Not just your usual stockings, patients require a special stocking with a graduated compression profile. Which means the pressure exerted by the stocking will be higher at the ankle and diminishes as it goes up. These stockings need to be worn at all times when one is up and about and taken off when one is lying down.
The advantage of this is that it is non invasive and considerably cheaper but the downside is that it is inconvenient.
Graduated compression stockings can be obtained at any Vascular or Vein Clinic where appropriately sized stockings are issued after measurements are made.
This is a well-established form of treatment. Under General Anaesthesia, a small cut is made at the groin level and another smaller cut is made at the knee level. A device called a ‘Vein Stripper’ is passed down the main superficial vein of the thigh (Long Saphenous Vein) and then pulled out.
The big disadvantage of this is the pain and bruising that comes with the procedure and the need for General Anaesthesia.
Endovenous Therapy (EVT)
In the past decade this procedure has increasingly replaced traditional surgery.
The Vascular surgeon passes a special device called a catheter via a small injection around the knee, in the long saphenous vein. This catheter is passed up to the groin level and then pulled out slowly as energy (either laser, radiofrequency or sclerotherapy) is applied to destroy the diseased vein.
This procedure has the advantage of being much less painful and causes less bruising.
The modality of treatment can be decided in conjunction with the patient after weighing the pros and cons of each method. However, the important point is that treatment should be instituted.
In summary, varicose veins are a real medical problem and should be assessed by a Vascular Surgeon early so that appropriate treatment can be advised at the early stage to prevent any late complications.