Varicose veins are a common problem affecting around 60 per cent of people who are over the age of 60.
And while most people do not have a problem other than the appearance of varicose veins, the condition can be associated with aching, swollen ankles, itching, eczema and less commonly, ulcers and clots.
Varicose veins can also be associated with restless legs syndrome and can aggravate night cramps.
Doctor David Huber, from the Vascular Care Centre, said that in the past, surgery was the major option for varicose veins.
It required hospital admission and overnight stays – sometimes up to five days – and compression bandages had to be used for up to six weeks.
But, these days, this is no longer the case.
“Treatment of varicose veins has changed a lot over the last decade,” Dr Huber said. “Almost all varicose veins can now be treated by minimally invasive methods as either a walk-in, walk-out procedure, or as a day only procedure in a day surgery.”
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Today, there is a range of treatment options available for varicose veins.
Foam sclerotherapy uses ultrasound to guide the needle (ultrasound guided sclerotherapy or UGS).
Each session is done in the rooms and takes approximately 30 minutes.
Numbing paste can be used to decrease the discomfort.
Stockings will need to be worn for one week following the procedure, although they can be taken off at night if they are causing problems.
Almost all varicose veins can now be treated by minimally invasive methods as either a walk-in, walk-out procedure, or as a day only procedure in a day surgery.Dr David Huber
Thermal ablation using either radiofrequency or endovenous laser.
This can also be done in the rooms, although it may be more comfortable to have it done as day surgery where a light sedation can also be used.
This is a relatively new procedure, however five-year results appear to be very good.
A combination of sclerotherapy and either thermal ablation or glue.
This is the most usual management where the thermal ablation or glue are used for treatment of the large feeding veins, and the sclerotherapy is used for the small varicose veins.
The Vascular Care Centre’s Dr Huber works with individual patients to determine their optimal treatment option.
“All treatments are tailored to each person using the result of a venous ultrasound (called a venous duplex),” he said. “These ultrasounds need to be done at a specialised vascular laboratory.
“Most people return to normal activities on the same day if they have had simple sclerotherapy, or 24 to 48 hours following a procedure if it is thermal ablation or glue.
“Our specialist doctors at the Vascular Care Centre are dedicated to providing effective treatment for your vein or vascular conditions in order to give you back your confidence and wellbeing.”
All treatments are provided at the Vascular Care Centre’s Camden location, where there is also a dedicated specialised vascular laboratory service.
For more information call 02 4601 1055.