What are Varicose Veins?
Veins contain many one-way valves to help the upward flow of
blood back to the heart. If the valves fail to work properly, blood
can flow in the wrong direction, causing varicose veins often in
the legs. A varicose vein often appears engorged or twisted,
and can be a blue or dark purple colour on the skin. Varicose veins
do not tend to get better without treatment, and usually get worse
There are different options available for the treatment of
varicose veins but the surgical procedure is often considered the
most effective which involves removing the vein.
What does this involve?
Varicose veins surgery is usually performed under a general
anaesthetic as a day case, although an overnight stay may be
required if both legs are operated on. The operation usually takes
between twenty minutes and two and a half hours.
Your surgeon will disconnect the superficial veins from the deep
veins in your legs through a cut in your groin or the back of your
knee. They will probably make many small cuts along the length of
the varicose veins and strip them out using a special
When will I recover?
You should be able to go home later on the same day and you
should be able to return to work after one or two weeks although
this may vary depending upon your type of work. You may need
to wear support stockings and as long as your wounds have healed,
you should be able to carry out normal activities by four
What risks should I know about?
Varicose vein surgery is a routinely performed operation and
carries some minor risks. You may develop lump under a wound,
experience some swelling, numbness or tingling or, in rare cases,
some nerve damage.