Varicose veins are swollen and enlarged veins, usually blue or dark purple in colour. They may also be lumpy, bulging or twisted in appearance. They mostly occur in the legs.
For most people, varicose veins do not present a serious health problem. They may have an unpleasant appearance, but should not affect circulation or cause long-term health problems. Most varicose veins do not require any treatment.
If your varicose veins are causing you pain or discomfort or they cause complications, they can be treated in several ways, the most common being:
- endothermal ablation – treatment where heat is used to seal affected veins
- sclerotherapy, which uses special foam to close the veins
- a phlebectomy, involving surgery to remove the affected veins
- compression stockings – specially designed to improve circulation in the legs