Varicose veins (varices) is a very common degenerative disease of the veins of the legs caused by hereditary weakness of the connective tissue and functional disorder of the valves of the communicating (perforator) veins (see Figure).
Contributing factors to the development of varicose veins are work in standing or sitting position, pregnancy, and obesity. Varicose veins are usually located in the medial and posterior side of the leg, and in the medial side of the thigh. Varicose veins cause blood flow to slow down and can result in severe circulatory problems in the legs manifested by tiredness and cramps of the legs. When the disease progresses, chronic inflammation of the veins (thrombophlebitis) occurs which frequently causes ulcers in the lower part of the leg.
Surgical treatment of varicose veins includes removal of the widened subcutaneous veins with incision in the inguinal region and additional incisions in the lower parts of the legs and thigh. Thereafter damaged veins are pulled out with a special instrument. Since multiple small subcutaneous veins are torn apart during the operation, bruising (haematomas) occur frequently in the leg after the surgery.
The operation will be performed either in general anaesthesia or spinal anaesthesia. After the operation it will be necessary to wear elastic bandage for 2 to 3 days for whole day (including at night), and it’s recommended to wear elastic bandage for 2 months during the daytime.
Elastic bandage can later also be replaced with compression stockings, which is more convenient for the patient. Compression stockings are also beneficial after the two months have elapsed from the surgery since they alleviate the tiredness of the legs and prevent recurrence of the varicose veins.