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Video

Voiceover: For 71 year old Colin, his legs have also had enough, which is especially bad for him as he’s one of the 10% of septuagenarians still working and he’s always on his feet because he runs a restaurant.

Colin: It gets hot and very uncomfortable and the ankle feels as though it’s disintegrating. It makes you feel quite grumpy, the constant aggravation.

Colin’s companion: He’s never worn shorts because his legs look so bad.

Dr Pixie: What seems to be the problem?

Colin: I’ve got problems with my legs. I have quite a lot of aching in the legs and the protrusion of veins that I have considered varicose veins. I’m not bothered about the appearance particularly but it is getting worse. I want to be able to continue working for as long as I can and because I’m on my feet quite a lot I felt it was about time I had something done about it.

Dr Pixie: Sure. I have to say Colin that is a very, very impressive varicose vein you’ve got there. It’s going the whole way up to your groin and I can see how they’re going to ache. My feeling is, were you to leave this alone, taking away the cosmetic appearance of it that this is ultimately probably going to suffer and break out as a little ulcer. The great news is these veins you don’t need. You can manage absolutely fine without these veins because these are your superficial veins. So what I think is the best thing to do Colin is we need to get you seen by a specialist to do an assessment of this, a scan of this basically to work out exactly where the problem is and take it from there in terms of treatment. Would you be happy to go along with that?

Colin: I will, definitely.

Voiceover: Varicose veins are both unsightly and embarrassing. They affect about 20% of us and often come with old age. They are blood vessels just beneath the skin that have widened and twisted due to defective valves within the veins. In Colin’s case they have become ulcerated, which means a risk of infection. Today he’s been sent to see specialist Mr Mo Bagginit for a scan.

Mr Bagginit: This is the vein that is causing the trouble and if we look along here it’s all dilated. This should really be only a few millimetres in size and all the valves would normally be working very well here but the blood is coming back down the leg rather than going back up as it should do.

Voiceover: This kind of treatment used to be incredibly painful but thanks to a revolutionary new approach called Endovenus laser therapy it can be done painlessly under local anaesthetic.

Dr Bagginit: You might just feel a little pushing and pulling there Colin.

Voiceover: Mr Bagginit inserts a laser fibrotic up the vein which originates in Colin’s groin. It then lights down and the laser is used to heat and destroy the wall of the vein as the fibre is slowly removed. The lower parts of the vein that had become swollen and unsightly are then simply pulled out through the small incisions in Colin’s leg and it’s all done.

Dr Bagginet: How are you feeling?

Colin: All right.

Dr Pixie: Hi Colin how are you?

Voiceover: A few weeks later he is back to show Dr Pixie.

Dr Pixie: Thank you for coming back. How did it all go?

Colin: I think it went very well. I want to go back to work fairly soon. I’ve been getting plenty of exercise, walks and that. The difference between this week and last week is tremendous really.

Dr Pixie: Is it?

Colin: The improvement, yeah.

Dr Pixie: I’d say you’re very pleased with that.

Colin: Yes. It’s a lot better than I thought it would be.

Dr Pixie: I mean this is week 2?

Colin: This is only the second week yes. The ankle doesn’t swell up now and it doesn’t feel painful either. It doesn’t feel like its disintegrating like it used to and the itchiness has gone from the leg itself, and it feels as though I’ve got my leg back.

Dr Pixie: Don’t try and get back to work too early. Remember, six weeks is six weeks.

Colin: I will remember that, OK.

Read the video transcript

About 20% of us suffer from varicose veins, blood vessels just beneath the skin that have widened and twisted due to defections in the valves. Particularly bad cases can lead to ulcerations making the problem even more embarrassing. Luckily for her patient Dr Pixie has the answer.

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Comments and Questions

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I am very young and i do have vericose veins. Now you may be asking ho old i am, well in 14 in a few days and i already have serious ache problems but i will be resiving treatment (surgury) in a few months. There still is a huge posibility that i will have spider veins but lets just say i'm not going to worry yet





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If you need Support stockings for varicose viens, they should be quite tight on the leg. If easy to pull on like socks they are more likely to be too loose. I have mine made to measure on the nhs and imported for Germany because of being tall. And yes hard to put on (me; fit man not old)





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hi I'm 34 years old and 6 months pregnant. I have loads of varicose veins I would like to know if is possible to have treatment.??





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Endovenous laser and radiofrequency treatments have totally changed the way things are done. People with even huge varicose veins are having them removed in the medic's office, no stitches, no scars. Some places have already been doing thousands of these. The Vein & Laser Clinic has info @ veinclinic.com on the newer ways of treating this problem if you're interested.





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I'm 31 got spider veins on my legs getting quite depressed about them is there anything I can do to get rid of them and prevent more? Please!





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Nothing gets rid of them apart from surgery, creams can't do that. I use the below cream. It soothes and cools my leg veins instantly. I get pain and soreness so that's all I want relief from really, I don;t want the surgery. http://www.cloud9skin.com/store/Natures-Miracle-Varicose-Vein-Cream





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I have had surgery on one leg below the knee. I had no pain afterwords but the pain before became bad. I was on my feet all day. I got a burning sensation also. I is very important to see the Doctor. Do not let them palm you off without showing your legs to him or her. I have been told years later, "varicose veins are a cosmetic and are not done on the NHS". I knew better than that idiot of a doctor. Been there had the op. so get your legs checked out if you have any symptoms of any kind.

hello my name is lesley can you tell me why my leg still numb after i had my varicose vein removed from my right leg in 2008.





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i have had a varicose vein on my left leg since I was 16 im now 34 I cant wear skirts, dresses, or shorts as I cant stand the thought of other people looking at it but theres the pain aspect of it feels like my leg is being dragged along it hurts to touch and I have to cut socks to fit my leg as other varicose veins keep popping up thicker and bigger and more painful. its got so bad that sometimes I want to cut it out myself and get it over with, my doctor said it was cosmetic and there was nothing they could do and I should just get over it, I left the doctors gutted.





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I'm 27 I was born with a blue dot a already broken blood vessel and the doc told mother I was OK as I get older the larger it gets wen I was 13 I went to duke kids hospital in Nc and at the time it was 10"in leantgh and 5" in width and now over the years of pushing the limited access my body can handle I'm now looking at 1ft8"leath and 6 width but now I'm have in more pain all over my boxy chest hurts more than normal well to e real it shouldn't hurt at all I also get pain in my brain in my left temple and the top of my head I have lost weight fast and I don't want get out any more Cuz it has become a pine to move alot





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why do I have spider veins in both handsand sometimes my hands are red im 48 yrs ols and in otherwise in good health thank you





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