January is typically the time when thoughts turn to planning a summer holiday. Everyone wants to look good on the beach or by the swimming pool and now is the best time to have leg vein treatment.
The majority of people with varicose veins come to no harm at all. Even those people who have ache, discomfort and swelling are unlikely to develop serious complications. For this reason, many doctors believe that varicose veins are not important and the treatment is not a priority in the NHS and some people are denied NHS referral and treatment. To some extent this is understandable as the NHS has many pressures requiring its valuable resources such as the treatment of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and care of the elderly - to name just a few. Even if your veins are severe, your GP may not be able to help and may not be able to refer you for treatment. Nevertheless, varicose veins cause severe embarrassment for many, who are unable to wear shorts, go swimming or enjoy holidays on the beach.
In some cases, NHS treatment will only be available after complications have arisen. Many vein specialists believe that treatment at an earlier stage improves the cosmetic results and prevents these complications.
For some people, "surgery" is appropriate however the removal of varicose veins can often also be carried out under local anaesthetic on a "walk in, walk out" basis using microsurgical techniques and delicate instruments, thereby producing excellent cosmetic results with each procedure tailored to the precise pattern of reflux identified by the ultrasound scan. Early diagnosis and treatment ensure that the condition is not allowed to deteriorate.
In our opinion, large varicose veins very close to the surface of the skin are best treated by a procedure called Microphlebectomy which gives excellent cosmetic results very quickly. The skin is numbed by local anaesthetic, very much like a dentist's injection and a micro-incision is made in the skin, slightly larger than a needle prick. The varicose veins are extracted with special instruments which do not cause pain and then the micro-incision is closed with surgical tape and no stitches are needed.
Frequently, people leave it too late by seeking treatment for their veins just before they are due to go on holiday. In fact, most people should consider having their spider veins and thread veins treated in the winter so that there is sufficient time for the improvement to become apparent. Also, when dealing with unsightly and uncomfortable veins, time should be allowed for the healing process and to allow any bruising to disperse.