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Varicose veins not just a leg problem

by – October 4, 2015

Varicose veins are often thought of as a leg problem. Prof Mark Whiteley gave a talk today in Portugal, explaining this is not the case. Varicose vein, or venous reflux disease, actually affects veins in the legs, pelvis and abdomen.

Prof Mark Whiteley talking about varicose veins at the Independent Doctors Federation in Algarve 4 Oct 2015

Prof Mark Whiteley talking about varicose veins at the Independent Doctors Federation in Algarve 4 Oct 2015

Varicose Veins in The Abdomen and Pelvis

Most people are aware of varicose veins in the legs. However, most do not know that it is common to have varicose veins in the legs that are not visible from the surface. This would not be a problem if they didn’t cause symptoms. However, hidden varicose veins (just like normal varicose veins) can cause:

  • Aching
  • Skin damage (eczema and brown stains)
  • Swelling
  • Phlebitis (clots)
  • Bleeding
  • Leg ulcers

Varicose veins in the pelvis have their own problems. Pelvic varicose veins can cause leg varicose veins, which is why good vein clinics check pelvic veins – see Pelvic veins can cause leg varicose veins to recur.

However, in addition to leg veins, pelvic varicose veins can also cause Vulval and vaginal varicose veinsPelvic Congestion Syndrome and haemorrhoids (piles).

Investigation and Treatment of Pelvic Varicose Veins

So how do we check for pelvic and abdominal varicose veins? Transvaginal duplex appears to be the best test if it can be used – clearly this can’t be done in men.

The best treatment is coil embolisation of the veins under X-ray control which, at The Whiteley Clinic, is done under local anaesthetic as a walk-in, walk-out procedure. We have shown that the long term results of coil embolisation are very good and it is a very safe procedure.

 

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