What are varicose veins?

They are tortuous and elongated outer set of veins of your leg, the veins that are normally seen just below your skin. There is also an inner set of veins called DEEP VEINS, which actually carry the bulk of your blood back to the heart. The two sets join each other, mainly in your groin.

Why do varicose veins occur?

We do not definitely know why. However we know that the valves in your veins become leaky in certain areas, leading to a backlog of blood in the outer veins of your leg.

Do all varicose veins require treatment?

The indications for treatment are predominantly for symptoms only, or the onset of certain complications. Cosmesis i.e getting it done for a better looking leg, is another indication, though such cases have to be selected carefully, as results are unpredictable and variable. Some varieties of varicose veins do better with conservative mnanagement rather than any surgical procedure.

What are the symptoms and signs?

Heaviness in the legs, more in the evenings and on prolonged standing is the commonest. Others include dull pain in the calves, cramps, restlessness of legs especially at night, pigmentation around ankles, ulcers around ankles.

What are the treatment options?

  • Compression stockings: Not a cure, but reduces symptoms
  • Conventional surgery: involving large cuts and stitches
  • Minimally invasive(needle hole): techniques like Endovenous Lasers and RF Ablation
  • Sclerotherapy: Here, chemicals are injected to seal your veins from the inside.

Which treatment is the best?

All modalities have their advantages and disadvantages. Hence procedure should be selected and tailored to the patients need. Some times more than one modality i.e a combination of modalities is to be used. Lasers might not be a suitable treatment in some cases.

Is there a guarantee that I will not have a recurrence?

No modality is 100% foolproof. However, if indications are correct and the surgeon uses the appropriate modality, results are excellent. The lowest recurrence rates as of now are stated to be with Endovenous lasers provided they are used properly and for the right indication.

Will I require anesthesia for treatment?

Conventional surgery requires anesthesia, general or regional, depending on individual patients and indications. In minimal access procedures, most cases can be done under local anesthesia, and other forms of anesthesia are as per patient choice.

What is the post procedure protocol?

  • Patients go home walking on the same day if done under local anesthesia and on the next day if done under other forms of anesthesia.
  • Irrespective of the type of procedure, some pain and discomfort will be there after the procedure, whether by conventional or minimal access techniques. Suitable pain killer tablets are needed to be prescribed for a few days.

When can a patient resume normal working?

For conventional surgery after 2 weeks and after minimal access techniques between 3 days to 1 week depending on individual cases.