We specialise in managing two types of vascular disease: Varicose Veins and Spider Veins.

What is Venous Disease?

As the heart beats, it pumps the blood through a system of blood vessels which include both arteries and veins.  Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart and veins return the oxygen-poor blood to the heart.

Veins are flexible hollow tubes which have pairs of flaps inside which are valves.  As the veins are a low-pressure system that are often having to work against gravity, these valves help to ensure the blood flows “uphill” towards the heart.  When the muscle surrounding the vein contracts, the valves open and when the muscle relaxes the valve snaps shut, preventing the backwards flow of blood.

If the valves in your venous system become damaged, then the blood no longer flows effectively in one direction and symptoms of venous disease can result.

Venous disease includes:

  • Deep venous thrombosis
  • Superficial venous thrombosis or phlebitis
  • Chronic venous insufficiency
  • Varicose and spider veins
  • Venous ulcers

What are Varicose Veins?

A varicose vein is a vein that is no longer working properly due to damaged valves and distention (widening) of the vessel.  When the valves are damaged, blood pools in the vein and varicose veins will appear.

As varicose veins are veins that are no longer working properly, they will not be missed by your body if treated.  Your body has many other veins that will return blood to your heart.  In fact, your body will function better without the damaged veins as they often lead to other medical problems if left untreated.

Symptoms of Varicose Veins

All abnormal veins present differently and every patient experiences different symptoms.  Symptoms generally progressively worsen with time, but will be relieved with treatment.

Some common signs and symptoms include:

  • Permanently enlarged surface veins, unsightly cosmetic appearance
  • Appearance of spider veins in the affected leg
  • Aching, heavy legs (often worse at night and after exercise)
  • Mild to severe pain in legs, including feelings of burning and/or throbbing
  • Swollen ankles
  • Cramps, especially when making a sudden move, such as standing up
  • Red, dry, itchy areas of skin (varicose eczema)
  • Skin ulcers, bleeding
  • Permanent brown staining (skin pigmentation) and scarring
  • Blood clots in the veins (phlebothromboses)

What are Spider Veins?

Spider veins (telangiectasias) are small dilated or broken veins close to the surface of the skin. Spider veins can be blue, purple or red and can occur as thin lines, clusters or branches that are flat or only slightly raised.

Spider veins are often caused by increased pressure in the venous system, sometimes the result of varicose veins or pregnancy.  Spider veins can also be caused by localised trauma to the area such as bruising.

Spider veins are usually not painful or harmful, but some people may wish to treat them for cosmetic reasons.

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