Varicose Veins Treatment

What are varicose veins and how can varicose veins treatment help?

Varicose veins treatment Varicose veins are enlarged, raised veins on the leg.  

They are usually blue or purple in colour and may be lumpy or twisted in appearance.

One-way valves within veins support the upward flow of blood back to the heart. If these valves become weak and fail, blood can leak and stagnate causing swollen varicose veins (see figure 1).

Varicose veins develop on the legs, however problem veins can occur in other parts of your body and Consultants at BMI Healthcare offer various vein treatments for:

  • oesophagus (varices)
  • pelvis
  • womb (uterus)
  • vagina
  • rectum (back passage - haemorrhoids)

Symptoms of varicose veins

Symptoms of varicose veins can include:

  • tired legs
  • aching, heavy and restless legs
  • swollen feet and ankles – especially after standing for long periods
  • leg cramps – often at night
  • unsightly, lumpy or bulging veins
  • thread veins, changes in skin colour (red/brown) and skin ulcers
  • bleeding

What are the benefits of varicose veins treatment?

Treatment will remove the unsightly varicose veins and alleviate your symptoms - it should also help prevent further complications that varicose veins may cause. As part of varicose vein treatment your BMI Consultant Vascular Surgeon will complete an initial assessment of your veins and perform an ultrasound scan. This will enable the Consultant to give you a detailed picture of the extent of the varicose veins and which procedure is most suitable for your veins.

Varicose vein treatments at BMI Healthcare

Your Consultant will discuss a suitable treatment plan specifically for you. Successful treatment depends on careful pre-operative assessment. Everyone has a unique vascular profile and the right procedure for one person may not be successful for someone else.

Minimally invasive treatments (keyhole procedures) can be performed under local anaesthetic as walk-in, walk-out treatments. All minimally invasive techniques work by destroying the inner lining of the vein; ablating or sealing the varicose vein.

Modern techniques for treating varicose veins include the following:

Surgical treatment of varicose veins

Avulsions or Phlebectomies

Avulsions (also known as phlebectomies) consists of multiple small incisions (2-3mm) to remove lumpy varicose vein branches near to the skin. The technique can be performed under local or general anaesthetic and is frequently performed at the same time as other ablation techniques or vein stripping to complete the treatment of varicose veins. It can also be performed on its own to treat localised venous problems.

Stripping – surgical removal of varicose veins

For many years ‘stripping’ was the most commonly performed method used to treat varicose veins but has largely been superseded by the more modern ablation techniques. Surgical stripping is usually carried out under general anaesthetic as a day case in hospital, although you may be required to stay overnight depending on your personal treatment plan.

The operation involves removing or ‘stripping’ the affected varicose vein from your leg. Your consultant vascular surgeon will make two small incisions, one at the top of the main varicose vein in the groin and one near your knee or ankle. To stop blood flow the top of the varicose vein is tied whilst a flexible wire is passed along the vein. This is then pulled through the lower incision removing the varicose vein.

During the operation smaller problematic veins will also be removed, making several smaller cuts on your leg. You will have stiches to close the largest cut to the top of the varicose vein and smaller incisions are sealed with butterfly stitches or fabric strips.

Your legs will be tightly bandaged and post-surgery your legs may be sore and bruised. The wounds may bleed a little but will heal with time. Some scarring will occur but usually improves with time. You can expect to return to work and normal activities between one to four weeks depending on your work and lifestyle, your healthcare provider will be able to offer further advice.

Thread veins, reticular veins and spider veins

Unsightly patches of purple/red thread veins are often associated with larger varicose veins. It is important to consider treating any underlying varicose vein problem first, so that treatment of the thread veins will be more effective. Thread veins can be treated with a course of injection micro-sclerotherapy and/or VeinWave or laser therapy in the outpatient clinic.

What are the risks?

Any surgical procedure presents a risk of general complications such as pain, excessive bleeding, infection in the surgical wound, unsightly scarring, blood clots.

Specific complications of this operation are:

  • Developing a lump under a wound
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Damage to nerves
  • Continued varicose veins
  • Swelling of the leg
  • Major injury to the main arteries, veins or nerves of the leg

How soon will I recover?

  • You should be able to go home later on the same day.
  • You may need to wear support stockings.
  • You should be able to return to work after one to two weeks but this may vary depending on your type of work.
  • As long as your wounds have healed, you should be able to carry out normal activities by four weeks.
  • Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, you should ask a member of the healthcare team or your GP for advice. Occasionally varicose veins come back.

Paying for your operation

varicose veins thumbnail

For more information on varicose veins treatment please:

Download our guide

Varicose veins treatment costs are covered by most medical insurance policies, but please check with your insurer first. If you are paying for your own treatment the cost of the operation will be explained and confirmed in writing when you book the operation. Ask the hospital for a quote beforehand, and ensure that this includes the surgeon’s fee, the anaesthetist’s fee and the hospital charge for your procedure.

Find out more about varicose vein treatments and procedures in our consultant Q&A.

The content for this treatment has been kindly provided to us by Mr Michael Gaunt, Consultant Vascular Surgeon at BMI St Edmunds

Pricing

Stripping of varicose vein (one leg)

Patient pathway Initial consultation Diagnostic investigations Main treatment Post discharge care Total
Hospital fees N/A Included £2,330 Included £2,330
Consultants fees £200 N/A Included Included £200
Total £2,530
Initial consultation
Hospital fees N/A
Consultants fees £200
Diagnostic investigations
Hospital fees Included
Consultants fees N/A
Main treatment
Hospital fees £2,330
Consultants fees Included
Post discharge care
Hospital fees Included
Consultants fees Included
Total £2,530

Varicose vein and groin surgery

Patient pathway Initial consultation Diagnostic investigations Main treatment Post discharge care Total
Hospital fees N/A Included £5,325 Included £5,325
Consultants fees £200 N/A Included Included £200
Total £5,525
Initial consultation
Hospital fees N/A
Consultants fees £200
Diagnostic investigations
Hospital fees Included
Consultants fees N/A
Main treatment
Hospital fees £5,325
Consultants fees Included
Post discharge care
Hospital fees Included
Consultants fees Included
Total £5,525

Varicose vein removal (ablation) (one leg) with radiofrequency

Patient pathway Initial consultation Diagnostic investigations Main treatment Post discharge care Total
Hospital fees N/A Included £3,020 Included £3,020
Consultants fees £200 N/A Included Included £200
Total £3,220
Initial consultation
Hospital fees N/A
Consultants fees £200
Diagnostic investigations
Hospital fees Included
Consultants fees N/A
Main treatment
Hospital fees £3,020
Consultants fees Included
Post discharge care
Hospital fees Included
Consultants fees Included
Total £3,220

Varicose vein removal (excision) (one leg)

Patient pathway Initial consultation Diagnostic investigations Main treatment Post discharge care Total
Hospital fees N/A Included £2,030 Included £2,030
Consultants fees £200 N/A Included Included £200
Total £2,230
Initial consultation
Hospital fees N/A
Consultants fees £200
Diagnostic investigations
Hospital fees Included
Consultants fees N/A
Main treatment
Hospital fees £2,030
Consultants fees Included
Post discharge care
Hospital fees Included
Consultants fees Included
Total £2,230

Terms & Conditions

Treatment prices displayed are a guide for initial consultation, and a guide price for our fixed price packages which include pre-assessment, procedure and aftercare. Your Consultant will be able to discuss costs in greater detail at your consultation, after which a quote of your fixed price package will be provided [which is subject to results of any pre-assessment tests]. Prices can be subject to change.

For more information please refer to our terms and conditions (large print version).

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