Varicose Veins

 

 

 

Varicose veins are a common condition that affects millions of people each year. They occur when the valves in the veins that carry blood from the legs to the heart stop working correctly, causing the blood to pool in the veins. This can cause the veins to bulge and become twisted. Varicose veins are often painful and can lead to serious health complications, such as ulcers and blood clots. While varicose veins can occur at any age, they are most common in people over 50.

Varicose veins are different from spider veins even though both are a type of venous disease. Spider veins are tinier and finer and look like red or blue spider webs or branches of a tree. They are closer to the skin’s surface and are not painful. They may occur on feet, behind your knees, on your face or even on the legs. Varicose veins, in comparison, only appear on feet and legs.

Varicose veins can mostly happen to anyone with the following:

  • Family history
  • Lifestyle – jobs requiring standing or sitting for long hours, leading to reduced circulation.
  • Overall health conditions – severe constipation can cause strain on the veins.
  • Overweight individuals are more likely to have varicose veins due to excess pressure on the veins
Signs and Symptoms

Varicose veins are obvious and are presented as bulging or protruding, gnarly-looking blue or purple veins just under the skin’s surface. The symptoms are listed below:

  • Buldging twisted veins dark blue or purple.
  • Aching or heavy feeling in legs
  • Throbbing or cramping in legs
  • Itching around the veins
  • Darkening of the skin colour around the veins.

Complications of varicose veins are ulcers around the veins, blood clots due to obliteration from the tortuous nature of veins and bleeding by bursting of veins. It is best to seek medical advice as soon as you notice the slightest symptoms.

Diagnosis and tests

They are easily diagnosed by physical examination close to the skin’s surface. They also have a peculiar appearance, which makes them easy to recognise by the patients themselves.

Treatment

Some early interventions in varicose veins include elevation and elastic stockings, which the patient can manage. Elevation decreases the pressure and increases the blood flow in the veins. Elastic stockings act as bandaging and compress the vein, thus providing pain relief.

Several treatment options are available for varicose veins, including surgery, sclerotherapy, and laser ablation. Treatment is often recommended to improve symptoms and reduce the risk of complications.

Sclerotherapy involves the injection of a solution by an experienced surgeon that leads to compression of the vein (sticking the walls of the vein together) and, thus, scarring of the vein.

Laser Therapy

While many treatments are available, laser therapy is one of the most effective. Laser therapy works by targeting the affected veins with a high-intensity light. This light breaks down the vein walls, causing them to collapse. As a result, blood flow is redirected to healthier veins and symptoms are reduced. In addition, laser therapy is minimally invasive and has very few side effects. For these reasons, it is an excellent treatment option for varicose veins.

 

Varicose Veins Surgery

 

Varicose vein surgery is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that treats varicose veins. The varicose veins are removed through small incisions in the skin. This procedure is also known as saphenous vein surgery or stripping. Varicose vein surgery is usually performed under local anaesthesia with sedation, meaning you’ll be awake but won’t feel pain. Varicose vein surgery is a safe and effective way to treat varicose veins. It’s usually done as an outpatient procedure, so you can go home the same day.

The risks of varicose vein surgery include bleeding, infection, blood clots, and nerve damage. Before the procedure, talk to your surgeon about the risks and benefits of varicose vein surgery.