Purple Leg Veins — Treatment Options

Health & Medical Blog

Purple leg veins are something that many men and women develop as they age. These varicose veins are unsightly and can also be painful. But what can you do about the dreaded 'purple snakes'? Read on to find out how a vascular surgeon could help you.

The causes of varicose veins

Varicose veins are formed when the valves inside the veins are damaged. This prevents efficient blood flow back to the heart and causes a build-up of pressure inside the venous network. The veins in your lower legs are typically affected, becoming lumpy, swollen and clearly visible through your skin. Varicose veins are often preceded by tiny thread veins that gradually become more distended and unsightly over time.

Treatment options

There are several options for the treatment of varicose veins. 

  1. Laser vein treatments Thread veins can be tackled successfully with laser treatment. Highly-focused laser light is used to cut off the blood supply under the skin. This causes the veins to dissolve and disappear. The treatment is non-invasive, works immediately and only takes a few minutes to carry out. 
  2. Sclerotherapy Thread veins and very small varicose veins can sometimes be treated using sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy involves injecting a foam solution into the affected veins. The foam causes the damaged veins to collapse and close up. They are then absorbed naturally by the body. Although it's necessary to wear compression stockings and avoid long-haul plane journeys for a week afterward, recovery time is minimal and there is no scarring. 
  3. Surgery In the case of very large varicose leg veins, minor vascular surgery may be the best option. A procedure called a micro-incision phlebotomy is carried out together with laser treatment. Although the procedure is minimally invasive, it is carried out under local anaesthetic and is therefore painless. The vascular surgeon makes minute incisions in the skin and uses a small hook to extract the damaged veins. You may experience a small amount of local bruising and minor discomfort, but this will clear up after a week or two. No stitches are required and there will be no residual scarring.

Unsightly, itchy or painful purple leg veins needn't mean that you cover your legs for the rest of your life. They are easily treated and can be removed painlessly, leaving your legs pristine once again. If you have varicose leg veins, have a chat with a good vascular surgeon for more information and advice on having them removed.


19 December 2016

Quitting smoking at last

I have tried to quit smoking three times over the last few years, but it never really stuck. My mother just got diagnosed with lung cancer, and it's given me the wakeup call that I have been waiting for. I have quit smoking again, but this time I spoke to my doctor before I started and it's made a lot of difference. He organised some nicotine replacement products and counselling to help me quit for good this time. I have started this blog to let people know how much easier it is to quit when your doctor is helping you.