November 09, 2015
Added By :
Dato' Dr Ho Teik Kok
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are veins under the skin of the legs, which have become widened, bulging, and twisted. It is prone to bleeding and ulcers.
Raised pressure in these veins also encourages the development of spider veins and discoloured areas which look like bruises.
What are the symptoms?
Other than cosmetic embarrassment, the most common symptoms of varicose veins are,
aching, discomfort and heaviness of the legs
ankle and feet swelling
dry, itchy and thin skin over the affected vein
burning or throbbing in the legs
open sores or ulcers
bleeding after minor injury
Varicose veins can get worse over the years. It causes damage to the skin near the ankle, which can become brown in colour, sometimes with scarred white areas. Eczema (a red skin rash) and ulcer can develop. Skin changes are therefore a good reason for going to see a vascular surgeon.
In some cases, varicose veins can be a sign of a blockage in the deeper veins called deep vein thrombosis. If you have this problem, you may need treatment for it.
Other problems which varicose veins can occasionally produce:
Phlebitis (sometimes called thrombophlebitis) means inflammation of the veins, and is often accompanied by some thrombosis (clotting of blood) inside the affected veins, which become hard and tender.
Risk of bleeding as a result of knocking varicose veins.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Varicose veins are associated with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in some patients. If you feel that your varicose veins are presenting any of these symptoms, you should see a vascular surgeon.
What tests are there to investigate varicose veins?
It is important to accurately locate the site of the valve leaks. An ultrasound scan (duplex) performed will allow detailed examination of your deep veins particularly if there is a past history of deep vein thrombosis.
We use the latest techniques in the treatment of varicose veins. This ranges from surgery to minimally invasive techniques of radiofrequency ablation / laser ablation of the varicose veins and foam sclerotherapy. The minimally invasive techniques can be performed as day-case, which means patients are discharged on the same day of procedure, with less pain.
Normal activities are resumed almost immediately. The spider veins can be injected with a sclerosing substance to shrink the veins and make them less visible. Other techniques such as laser or thermal treatment of spider veins are also available.