Varicose veins are enlarged veins close to the skin's surface and are most commonly found on the legs. Some 25% of women and 10% of men can be affected by varicose veins.
Factors which will increase your chance of varicose veins include:
Reticular and spider veins are also very common and represent a milder form of varicose veins. They are often treated for cosmetic reasons but these minor vessels frequently have their own symptoms such as cramps, itchiness and restless legs.
Veins in the legs return blood to the heart by using normal contraction of the calf muscles to squeeze blood from deeply placed vein reservoirs. Normally, the blood ascends against gravity up the deep vessels, with one way valves stopping the back flow of blood that would otherwise occur. The valves open as blood flows towards the heart and close to stop the backwards flow.
Varicose veins occur when one way valves cease to function and allow backward flow of blood. This results in increased pressure in the veins and eventually the appearance of varicose veins. You may have symptoms before the varicose veins become evident such as aching, a heavy feel in the legs, leg fatigue, a burning sensation or cramps.
Long-term, this increased pressure in the veins can result in many skin changes including eczema and ulceration.
Surgery for varicose veins has been the standard treatment approach for many years and still has a significant part to play. In most cases, surgery involves a cut in the groin and multiple smaller cuts further down the leg. Recurrence rates, costs, and the need for general anaesthetic and hospital stay have resulted in a trend towards less invasive treatments that have a faster recovery time.
Fraser Clinic specialises in the non surgical treatment of all grades of varicose veins from small spider veins on the legs with microsclerotherapy, unsightly facial vessels and Rosacea with Intense Pulsed Light, to large varicose veins treated with the latest cool touch Endovenous Laser (ELT) and Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy (UGS).
Fraser Clinic is the most comprehensive vein clinic in the Bay of Plenty region, with the experienced team of Phlebologist Dr Geoff Olsen, Vascular Surgeon, Mr Mark Morgan, and experienced Vascular Sonographer Mrs Sally Shaw, who together, have treated over 2000 patients with UGS and over 1800 patients with ELT.
A Phlebologist is a medically qualified doctor who has undergone further post graduate training to expertly diagnose, treat and where possible, prevent any form of venous disease, whether it be varicose veins, clotting disorders, vascular birthmarks, or leg ulcers.
The non surgical treatment of varicose veins involves: