Varicose Veins also called as Varicoses or Varicosities is a condition when the veins in any part of the body become enlarged, dilated and overfilled with blood. They have bluish purple or red colour and appear swollen and raised. This condition is very common among women after pregnancy and professionals who stand for long time routinely and they mostly appear on the lower limbs. They are often unsightly and painful.
Causes of Varicose Veins
Varicose veins usually occur when veins aren’t functioning properly. Veins have one-way valves that prevent blood from flowing backwards. The valves may get weaker or damaged if the walls of the vein become stretched and less flexible.
Subsequently, the blood begins to collect in the veins rather than continuing to flow towards your heart. The veins thus get enlarged and swollen.
Some potential causes
- Family History and rare genetic causes
- Standing for long period of time ( Traffic controllers, policeman, industry workers, Surgeons etc)!
Symptoms of Varicose Veins
In majority of cases varicose veins is painless. Signs and symptoms may be as below.
- Veins look twisted, swollen and bulging
- Veins are blue or dark purple in colour
- Pain in the limbs ( Cramping in nature or continuous pain)
- Swelling of the limbs
- Skin in affected area is red, dry and itch
- Spider veins in affected leg (telangiectasia)
- Minor injury in affected area may lead to long term bleeding.
- Fat under the skin just above the ankle can become hard, resulting in skin shrinking.
- Venous ulcers which doesn’t heal for longtime.
Treatment for Varicose Veins
The treatment of viscose veins depends upon the stage of varicose veins. Usually in earlier stages they are managed with lifestyle changes and compression garments but at later stages will require some surgical procedure to cure it permanently. After initial examination, clinician will advice you to undergo certain blood investigations and Doppler ultrasonography of the both lower limbs of the limbs to assess the severity as well as grade of the disease.
- Lose weight or maintain a healthy weight
- Exercise to improve your circulation
- Use compression socks or stocking
- Avoid standing for extended period of time
- Try to elevate legs whenever resting or sleeping
You may be advised to wear special socks or stockings. This helps in enough pressure so that the blood can flow more easily to your heart. This also helps in decreasing swelling.
When lifestyle changes aren’t working and you are experiencing lot of pain then your doctor might try an invasive procedure.
Vein ligation and stripping is conventional surgical treatment. This procedure is less commonly performed nowadays as minimal invasive options are available.
Minimal invasive treatment options
Laser guided Surgery
Endoscopic Vein Surgery ( Sub facial endoscopic perforator surgery also called as SEPS)
Ultrasound guided sclerotherapy
Endovenous radio frequency Ablation Therapy.
The later minimally invasive treatment options give the advantage of day care procedure, scarless , less pain and early return to work.
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