Varicose Veins

Varicose Veins at Boston West Hospital


Varicose veins are enlarged and twisted veins in the leg. They tend to run in families and are made worse by pregnancy and in people whose jobs mean they do a lot of standing.

Veins in the legs contain many one-way valves to help the upward flow of blood back to the heart. If the valves fail to work properly, blood can flow in the wrong direction, causing varicose veins.

What are the options for treatment?

You will need to book an initial consultation with one of our general surgeons who will assess which treatment would be most suitable for you. There are two options available.

Surgical ligation/stripping

This is a day case procedure usually performed under a general anaesthetic. The operation usually takes between twenty minutes and two and a half hours. Your surgeon may disconnect the superficial veins from the deep veins in your legs through an incision in your groin or the back of your knee. They will probably make many small cuts along the length of the varicose veins and remove them.

Often the main varicose vein is ‘stripped out’ using a special instrument. A person’s recovery time is usually between two to four weeks depending on how many veins were stripped and where they were located. Most people will be released home on the same day, although there are some occasions that the doctor will advise a patient to stay at the hospital overnight

You should no longer have varicose veins, and your symptoms should improve. Surgery should help
prevent complications that varicose veins cause.

Endovenous Laser Therapy

Endovenous laser therapy is an alternative treatment option to traditional vein stripping surgery. Using ultrasound, our doctor will position the laser fibre into the diseased vein, through a small hole in the skin. As the fibre is withdrawn, the vein is re-routed through other healthier veins.

Following the procedure, walking is encouraged and normal daily activities can be resumed immediately. However strenuous physical activity such as aerobics should be avoided for three to four weeks. Any bruising or soreness is temporary and improved with the pain relief medications prescribed by your doctor.

Endovenous laser therapy is a quick, minimally invasive laser procedure that leaves no scar, has a short and relatively pain-free post-operative recovery period, and may be performed under local or general anaesthesia. The treatment itself will take less than one hour. You should be able to resume normal activities within 1-2 days.

Patients report minimal to no scarring, bruising or swelling following the procedure.

Patient feedback for the EVLT treatment continues to be extremely positive. 

“The things that worried me were talked through, and every effort was made for my dignity to be kept, and the care was excellent from the consultant and I would always recommend this Hospital to family and friends” 

“I had not been in hospital for any procedures since I was 9 years old and now being 47, I was very apprehensive. The consultant and all the staff at Boston West Hospital made me feel at ease, with clear explanations of the procedure and every stage of my treatment. Thank you to everybody involved in my care.” 


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