Varicose Veins

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins result in twisted and enlarged veins. Any superficial vein can become varicosed, but the veins most commonly affected are in the legs. Reason being simple, as standing and walking upright increases the pressure in the veins of your lower body.

For many, varicose veins or spider veins (a common, mild variation of varicose veins), can only be a cosmetic concern. For others, varicose veins can cause aching pain and discomfort, and at time can lead to more serious problems too.

How are Varicose Veins Diagnosed?

  • A physical exam, including examining your legs while you stand
  • If there is any pain and aching in your legs
  • With an ultrasound test, to see if the valves in your veins are functioning normally or if there is any evidence of a blood clot

What are the Treatments for Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are usually treated as an outpatient procedure. Wearing compression stockings all day is often the first approach. They steadily squeeze your legs, helping veins and leg muscles move blood more efficiently. The amount of compression varies by type and brand. Prescription-strength stockings also are available.

For severe conditions, the below treatment options are available:

Laser Treatment

Using laser treatments to close off smaller varicose veins and spider veins. Laser treatment works by sending strong bursts of light onto the vein, which makes the vein slowly fade and disappear

Sclerotherapy

Injecting the small- and medium-sized varicose veins with a solution or foam that scars and closes those veins. In a few weeks, treated varicose veins should fade

Catheter-assisted procedures using radiofrequency or laser

The doctor inserts a thin tube (catheter) into an enlarged vein and heats the tip of the catheter using either radiofrequency or laser energy. As the catheter is pulled out, the heat destroys the vein by causing it to collapse and seal shut. This is the preferred treatment for larger varicose veins

Foam sclerotherapy of large veins

Injection of a large vein with a foam solution is also a possible treatment to close a vein and seal it

High ligation and vein stripping

Tying off a vein before it joins a deep vein and removing the vein through small incisions. Removing the vein will not keep blood from circulating in your leg because veins deeper in the leg take care of the larger volumes of blood

Endoscopic vein surgery

Required only in advanced cases, involving leg ulcers if other techniques fail. The surgeon will use a thin video camera and insert in your leg to visualize and close varicose veins and then will remove the veins through small incisions

Ambulatory phlebectomy

Removing smaller varicose veins through a series of tiny skin punctures. Only the parts of your leg that are being pricked are numbed in this outpatient procedure. Scarring is generally minimal

Kindly note that varicose veins developing during pregnancy will generally improve without medical treatment within 3-12 months after delivery.

Can I prevent varicose veins?

Certain measures may reduce your risk, but they do not guarantee a sure way of prevention. They are mainly to improve your blood circulation and muscle tone, such as:

  • Exercising
  • Eating high-fiber foods
  • Ensuring low-salt diet
  • Watching your weight
  • Avoiding high heels and tight hosiery
  • Changing your sitting or standing position regularly
  • Elevating your legs

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