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Varicose veins – causes & symptoms

One of the most commonly asked questions at The Vein Institute is “what causes varicose veins?”. Outlined in the video below is an overview of varicose veins, their causes and symptoms.

What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are simply large leg veins that do not pump blood effectively back to the heart.

This is because the valves in the veins are not working properly. The blood that should be pushed back to your heart, leaks downwards towards the ankles.

What causes varicose veins

As a result, you can see the bulging veins just underneath your skin on the leg.

There are other leg veins which are still working normally, so blood does arrive through other routes to your heart.


Why do varicose veins occur?

As advanced as science is, it is still unclear what causes varicose veins.

What we do know however, is that varicose veins can and do run in families.

What causes varicose veins?

Pregnancies, use of the oral contraceptive pill and prolonged standing are also contributing factors of varicose vein development.

What are the symptoms of varicose veins?

Generally it is a dull ache after a long day or a feeling of heaviness in the legs.

Swelling or itching of the legs can also occur.

Symptoms of varicose veins

Rarely a brown pigment can be seen around the varicose veins – this can be is a sign of more severe disease.

Is it risky to leave my varicose veins untreated? 

Every case is different, and you need to discuss your personal circumstances with a doctor.

Apart from the symptoms that present with varicose veins, there is a slightly higher risk of developing a deep vein thrombosis if you suffer from varicose veins in particular on long distance flights.

We strongly suggest you discussing your case with a doctor.

More information can found here in a recent story by Channel 9’s A Current Affair

Make an informed decision.

No medical procedure should be considered without due diligence, that is why all our patients undergo an initial first consultation with our Medical Director Dr Zil Yassine. During this consultation, an ultrasound scan of your legs is taken to give us a thorough understanding of the severity of the varicose veins which then allows Dr Yassine to prescribe you with the most suitable treatment program.

After your first consultation, you are armed with the information to allow you to make an informed decision as to whether not the treatment program is suitable for you and your circumstances.

To book in for your first consultation and to discuss our treatment program call 1300 535 017 or complete the form below to receive a call back from one of The Vein Institute team.



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The Vein Institute,

227 Elizabeth street, ground floor, Corner of Elizabeth and Bathurst street, Sydney, NSW, 2000


Varicose veins are leg veins which do not pump blood effectively back to the heart and can be often seen as bulging veins just underneath your skin on either leg. These varicose veins have valves in them which are not working effectively so that blood which is meant to be pushed towards the heart, leaks downwards toward the legs. There are other leg veins which are still working, so blood does eventually arrive through other routes to your heart. However, varicose veins do exert added pressure on your circulatory system. Read More.

Endovenous Laser Ablation is a Varicose Veins Laser Treatment performed in our clinic under local anaesthetic. This new procedure is an excellent treatment option for most patients with varicose veins and is considered slightly more effective than surgery but without the need for hospitalization. Read More.

This is an endovenous treatment (meaning treating the vein on the inside). It is generally accepted to be associated with less pain and bruising than endovenous laser ablation. It is a “gold standard” form of treatment for large varicose leg veins treatment as the procedure requires no hospitalization or time of work yet is at least as effective as surgery. Read More.

Venaseal™ or ‘superglue’ treatment by Sapheon is the latest surgery free procedure that uses a medical adhesive to safely and effectively treat varicose veins. Unlike other treatments, Venaseal™ does not require tumescent local anaesthetic around the vein, so there is usually only one local anaesthetic injection. The Venaseal™ non surgical treatment procedure also eliminates the use of heat (or thermal energy) so there is virtually no risk of nerve or skin injury or any major reaction to the anaesthetic. Read More.

Ultrasound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy allows our doctors to visually guide and monitor a needle to the exact source of the incompetent vein (valve) to be injected. By using ultrasound we can treat more quickly and safely larger and deeper veins that once required more invasive surgical treatment. Foam sclerotherapy is the new form of delivering the sclerosing agent that allows us to treat larger varicose veins that might be unsuccessfully treated with conventional sclerotherapy. The foam solution has the consistency of ‘shaving cream’, which improves treatment in two distinct ways. Read More.

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