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These are bulging veins that lie just beneath the skin (superficial veins). They occur when the walls of a vein are weak or damaged or if the valves in the vein that normally stop the blood from flowing backwards are impaired, resulting in pooling of the blood and stretched veins. Besides being unattractive, varicose veins can be painful and cause inflammation or ulceration.
The following different types of surgery are available if varicose veins require treatment:
Sclerotherapy – a tiny needle is used to inject a chemical solution into the vein that causes the vein to collapse. This approach is recommended for small varicose veins or spider veins that typically appear on the upper legs. You will need to wear elastic bandages or stockings over the treated area for some time after surgery.
Vein stripping – the varicose veins are cut out and the veins that branch off them are tied off. The cuts (incisions) made in the skin are closed with sutures. You will need to wear elastic bandages or stockings over the treated area for some time after surgery. This procedure requires anaesthesia.
Phlebectomy – small cuts (incisions) are made in the leg and the varicose veins are pulled out with a tiny hook-like instrument. The cuts are closed with tape rather than sutures and, once healed, are almost invisible. You will need to wear elastic bandages or stockings over the treated area for some time after surgery. This procedure requires anaesthesia.