• The Vein Institute, 56 Burwood Rd,
    Burwood NSW 2134
  • 1300 535 017
Varicose Veins 2017-08-11T13:56:50+00:00

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins effect 30% of the Australian population. Surgery-free treatment offers a walk-in walk-out solution for patients.

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What are Varicose Veins?

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.

If the “leak” of the varicose veins is severe enough it can cause inflammation to the surrounding skin with time unlike other leg veins. Some may cause aching, throbbing, or restless legs after a long day and over many years can cause a brown pigment, hardening of your skin, and even an ulcer.

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


Generally vein pain can be associated with a dull ache or heaviness. Swelling or itching of the legs at the end of the day can also occur. Rarely a brown pigment can be seen around the veins which is caused as a result of your varicose veins – which is a sign of more severe disease.

How varicose veins develop?

A definitive cause is not known however a strong family history suggests that some people inherit veins that are more likely to deteriorate. Blood in leg veins normally travel upward to the heart. Due to gravity, blood tries to flow back down toward the feet. However, normal veins have valves which close to prevent abnormal flow toward the feet. It is the breakdown of the valves that leads to abnormal flow, which in turn leads to increased pressure in the vein. The increased pressure eventually causes the vein wall to expand and bulge producing a varicose vein. Varicose veins serve no useful function to the body’s circulation. Our body has the ability to establish alternative pathways to bypass the abnormal varicose veins. When varicose veins are closed down, the circulatory system improves, as do many of the symptoms.

Risk factors

A common myth is that veins merely affect the older population, which isn’t true. Many women develop varicose veins during pregnancy, for instance. Other patients include those whose occupations involve standing on their feet all day such as tradesmen, hairdressers, retail staff and factory workers. These people will often have a higher risk of developing varicose veins. Further, if both parents suffer from veins, there is a 70% chance of developing the condition yourself – up to 40% with one parent. If you are experiencing vein pain, make sure to avoid exposure to excessive heat conditions like hot tubs, spas, or saunas. Heat increases inflammation and swelling and will also increase vein distention. Varicose veins are large and can become fragile. Excessive heat can rupture the veins and cause massive bleeding inside the leg.

Do I really need treatment?

Every case is different, and you need to discuss your personal circumstances with one of our highly skilled Doctors. Apart from the symptoms that present with varicose veins, they can be unsightly too. There are some veins that can cause medical symptoms, and again we strongly suggest you discussing your case with our doctors.

First consultation

One of our doctors will take a medical history and listen to your concerns. After this a short scan will be performed letting you know whether you have varicose vein disease. A discussion of your treatment options will then happen.  In some cases treatment may not be recommended depending on your medical circumstances.

Scan to assess your veins

Varicose veins are easy to diagnose on the surface, however, these leg veins often have a deeper source. To determine their extent, a specialised safe scan (known as ultrasound) is required to assess these leg veins which cannot be seen from the skin. During this time other important veins will be looked at to exclude more sinister vein disease.

Treatment outcomes

To bring your vascular system back to health, your varicose veins must be treated effectively. Your blood will then be able to find its way back to your heart via a more efficient path. Failure to do this will result in the continued blood flow in the wrong direction. This can be a serious condition and we urge you to speak to one of our Doctors. Click here to find out our patient outcomes

Are Your Veins Trying To Tell You Something?

Clinics conveniently located in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane and Adelaide. Call us today to speak to a vein expert and discuss your needs.

1300 535 017