Are You Troubled With Painful Varicose Veins?

6th, April 2020

Are you troubled with painful, itchy leg veins or simply fed up with their unsightly appearance? This could be a sign of varicose veins.

Research shows that varicose veins affect about one third of people at some point in their life. At Kingsbridge Private Hospital Sligo, we have a Varicose Veins Clinic offering one the latest treatment available for varicose veins, Radio Frequency Ablation.

So, what exactly are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are swollen and enlarged veins that are usually blue or dark purple in colour. They can also be lumpy, bulging or twisted in appearance. They occur when the valves in the veins stop functioning properly.

Who tends to get varicose veins?

Mainly women, and it tends to run in families, however varicose veins can also affect men, and anyone can develop varicose veins at any stage of life. There are certain things that can increase the chances of developing varicose veins such as:

  • Age
  • Being overweight
  • As a result of pregnancy

Surprisingly, varicose veins can affect at least 3 in every 10 adults in their lifetime. 

What are the symptoms of varicose veins?

Many patients have no symptoms and live their lives with no treatment needed to varicose veins. However, it is common to experience:

  • Aching, heavy and uncomfortable legs
  • Swollen feet and ankles
  • Muscle cramp in your legs
  • Dry skin and colour changes in the lower leg

These symptoms can occur with other conditions so it is important to see an expert who can fully evaluate with examination and ultrasound the relationship between these veins and symptoms.
In more severe cases, we sometimes see eczema (severe itchy rash), skin discolouration, and very occasionally ulcers in the lower leg.  

Is there any way to prevent varicose veins?

Varicose veins are very difficult to prevent. There is no evidence that exercises, or types of support stocking can stop progression of varicose veins, however there are things you can do to help ease symptoms such as:

  • Avoiding standing or sitting still for long periods of time
  • Trying to move around every 30 minutes
  • Taking regular breaks throughout the day, raising the legs on pillows while resting to ease discomfort
  • Exercising regularly, which can improve circulation and help maintain a healthy weight

If the symptoms don’t resolve, contact your GP for advice or arrange an appointment with a vascular surgeon with a specialist interest in varicose veins.

What types of treatment are available at your clinic?

At Kingsbridge Sligo, we offer Radio Frequency Ablation from ClosureFast which is a minimally invasive, walk-in/walk-out procedure which can be performed under local anaesthetic with no surgical incision resulting in less pain, less bruising and a faster recovery time.

Find out more about this service by visiting our website. 

Please note, due to the current COVID-19 situation, Kingsbridge Private Hospital Sligo is closed until further notice. However, if you would like further information please do not hesitate to contact sligoadmin@kingsbridgeprivatehospital.com


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