Five Common “Lies” or “Myths” that even your family doctor may believe.
There is a lot of nonsense talked about veins and I’m going to tell you the commonest 5 myths about varicose veins.
- The first myth is that pregnancy causes varicose veins. This is simply wrong. Varicose veins may appear in pregnancy for the first time if there is a pre-disposition to a condition called superficial venous reflux in which the valves are unhealthy. Many men as well as women who have not had children are affected by varicose veins. The latest research suggests that almost as many men as women have varicose veins and this would not be the case if pregnancy were a major cause of varicose veins. Following on from this myth is the advice that you shouldn’t bother having your veins treated until you have had all your children. On the contrary, my advice to you would be to have your veins treated at an early stage to prevent deterioration during pregnancy.
- The second myth is that life style is a major cause of varicose veins: activities such as wearing high heels, crossing your legs, being overweight or not taking exercise. In fact, it’s not your fault if you have varicose veins. There is very little you can do either to cause varicose veins or prevent them. Heredity and age are the statistically the 2 strongest risk factors for varicose veins and vein problems. Sadly we cannot choose our parents nor can we stop time.
- The 3rd myth is that varicose veins are simply cosmetic. In fact, varicose veins are caused by superficial venous reflux which is also the major cause of varicose eczema and leg ulcers. Varicose veins are also a risk factor for deep vein thrombosis or DVT.
- The 4th myth is that varicose veins can only be properly treated in a hospital under a general anaesthetic. In fact, modern treatments which are endovenous (that is performed inside the vein or keyhole) give much better results, with fewer risks and a much quicker recovery.
- Lastly, a common myth is “don’t bother to have your veins removed as they always come back”. Treatments such as ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy, endovenous laser -EVLT or EVL- VNUS Closure or VenaSeal (medical superglue for varicose veins) do not stimulate vein regrowth – neovascularisation. The risks of veins coming back after these types of treatment are lower than with surgical stripping and the majority of people who have their veins treated nowadays do not have any further problems.
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