3 frequently asked questions about varicose veins
by Richard Evans – Vascular Specialist who runs the monthly clinics at Upper Hutt Health Centre
- Do you get varicose veins by crossing your legs?
- Do you need an operation to have your veins treated?
- Aren’t varicose veins just cosmetic?
Do you get varicose veins by crossing your legs?
The short answer to this is no. Varicose veins are mostly hereditary so sitting with your legs uncrossed won’t make any difference. If you look after your health, exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet and don’t smoke you are less likely to develop varicose veins.
Do you need an operation to have your veins treated?
No! It used to be an operation to strip varicose veins – with all that entails – recovery, pain, having an anaesthetic, time off work etc but today we mainly use medical adhesive to seal off varicose veins. This adhesive has been used for over 30 years and has been shown to be safe.
How varicose vein surgery works
A tiny nick is made in the skin to feed a tube into the vein. Small amounts of adhesive are sent into this tube. The vein is compressed with an ultrasound probe, as the tube is gently retracted. There are no dressings, no wound and, more importantly, little down time, with little pain. All up it’s a quick procedure – depending on the complexity of the vein, a leg can be treated in as little as 15 minutes!
Aren’t varicose veins just cosmetic?
Again, the answer is no. If left untreated varicose veins can lead to ulcers, which can be a painful, recurring open wound that generally makes life miserable.