Frequently asked questions
1. What are varicose veins?
They are veins belonging to the superficial venous system that have become dilated and tortuous and are no longer able to correctly transport blood to the heart. This results in blood pooling in the body's lower extremities (legs) and the onset over time of damage caused by chronic venous disease (CVD).
2. What causes varicose veins?
The main cause of varicose veins is a genetic connective tissue disorder that causes the veins to bulge. Obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, prolonged standing, constipation and pregnancy may also be contributing factors. So-called secondary varicose veins can also develop as a result of previous thrombotic events of the deep venous system.
3. How can a vein specialist help me?
By carefully going over your medical history and performing a medical examination using non-invasive diagnostic techniques like colour Doppler ultrasound, a specialist can ascertain the cause of the disease and any related disorders, and recommend the appropriate conservative or interventional therapeutic procedure to resolve the problem.
4. How are affected veins treated?
Conservative treatment of varicose veins comprises elastic compression therapy and the use of phlebotropic drugs. There are also a number of interventional procedures to choose from, depending on the structure and location of the vein to be treated. A preliminary consultation with a vein specialist is therefore vital to assess the vein and select and explain the best treatment for the patient. This is the concept of "tailor-made treatment" in action.
5. What is sclerotherapy?
This is the injection of a medicinal solution into the diseased veins that destroys the veins and causes fibrosis.
6. What is ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy?
Rather than relying on visual guidance alone, ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy uses a device called a colour Doppler ultrasound, which improves reliability and safety in certain cases.
7. What is endovenous thermal ablation?
This is the destruction of the affected vein wall by endovascular heat generated by an energy source (laser or radiofrequency) inserted directly into the vein using ultrasound guidance.
8. What is the surgical technique known as stripping?
This was the old procedure employed to remove the varicose veins, so-called because the vein had to literally be "stripped away", thereby traumatising the surrounding tissue and leaving surgical wounds.
9. What is MOCA?
This is non-thermal ablation of the varicose vein. A catheter is inserted into the vein and sclerosing foam (scleromousse) is injected simultaneously. The catheter damages the innermost layer of the vein, thereby enhancing the efficacy of the sclerosing foam.
10. What is cyanoacrylate glue ablation?
This is an endovascular procedure that literally glues the vein walls together, reducing the lumen to a virtual space. It works in the same way as the better-known "Attack" glue.
11. What is phlebectomy?
This is a mini-invasive surgical procedure that removes the varicose branches of the saphenous vein through small 2‑mm incisions.
12. Are pregnant patients eligible for surgery?
13. Can varicose veins on the feet be removed?
Absolutely, subject to the correct preparation and evaluation of the disease.
14. Once removed, can varicose veins come back?
No, but because of the existing venous disease, other veins could be affected, developing into varicose veins in the same area that has already been treated or elsewhere.
15. How many days of rest are needed after surgery?
Depending on the procedure, from a few hours to a few days.
16. Will the operation be painful?
Post-operative recovery from modern surgical procedures, including thermal ablation techniques, is painless and practically discomfort-free.
17. Will I be awake during the operation?
18. How long should I wear the compression stockings for after the operation?
From 1 to 3 weeks.
19. How long have you been performing these procedures for?
We have been performing thermal ablation since 2004.
20. Is the procedure safe?
Modern ablation techniques are completely safe in comparison with former surgical procedures.