• 03Nov

    How to get rid of varicose veins?

    Varicose veins are a common medical condition present in at least 10% of the general population. They are visible as dilated and tortuous veins visible on the back of legs. They look like delicate branches of a climber plant ascending the wall of a building. Risk factors for varicose veins include obesity, female sex, inactivity and family predisposition. They occur due to weakness in the wall of veins as a result of which they dilate and become tortuous. They can occur secondary to deep vein thrombosis during pregnancy.

    Varicose veins commonly cause aching in the calf after prolonged standing or sitting and at the end of the day. Others clinical features include swelling around the ankle, itching, pigmentation and ulcer formation. A minor trauma may result in severe bleeding from the distended veins. Though the diagnosis of this condition is easily obvious and does not require any investigation, a duplex scanning of the deep veins is an essential criterion to rule out deep vein thrombosis before any intervention is performed.

    How to get rid of varicose veins – treatment options

    The cosmetic appearance of the limbs is the main cause of concern for affected patients. Others present with complications like ankle ulcers, pigmentation and bleeding. There are different treatment methods depending on severity of this condition:

    The cosmetic appearance of the limbs is the main concern for the patients affected with varicose veins.

    The cosmetic appearance of the limbs is the main concern for the patients affected with varicose veins.

    • Compression therapy – elastic compression stockings are used when the varicose veins have occurred following an episode of deep vein thrombosis. They can also be used in patients who are unwilling for surgery. These patients are given class II compression below knee stockings which deliver a pressure of 30 mm Hg at ankle and 10-15 mm Hg at knee. They help in returning of blood from the legs to the heart by compressing the dilated veins.
    • Injection therapy – this therapy involves an injection of sclerosing agents into the superficial (surface) veins. These are detergents like sodium tetradecyl sulphate and polidocanol. The detergent destroys the endothelial lining of the vein leading to thrombosis, fibrosis and finally obliteration. Complications of sclerotherapy include allergic reaction, pigmentation, thrombophlebitis, deep vein thrombosis and skin necrosis.
    • Ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy – the detergent polidocanol in a form of foam is injected into the superficial veins under ultrasound guidance. Since the drug is delivered as foam, a lesser dose is required.
    • Surgical treatment – ligation of the proximal (upper) end of the vein is done to prevent backflow of blood. Along with the above procedure surgical removal of tortuous veins (phlebectomy) around the calf is also done. The surgery is performed under spinal/epidural or local anaesthesia. The ulcers which fail to heal require skin grafting.
    • Newer techniques – radiofrequency ablation of varicose veins is done. Then probe is passed up the saphenous vein from the lower leg and withdrawn under ultrasound control while radiofrequency waves are used to destroy the endothelial lining. It generates heat which causes destruction and fibrosis/obliteration of the vein. This modality is minimally invasive, results in no scarring but it is very expensive. Endovenous laser ablation is a more recent technique and its mechanism of action is the same. The laser probes are marginally less expensive than radiofrequency ablation.

    Complications of surgery

    The most common complication of varicose vein surgery is recurrence of all symptoms. This can either be a recurrence of a previously treated venous system or a development of new varicosities arising. Bruising and sensory nerve injury can also occur. It results in numbness and tingling around the area of surgery but it invariably recovers.

    Varicose veins are a predominantly cosmetic problem of the legs associated with dull aching pain. If not treated in time, they may result in severe complications. If you develop this problem, it is always useful to consult your doctor for prevention of further disfigurement and complications.

    Anna L.

    It’s all about health!
    I have academic background in drugs related Chemical Technology, as well as extensive professional experience in pharma and medical companies. My main area of interest is everyday life medicine. The goal of my articles is to give people informative answers to the questions that bother them, to dispel doubts and some common misbeliefs and also to inspire everyone to keep healthy lifestyle.

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Discussion One Response

  1. November 27, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    I started to develop varicose veins on my legs about 6 months into my pregnancy. I hated them so much I knew I just needed to get rid of them. I spent about $1000 on varicose vein treatments that never ended up working. I finally did some more extensive research and found USA Vein Clinics. They use lasers for the procedure and had really good reviews, so I thought I would give them a try. I went in for the procedure, and was only in there for about 15-20 minutes and was done. The staff was very helpful, thanks to them my varicose veins are completely gone. My insurance even ended up paying for the procedure. I had a great experience with them and would recommend them to anyone! If anyone is interested, I believe they have multiple clinic locations across the US.

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