Varicose veins are dilated twisted blood vessels commonly found in the lower leg. If left untreated, varicose veins can bleed and cause pain. Varicose veins can also lead to venous ulcers, which can take months to fully heal.
We offer a comprehensive one-stop service for varicose veins diagnosis and treatment. This includes duplex ultrasound and minimally invasive surgical options. Each treatment plan is tailored to individual needs to provide the best possible outcome.
What You Should Know About Varicose Veins
What Are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are enlarged, swollen, and twisted veins visible beneath the skin's surface, most commonly developing in the legs. They occur when the valves in the veins that regulate blood flow weaken or are damaged, causing blood to pool in the veins instead of flowing smoothly back to the heart. This can lead to discomfort, pain, and a heavy or achy feeling in the legs.
Varicose veins can also cause cosmetic concerns, as they often appear as bulging, rope-like veins on the skin's surface. While they can be unsightly and uncomfortable, varicose veins are usually not a serious medical condition and can be treated through various non-invasive or minimally invasive procedures.
What Are The Symptoms Of Varicose Veins?
The symptoms of varicose veins can vary from person to person but typically include the appearance of bulging, twisted veins that are often blue or purple in colour.
Other common symptoms include:
Discomfort (burning or dull ache)
Muscle cramps in the affected leg
Swelling in the feet/ankles
Itching around the affected area
It is possible that some patients with varicose veins may not experience any symptoms at all, while others may experience more severe symptoms.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
The cause of varicose veins is damaged valves. When this happens, blood may flow backwards and pool in the veins, causing them to become enlarged and twisted. Varicose veins can also be caused by conditions such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which can damage the veins and impair their ability to circulate blood. Additionally, occupations that involve prolonged periods of standing or sitting can increase the risk of developing varicose veins.
What Are The Risk Factors Of Varicose Veins?
While anyone can develop varicose veins, certain risk factors increase the likelihood of them developing.
These factors include:
What Are The Complications Of Varicose Veins?
Untreated varicose veins can lead to a range of complications, including:
Over time, the increased pressure within the affected veins can cause the skin to break down and form an ulcer, which may be difficult to heal. Varicose veins can also increase the risk of developing blood clots, which can be life-threatening if they travel to the lungs or brain. In some cases, the veins can bleed spontaneously or during minor injuries.
How Can Varicose Veins Be Prevented?
Although it may not be possible to completely prevent varicose veins, certain lifestyle changes can help reduce the risk of developing them.
Maintaining a healthy weight
Avoiding prolonged periods of standing or sitting
Wearing compression stockings or socks can also improve blood flow and prevent blood from pooling in the legs. It is also important to avoid tight-fitting clothes that can restrict blood flow. Additionally, it is recommended to avoid crossing the legs while sitting and elevating the legs above the heart level when resting to help improve circulation.
How Are Varicose Veins Diagnosed?
The doctor will first perform a physical exam to diagnose varicose veins, looking for visible signs of the condition, such as bulging and twisted veins. The doctor may also ask questions about your symptoms and medical history. Imaging tests such as an ultrasound may also be used to visualise blood flow in the affected veins and help the doctor determine the severity of the condition.
What Are The Stages Of Chronic Venous Insufficiency?
Chronic venous insufficiency is the condition that affects the veins and their ability to return blood to the heart. Chronic venous insufficiency can result in other conditions like varicose veins.
Stage 0: No visible signs of varicose veins
Stage 1: Spider or reticular veins are present with no symptoms
Stage 2: Varicose veins are present
Stage 3: Symptoms include leg swelling, especially at the end of the day
Stage 4: Additional darkening of the skin above the ankle and itchiness from venous eczema
Stage 5: The above symptoms with healed ulcers
Stage 6: Active ulcers that take months to heal
How Are Varicose Veins Treated?
Varicose veins can be treated in several ways, depending on the severity and location of the veins. The most common treatments are:
Endovenous Radio Frequency Ablation — The procedure uses radiofrequency energy to close off the affected vein through heat generated.
Endovenous Laser Therapy — The procedure uses laser energy to close off the affected vein through heat generated.
Ligation or stripping — This is done by removing the vein through a tiny incision in the skin.
Sclerotherapy — A solution is injected into the varicose vein, which seals the vein walls shut.
Venaseal — Seals off the affected superficial vein with an adhesive agent.
Compression stockings — This will help to improve blood circulation and reduce leg swelling.
Medication — To manage symptoms such as pain and swelling.
Dr Desmond Ooi: Varicose Vein Treatment In Singapore
Dr Desmond Ooi is a skilled vascular surgeon in Singapore with experience treating varicose veins using techniques such as Endovenous Radio Frequency Ablation, Sclerotherapy, Venaseal, and stripping and ligation. After thorough evaluation and diagnosis, he provides individualised treatment plans for his patients, ensuring that they receive the most effective and safe treatment possible. He is dedicated to delivering high-quality care and ensuring patient satisfaction.