Varicose veins Perth

10 widespread myths about varicose veins debunked by vascular surgeon

Varicose vein treatment | Varicose veins Perth
Varicose veins Perth

Varicose veins Perth

Understanding varicose veins: Separating myths from facts

When my patients come to see me about varicose veins, I often find there’s a mix of misconceptions and unknowns. It’s perfectly normal – after all, unless you’re a vascular surgeon, why would you know the ins and outs of varicose veins?

“People hear bits from friends, read snippets online, and naturally, a few myths pop up. My job is not just about treating varicose veins; it’s also about clearing up these misunderstandings.”

Dr Nishath Altaf Vascular surgeon Perth
Dr Nishath Altaf

Varicose Veins Perth

I have written this article to clear up any worries and help you understand your treatment better. Remember, there’s no such thing as a silly question or a foolish concern – it’s all part of getting the best care for you.

Myth 1: All varicose veins have to be treated with open surgery

It’s a common worry that varicose veins mean you’re heading straight for open surgery, but that’s not always the case. Most varicose veins can be treated with less invasive methods like endovenous laser ablation, venaseal glue ablation or sclerotherapy. These are out-patient procedures that have quicker recovery times.

Myth 2: Varicose veins are purely a cosmetic issue and do not require medical attention

A lot of people think varicose veins are just a cosmetic issue, but they’re actually a vascular concern that can lead to discomfort, aching, and skin problems. In some cases, they even cause more serious complications like ulcers or blood clots. So, it’s not just about looks; these vascular issues may need medical attention.

Myth 3: Varicose veins are always visible and easy to diagnose

We often expect varicose veins to be obvious, but they’re sneaky. They can hide beneath the surface, causing symptoms like aching and swelling without being visible. This means they’re not always easy to spot with the naked eye, and a medical examination might be needed for a proper diagnosis.

Myth 4: Exercise worsens varicose veins

You might worry that exercise will make varicose veins worse, but actually, the opposite is true. Gentle exercise, especially walking, can help improve circulation and alleviate symptoms. It’s about finding the right balance and not overdoing it, especially with high-impact activities.

Myth 5: Losing weight will make varicose veins disappear

Losing weight is great for your overall health, but it’s not a magic cure for varicose veins. While weight loss can reduce the pressure on your veins and alleviate symptoms, it doesn’t make existing varicose veins disappear. In some cases losing weight makes the varicose veins more noticeable.

Myth 6: Varicose vein treatment always requires a long recovery period

People often fear a long recovery after varicose vein treatment, but it’s usually not the case. Many modern treatments are minimally invasive and have quick recovery times. You might be up and walking the same day and back to normal activities soon after.

Myth 7: Once treated, varicose veins will never recur

It’s a common hope that once varicose veins are treated, they’re gone for good. But, like many things in life, there’s no guarantee. They can recur, especially if underlying causes like genetics or lifestyle factors are not addressed. Regular follow-up and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are key.

Myth 8: Varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) are unrelated conditions

Varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) might seem unrelated, but they’re distant cousins. Having varicose veins can slightly increase your risk of developing DVT, a more serious condition. They share some common risk factors, but their management and implications are different.

Myth 9: The treatment of varicose veins is the same regardless of which type of medical professional you consult

Not all doctors treat varicose veins the same way. Depending on who you see – a vascular surgeon, interventional radiologist, or general practitioner – the management and treatment approach can vary. Each professional has different expertise, so it’s important to consult the right varicose vein specialist for your needs. I previously wrote a blog article about this topic: Which doctor can help me with varicose vein treatment?

Myth 10: Varicose veins don't affect athletic performance

Athletes might think varicose veins won’t affect their performance, but these veins can be more than just a visual nuisance. They can cause discomfort, heaviness, and fatigue in the legs, which might impact athletic activities. Proper management and treatment can help maintain peak performance.

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Contact Dr Altaf

If you still have questions about varicose veins, or you are ready for varicose veins treatment, please give us a call or request an appointment. We are here to help.