Varicose Veins - Get them treated early!

Anyone who suffers from varicose veins knows the feeling of heavy, tired legs which are constantly swollen and throb with pain day in day out. The only reassuring fact is you are not alone. Approximately 5 million people in the UK suffer from the condition and a large proportion of these are men and women over 60 years of age. Many of the sufferers have lived with it for years, some for decades having started having problems in their teen years.

Unfortunately, once you have the condition, it never goes away by itself. Unless they are treated, varicose veins will only deteriorate as it is a progressive disease. It is also often a misunderstood condition which leads many people to be misdiagnosed, mistreated or even ignored which can result in years of unnecessary pain and suffering. A typical example is a patient who simply ‘puts up with it’ until their legs have reached a debilitating and unsightly stage with bulging veins, swollen legs and skin ulcers. Veins which are at such an advanced stage are more difficult to treat and the cosmetic outcomes less satisfactory.

Mr Tom Browne, Consultant Vascular Surgeon at Chelmsford Medical Centre, has been working locally for 14 years. He says: “I still see many patients whose medical and cosmetic outcomes would have been that much better had they been diagnosed and treated earlier. Early treatment can minimise the risk of complications and halt further progression of the venous disease. If there is already bleeding, inflammation, eczema, clots or ulcers, treatment becomes more urgent and more complicated. It is much simpler to treat varicose veins when they are smaller as treatment tends to be less invasive and therefore less involved.”

Varicose veins are sometimes hereditary, so if your parents have had them, there is a higher risk that you will develop them too. Carrying excess weight places extra strain on the leg veins so obese people and women who have been through several pregnancies are also at risk. Although standing for extended periods of time does not actually cause varicose veins, having a job involving standing for long hours can exacerbate them. Many varicose vein sufferers are female and in their 50’s because the hormonal changes brought on by the menopause or HRT therapy can result in more relaxed vein walls and thus cause venous reflux.

Mr Browne is one of the leading Vascular Surgeons in the Mid Essex area. He invented the fenestrated endovascular graft, now used for more than 5000 patients worldwide and was one of the first surgeons to use the endovenous technique for laser treatment of varicose veins. He continues to stay in the forefront of modern advances for the treatment of varicose veins and is currently working with scientists and academics at the Anglia Ruskin University to develop a pneumatic boot for the treatment of varicose ulcers.

Mr Browne maintains the highest standards possible for his patients. He introduced a green ribbon policy, ensuring that all patients can be confident of being treated in a clean environment and has an outstanding record of safety and success. His recommendation to anyone concerned about their condition is “Don’t wait. If you have varicose veins, treat them before they get worse.”

If you would like more information, please contact Chelmsford Medical Centre on 01245 253760 or visit Mr Browne’s website:

Date: 05/12/2012
By: Nicola Douglas