Varicose veins are veins that have become enlarged and tortuous. Veins have leaflet valves to prevent blood from flowing backwards (retrograde flow). Leg muscles pump the veins to return blood to the heart, against the effects of gravity. When veins become varicose, the leaflets of the valves no longer meet properly, and the valves do not work. This allows blood to flow backwards and they enlarge even more. Varicose veins occur in the superficial veins of the legs, which are subject to high pressure when standing. Besides cosmetic problems, varicose veins are often painful, especially when standing or walking. They often itch, and can also cause local skin problems such as eczema.
More serious complications of varicose veins include skin thickening, poor wound healing and ulceration. Very rarely varicose veins can bleed.
Radiofrequency ablation (Venefit or VNUS Closure)
Consultation for varicose veins £150. Most patients will also require a venous duplex which attracts an extra charge.