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Self-assessment quiz: Do you suffer from your leg veins?

The blood returns from the legs back towards the heart with veins, which are either supeficial (veins lying directly under the skin) or deep (veins lying deeper between muscles and bones). There is a series of folds of the lining of the veins, called valves, which close and prevent blood from flowing backwards to the feet while we are standing or sitting.

If the valves of the superficial veins do not function properly, the blood refluxes, i.e. flows backwards to the feet. This condition is called superficial venous reflux and may increase the pressure in the veins of the legs, and it can cause ache, burning, itching, heaviness in the calves, swelling and skin changes.

With time, this venous hypertension may gradually lead to the appearance of leg varicose veins, however, skin changes or swelling may appear even before varicose veins are formed.

If you do not have obvious varicose veins, but you can answer YES to three or more of the following questions, it is likely that you suffer from superficial venous reflux and you may benefit from certain preventive measures or be a candidate for treatment.

  1. Have you ever received treatment for your leg veins (such as surgery or sclerotherapy)?
  2. Do you have spider veins (venous flares)?
  3. Are you troubled by any of the following in your calves: pain, burning, itching or heaviness?
  4. Have you noticed skin discolouration, eczema (dermatitis) or ulcers in your lower legs or swelling in the ankles?
  5. Has any relative of yours got varicose or spider veins or undergone treatment for a vein condition?

Dr Zacharias Androulakakis, consultant vascular surgeon, is highly qualified to examine and advise you!

• He has large experience in diagnosing and treating venous conditions, such as varicose veins, spider veins, chronic venous insufficiency, leg ulcers and leg swelling

• He performs all types of modern vascular techniques including surgery and endovenous laser ablation for varicose veins, foam sclerotherapy for varicose veins, injection sclerotherapy for spider veins, elastic bandaging for leg ulcers etc

• He has a partnership with selected private hospitals in Heraklion Crete and in Athens