Varicose veins (Phlebology)
Varicose veins are veins that are abnormally enlarged and swollen. Globally, many millions of people suffer from the condition, however it is more common among women than men.
Common symptoms include heavy, tired, and sore legs sometimes accompanied by a burning sensation. Additional symptoms caused by varicose veins include tingling on the soles of the feet, swollen ankles at the end of the day, or nightly cramps. These symptoms are caused by the built-up pressure inside the veins, which if not treated quickly can cause other skin problems such as eczema, pigmentation and flaking and in the worst case venous ulcers.
Varicose veins are often visible without causing other symptoms, but many still worry about the varicose veins' effect on their appearance. However sometimes the symptoms are present without the veins themselves being visible. Our phlebologists have many years of experience treating both of these situations.
What causes varicose veins?
In a healthy cardiovascular system the arteries transport blood from the heart to the rest of the body, and the veins bring the blood back to the heart from the rest of the body. The veins contain valves which ensure that the blood can only flow through the vins in one direction, towards the heart. When these valves weaken or no longer close completely, the blood stops flowing up towards the heart and sinks back down due to gravity. This causes an increase in pressure inside the blood vessel which in turn causes it to expand. Varicose veins tend to appear after puberty or during pregnancy, and can appear especially often in people whose job involves a large amount of standing.
At Medisch Laser Centrum, varicose veins are treated using two techniques: Sclero-compression therapy and ultrasound guided foam-sclerotherapy.
With sclero-compression therapy it is possible to be treated immediately. During the procedure a liquid is inserted into the varicose vein through small injections at various points along the vein. The liquid causes the vein to shrink immediately. This shrinking needs to be supported for several days by wearing bandages and compression stockings. This treatment is generally not experienced as painful. Normally only 1 leg is treated per appointment.
Ultrasound guided foam-sclerotherapy
If the varicose veins are somewhat larger than usual, ultrasound guided foam-sclerotherapy can be an excellent solution. Ultrasound guided foam-sclerotherapy is very similar to regular sclerotherapy; the difference lies in the fact that the liquid is “foamed up” before injection. Foam is thicker than liquid and increases the liquid's effect on the blood vessel wall. Just as with sclerotherapy the compression is supported by the wearing of bandages and stockings for several days after the treatment. .
While varicose veins do not necessarily lead to complications such as phlebitis (venous inflammation), thrombosis (blood clots) and venous ulcers, they do increase the probability of them occurring. It is therefore advisable to have varicose veins inspected by a doctor and to determine whether they should be (preventatively) treated or not.
During the first consultation it is possible to enquire into the possibilities and costs of a treatment.
A consultation costs € 30. In case the treatment takes place within 6 months after the consultation these € 30,- will be deducted from the treatment costs.