Do Varicose Veins Have Symptoms?

February 05, 1999

What are the symptoms of varicose veins? Edinburgh vein study cross sectional population survey

Tens of thousands of varicose vein operations are performed in the UK each year. Varicose veins are thought to be responsible for lower limb symptoms including heaviness, swelling, cramps and tingling. The presence of one or more of these symptoms, along with evidence of abnormal blood movement in leg veins, may be considered an indication for surgery, despite limited evidence to show that these symptoms are caused by venous problems, or that operating helps to alleviate the symptoms.

In this week's BMJ Andrew Bradbury and colleagues at the University of Edinburgh, along with researchers at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary report that such symptoms are extremely common in the general population whether or not varicose veins are present. The authors state that surgical decisions based on symptoms may be unreliable, and urge clinicians to attempt to distinguish between patients who may and may not benefit from surgical intervention.

Contact:

Andrew Bradbury, Senior Lecturer and Consultant Vascular Surgeon, The University of Edinburgh, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh gerry.fowkes@ed.ac.uk
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BMJ

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