Treatment – Non-surgical treatment of varicose veins

Non-surgical treatment of varicose veins

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There are several different ways of treating your varicose veins and invasive interventions are not always what you may want or need.

In general when your varicose viens cause your legs to ache, itch, throb or become unsightly the decision to have treatment depends on your views as to the severity of the problem. (Remember though that intervention has been shown to significantly imporove these symptoms in the correctly selected people).

However, when there have been episodes of bleeding from the veins, phlebitis or healed ulcers, if your specialist advises  intervention then perhaps you should consider his suggestion.

Compression stockings

Compression stockings may relieve the swelling and aching of your legs.

The stockings compress the leg more at the ankle than higher up and are therefore called “graduated stockings”

They come in different levels of compression as well as different sizes. They can cover the leg up to the knee or thigh and also come as tights. The toes can be open or covered.

It probably is not too important which type stocking you wear as long as you actually wear them. Make sure you have two or three sets so they can be rotated through the washing machine. They will however need to be replaced every four to six months as they loose their compression.

There are several companies producing stockings so look around for the design and colour that suits you.

Similarly sitting with your legs raised or on a stool with remove some of the aching sensation.

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Varicose veins are very common and therefore there are several different  “alternate” therapies that have been suggested.

Some of these have been reviewed on our blog and include the use of Horse chest nut extracts.

Always consider “medications” that do not come from a vascular specialist with caution.  Several people with varicose veins, however do get relief from taking extract of red vein leaf.


Self help books are available on the net.



Daryll Baker is a Consultant Vascular Surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital London and Clinical Lead for North Central Region Vascular Services.

He read Medicine at Oxford University and trained in Vascular Surgery in Nottingham, London and Edinburgh. He obtained his research PhD from the University of Wales.


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