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Varicose Veins in Feet

Big Bulging Veins on the Feet may appear with other varicose veins higher up the leg and in most cases the cause is a condition called Superficial Venous Reflux. So what is Superficial Venous Reflux and how can veins on the feet be treated?

The superficial veins join the deep veins at various points along the leg. Blood is prevented from flowing out of the deep veins and into the superficial veins by the action of the valves. In a condition called Superficial Venous Reflux, the valves at these junctions and within the superficial veins are not functioning properly. In Superficial Venous Reflux, blood flows down the superficial veins in the wrong direction, back down towards the feet. This back pressure damages valves further down the leg and stretches the veins under the skin. Varicose veins then develop.

What Causes Varicose Veins in the Feet?

This lady came to the clinic concerned that the veins in her left foot had “suddenly popped out”. She wondered if there was some reason why her right foot had “no veins”, but her left foot had big bulging veins.

A Duplex Ultrasound Scan confirmed that, actually, she had a significant problem with a vein in her groin. This allowed blood to flow downwards in the wrong direction (reflux) and pool in the veins of the foot.

Often the varicose veins develop in the leg itself, but in her case the superficial venous reflux flowed right down to her foot caused big foot veins.

Other causes of big foot veins are:

  • Age
  • Heredity
  • Weight
  • Occupation
  • Life-style 
Foot Vein removal

Home Treatment for Varicose Veins in Feet

If your varicose veins are mild, you can manage the condition yourself. For instance, try to apply the following home remedies:

  • Regular exercise such as walking, swimming or cycling
  • Compression Socks Wearing medical-grade compression socks has a number of health benefits including supporting the bulging veins
  • Keep legs elevated – this prevents blood from pooling in the lower extremities
  • Massage improves blood circulation 
  • Avoid tight clothing

Medical Treatment for Painful Varicose Veins in the Feet

In most cases, after a Duplex Ultrasound Scan and treatment of the Superficial Venous Reflux by Endovenous Laser Ablation, the bulging veins can be removed.

Large bulging varicose veins on the feet lie just underneath the skin can be gently extracted through small little punctures in the skin. The procedure is called Microphlebectomy or simply Phlebectomy.

At The VeinCare Centre, Dr Gajraj uses a special technique involving a circular 1-mm puncture in the skin. The circular puncture “stretches” during vein extraction and when the vein is removed, the circular puncture springs back to a small size. When healed, it is virtually invisible.

Sometimes Phlebectomy is performed alone or in combination with Sclerotherapy.

Under local anaesthetic, even very large veins can be extracted. No stitches are required after the procedure and once the areas are healed there is almost nothing left to see.

Is Foot Vein Phlebectomy Painful?

No. Microphlebectomy is not painful.

Local anaesthetic blocks nerve fibres that carry pain. Nerve fibres that carry the sensations of touch and temperature are not completely blocked. 

Many of our patients report that they can feel the coldness of the local anaesthetic and a strange “tugging sensation”, but none feel pain.

What happens after Foot Veins Phlebectomy?

After Microphlebectomy 

Dressings are placed over the puncture sites where the veins were extracted. There are no stitches. A stocking and bandge are applied which we ask you to wear for 2 days.


Serious complications after Phlebectomy are rare. Most of the following side effects are temporary and get better with time.

  • New Spider Veins < 1 in 100
  • Patches of temporary numbness < 1 in 1,000
  • Infection < 1 in 10,000
  • Temporary Lymph Leak < 1 in 10,000
Foot Vein removal