The Belfast Vein Clinic
Mr Denis Harkin MD FRCS FEBVS, Consultant Vascular Surgeon
Patient Information
Varicose Veins
Thread Veins
Vein Assessment
Vein Treatments
Varicose Veins

Varicose Veins


Varicose veins are distended branches of the major veins in the leg. They become distended due to failure of the valves in the main veins which allows blood to fall back down the leg (reflux). Venous reflux is the major cause of most venous diseases and is almost always the cause of varicose veins. Varicose veins develop in the superficial veins of the leg and mainly affect the great saphenous vein (medial thigh and calf), although they may also affect the small saphenous vein (posterior calf).



The specific causes of vein problems are undetermined and will vary according to the individual. Contributing factors may include:



  • Family History


  • Female Gender & Pregnancy


  • Lifestyle


  • Age


Preventing Varicose Veins


No measure is guaranteed to prevent the development of varicose veins. However, the following lifestyle adjustments may reduce the symptoms and risk of complications.


  • Exercise Regularly


  • Support/compression stockings


  • Avoid excessive heat on legs


  • Elevate the legs


  • Healthy diet


  • Maintain a healthy weight




In the past varicose veins were thought of as only cosmetic. We now know that they are symptomatic of an underlying venous problem that may lead to more serious conditions:


  • Pain


  • Ankle swelling


  • Brown staining of the skin


  • Venous eczema


  • Lipodermatosclerosis


  • Thrombophlebitis


  • Leg ulcers.




All Rights Reserved...
HomeAbout Mr HarkinPatient InformationContact Us