How veins work – treatment

How can venous reflux be treated?

The principle of treating venous reflux and all of the conditions it can cause:

•    thread veins of the legs
•    varicose veins
•    aching legs
•    swollen ankles
•    venous eczema
•    red or brown discolouration around the ankles
•    phlebitis
•    bleeding varicose veins
•    venous leg ulcers

is very simple. Firstly identify which veins have valves that aren’t working and are allowing the blood to reflux, and secondly block them off permanently.

In practice, the only accurate way of making the diagnosis is a venous duplex ultrasound scan by a specialist, although if this is not available then a hand held Doppler will give some useful information.

The treatment options for each different sort of vein are discussed in the “Treatments” section of The College of Phlebology.

Suffice to say that today, if treated by a true venous expert who is using up to date techniques and who keeps up with all of the new research and techniques, noone should ever need to have a general anaesthetic anymore and noone should have tying and stripping of the veins. No incision needs to be more than 2mm at most now and there should never be any need for skin stitches or clips.