Ulcer in a 38 year old Ipswich man with varicose veins

It is a misconception that varicose veins are more common in women than in men. In fact the prevalence is nearly the same for men as it is for women.  

Research (and my own experience) indicates that men have the tendency to present much later and with more advanced disease.  This is probably because men are usually less concerned about the appearance of varicose veins. This delay before they see veindoctors tends to leave men at greater risk of permanent skin damage which can then lead to skin ulceration of the lower leg and ankle regions.  

So often we hear from the wives of men with varicose veins that their husbands have been disinclined to come in for assessment because of concerns about losing time from work and a misunderstanding that there is a prolonged recovery period after treatment. 

Symptoms of venous disease include 'heavy legs', pain, skin itch (pruritis), cramps and paraesthesia such as tingling or a burning sensation in the lower legs and feet. These symptoms tend to be more noticeable towards the end of the day or in the evenings and patients often describe relief of symptoms when they elevate their legs. Men with occupations that involve prolonged standing such as School teachers, Chefs and Tradesmen will often present to phlebology clinics with these types of symptoms.

Surgery is no longer Best Practice for varicose vein removal as the non-surgical techniques of Endovascular treatment with Endovenous Laser Therapy and Ultrasound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy now offer superior results. These office based procedures mean no admission to hospital and no prolonged and painful recovery. The price point difference between treatment by an out of hospital doctor when compared to a vascular surgeon does not seem to be that great once out of pocket and other non monetary expenses such as time for recovery is factored in. 

At The Leg Vein Doctor, we offer after-hours appointments so you can get treated straight from work and be back on your feet, ready for action within an hour or two.

AuthorNicholas Kemp