standing or sitting for long periods, keeping your feet elevated when resting and avoiding tight clothing around the waist and thighs.
Support stockings are elastic stockings that can be worn all day. The compression they provide is graduated so it is greater in the ankle area than it is on the thigh. This means that the blood from your swollen vein is helped to pass back up towards your heart. This traditional treatment for varicose veins does not cure the problem, but it can help to ease symptoms while you look into other options. Problems occur when patients are allergic to the latex stocking or when the leg area becomes hot and sweaty, sometimes causing blisters to form.
Surgery is still a very popular spider veins treatment, but the procedure is very invasive and will require you to go under a general anaesthetic. After the operation you will need to wear tight bandages for several weeks of recovery time and, even having gone through the surgery, there may be call for more appointments for injections or foam sclerotherapy to treat any residual veins not adequately dealt with. Surgery as a form of traditional treatment for varicose veins remains popular, but there are often subsequent problems and a 10% chance of recurrence.
How Foam Sclerotherapy Can Help Your Varicose Veins
The injection of irritant chemicals into thread veins is another form of traditional treatment of varicose veins, more popular in Europe than the UK. These injections, including foam sclerotherapy, are a quick and relatively painless varicose veins treatment though, only lasting for around five years, they are generally less effective than surgical traditional treatment for varicose veins. Patients seeking this traditional treatment for varicose veins will need to wear support stockings for two weeks following each session, and up to three successive sessions are sometime required. Chemical allergies, minor blood clots and bruising are common problems with this varicose veins treatment.
Ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy, or just foam sclerotherapy, is a modern injected varicose veins treatment that we offer for residual varicosities after other treatments. Foam sclerotherapy is used as a traditional treatment for varicose veins, however, and foam sclerotherapy is administered under local anaesthetic as a day case procedure. A solution is mixed with air, which creates a foam, and this will be injected into the affected vein during foam sclerotherapy. Foam sclerotherapy causes inflammation of the vein wall, pushing any blood out and eventually closing off the vein. The traditional treatment for varicose veins, over time, will cause the thread vein to shrink and disappear.