Varicose veins can be debilitating for those with the condition, and it can be worse when they are present in the feet and ankles. In these areas, walking or even standing can become difficult, and painful and they can come with significant swelling. There is however a range of varicose vein treatments available to help sufferers have their varicose veins removed.
When it comes to how this condition can form in the feet and ankles, there are a variety of reasons. However, there are two main reasons: gravity and weight. Leg veins have to work hard against gravity and push blood back up and toward the heart. The legs also support the weight of the upper body, putting further pressure on their veins to perform. The heavier a person is, the harder the veins have to work. When the veins fail to perform as they should, venous reflux occurs.
Risk factors for varicose veins
Too much pressure in leg veins weakens, or damages, the small valves in the veins. These valves regulate blood flow, and when they don’t perform blood starts to flow backwards. This blood then pools, and varicose veins form.
Being overweight therefore increases the risk of varicose veins developing in the feet and ankles, not just the legs.
Other factors can lead to the development of varicose veins in the ankles and feet:
High blood pressure
High blood pressure can put further pressure on blood flow by damaging the lining of arteries.
Processed food, refined sugar, excess calories and more can lead to weight gain and poor digestion. Poor digestion reduces the ability of the body to absorb minerals, and this puts more pressure on the circulatory system.
Stress releases adrenaline and histamine chemicals. These put pressure on blood vessels. Stress also forces blood through veins at a higher rate, putting more strain on vein walls and valves.
When pregnant, the body produces more blood, more oestrogen and more progesterone. All of this relaxes the vein walls and raises the chances of blood leakage.
Not being active enough harms circulation. This can lead to blood pooling and bulging of the veins – otherwise known as varicose veins.
How do you know if you have varicose veins in your feet and ankles?
Most of the time, patients can see if they have varicose veins in their feet and ankles: large, swollen veins are hard to spot. Visible swelling in the leg can also occur, which is another reliable indicator as are venous ulcers around the lower leg or ankle. Sometimes though, there may not be obvious, visible, signs of damaged veins. However, the patient may feel throbbing aches in the feet, even without visible indicators of the issue. In many cases varicose veins affecting the feet and ankles coexist with smaller thread veins.
Do ankle and foot varicose veins need to be treated?
If they go untreated for too long, varicose veins in the feet and ankles can cause serious issues. These issues range from ulceration, hardening of the lower leg and ankle and venous eczema. As well as these, varicose veins can lead to potentially lethal blood clots.
It is for the above reasons that it is always advisable for people with the condition to seek professional, medical help and advice from a medical practice such as Centre for Surgery in London.
Treating varicose veins in the feet and ankles
The best first step in treatment is to make an appointment with Centre for Surgery to see a vein specialist. Our specialists are among the best in the country, and several review sites back that up – in abundance. They are experts in identifying these issues, and more besides, and presenting the best way forward to treat them.
After an initial vein consultation, the next step is a Duplex Ultrasound scan. This gives the surgeon all the information they need to diagnose the problem, decide on the best treatment method and then present this to the patient.
The best ankle and foot varicose vein treatments
At Centre for Surgery, we offer 3 effective treatments to treat leg and ankle varicose vein issues:
Endovenous Laser Ablation
This treatment is a revolutionary step in varicose vein removal with a proven success rate of 98%. EVLA involves the use of laser heat energy to collapse affected veins. These collapsed veins are then expelled naturally. We use the latest EVLA technology incorporating the 1940nm wavelength which has been clinically proven to be the most effective type of EVLA for varicose veins.
Visible results occur between 4 to 6 weeks after treatment, once the vein has broken down.
This is a specialised treatment method that is used to remove smaller varicose veins and can be done in under 30 minutes. A special foam called a sclerosant is injected into the damaged vein. Using ultrasound guidance, this sticky foam coats the vein walls and pushes the blood out from the affected area.
Once this happens, the vein walls stick together and over time they then dissolve and disappear as the body absorbs them.
The majority of patients see results between 3 to 6 weeks after treatment.
Radiofrequency ablation treatment at Centre for Surgery
Radiofrequency ablation treatment treats varicose veins in the feet and ankles in approximately 30 to 90 minutes. EVLA and foam sclerotherapy treatments are more widely used in varicose vein treatment in the feet and ankles, it is used in certain cases.
It makes use of thermal radiofrequency energy to damage the walls of varicose veins. This leads to the veins closing up, complete with scar tissue. This means that blood will no longer be able to pool, accumulate and cause the vein to bulge.
A few weeks later, the vein channel will completely break down and then it will be absorbed by the body naturally. Patients can expect to see positive results in just a few weeks.
If you have varicose veins in the feet and ankles – get them treated
Ignoring the condition can at best cause pain and discomfort, and at worst it can prove fatal. Sufferers need to make a consultation appointment with a specialist, like the ones we have here at Centre for Surgery in London.
Contact us today, we look forward to speaking with you.