What are Varicose veins?
Varicose veins are swollen, twisted veins that you can see just under the skin.
They usually occur in the legs and feet and can form in other body parts. For example, a hemorrhoid is a type of varicose vein.
The veins have valves that keep blood flowing in one direction toward the heart. If these valves are damaged or weak, some blood flows inversely and accumulates in the vein.
Extra blood in the vein puts pressure on the vein walls. With constant pressure, the walls weaken and swell, and as a result, varicose or spider vein occurs.
For some people, varicose veins are just a cosmetic concern. While for other people, this issue can cause pain and discomfort, and sometimes it may lead to more severe problems.
What are the symptoms?
Sometimes, varicose veins cause no pain, but there are some signs that you have varicose veins
- Veins that appear with a dark purple color or blue color
- Veins that appear twisted and swollen; are like ropes on the legs
While at other times, they may cause some pain and other symptoms
- Aching and heaviness in the legs
- Swollen feet and legs
- Burning or throbbing
- Muscular spasms, especially at night
- Itchy skin around the affected area
- Skin discoloration
These symptoms of Varicose veins worsen during warm weather, at night, or when a person has been standing up or sitting for extended periods.
Furthermore, you may notice spider veins similar to varicose veins but smaller.
Spider veins usually occur on the legs and feet, are closer to the skin’s surface, and are often red or blue. They differ in size and often resemble a spider’s web.
What are the factors that increase the risk of having varicose veins?
Some factors that may increase the risks of developing the issue include:
The risk of this problem increases with age. This is because aging causes weakness in the veins’ valves that help control blood flow.
The weak valves allow blood to flow back into the veins, which collects instead of flowing up to the heart.
Women are more likely to develop the problem than men because female hormones relax vein walls.
Hormonal changes in women during pre-menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause may be factors to develop this issue.
Furthermore, hormone medications, like birth control pills, may increase the risk.
3- Family history:
If You have family members who had the problem, there’s a higher chance you will have it too.
Excessive weight puts extra pressure on the veins, leading to the problem.
5- Other factors:
You are sitting or standing for a long time because the blood doesn’t flow well if you’re in the same position for long periods.
What are the expected complications for varicose veins?
Although they are rare, they can include:
Sometimes, veins in the legs enlarge, and the affected leg may become painful and swell.
Any permanent leg pain or swelling needs medical attention because it may indicate a blood clot.
Rarely, veins very close to the skin may blow up, which causes minor bleeding. However, any bleeding needs medical attention.
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How do you prevent it?
There’s no way to avoid varicose veins entirely. However, improving circulation and muscle tone may decrease the risk of developing the issue.
Some of these tips include:
- Exercise regularly
- Avoid overweight
- Follow a healthy diet like a high-fiber, low-salt diet
- Avoid high heels and tight socks
- Elevate your legs
- Change your sitting or standing position regularly
How are varicose veins diagnosed?
To diagnose the problem, you need to meet your doctor, who will:
Do a physical examination,
including looking at your legs while standing to check for swelling.
- Ask you to explain any pain and aching in your legs.
- Asking about your medical history.
- Ask for an ultrasound test.
At the end of the consultation, your doctor can determine your condition and whether you need treatment.
If so, you will discuss the appropriate remedy with your doctor.
It is essential when getting any treatment; you feel safe with experienced specialists.
Trust in HayatMed clinic.
Our dermatologists are trained to achieve the best varicose veins treatment field results.
What are the available options for varicose vein treatment?
Not all kinds of varicose veins always need treatment. If this problem does not make you discomfort, you may not need treatment.
- to reduce symptoms in case you experience pain or discomfort
- to treat complications, like leg ulcers, or skin discoloration
- for cosmetic concerns
Treatment options range from self-care to surgery. Your vascular specialist may use one or more of these remedies according to your condition.
Self-treatment for varicose veins
Self-care may reduce the pain and prevent the problem from getting worse.
However, self-treatment cannot remove existing varicose veins or spider veins.
Self-care tips include:
- Exercise regularly
- Get rid of excess weight
- Avoid wearing tight clothes
- Elevate your legs
- Avoid long sitting or standing; if necessary, you should move around every 30 minutes.
Compression stockings for varicose veins
These stockings put fixed pressure to help move the blood back to your heart more efficiently.
The static pressure also reduces swelling in the lower legs and decreases the risk of getting a blood clot.
Compression stockings can prevent the problem from worsening but will not remove the current leg veins.
If you need compression stockings, your dermatologist can check your leg and recommend the proper size and pressure.
If you don’t respond to natural remedy, or if your condition is more severe, your doctor may recommend one of the invasive treatments, including:
It is the most commonly used treatment for leg veins.
Your vascular specialist will inject small and medium-sized varicose veins with foam or solution that scars and closes the veins during this procedure.
In a month, treated varicose veins should fade.
The same vein may need to be injected more than one time.
This method is safe and effective if done correctly; it doesn’t require anesthesia and can be done in your doctor’s clinic.
A foam solution injection of a large vein is also a treatment to close and seal a vein.
Recently, new technology in laser treatments has been used to close off small varicose and spider veins.
This treatment works by sending intense bursts of light onto the vein, making the vein slowly fade and disappear.
This treatment involves heating the varicose vein wall using radiofrequency energy.
Your doctor will access the vein during the procedure through a small incision just above or below the knee.
Then they will guide a narrow tube into the vein using an ultrasound scan.
Next, the doctor will insert a probe into the catheter that sends out radiofrequency energy.
Heating the vein will continue until its walls collapse; then, the doctor will close it and seal it shut.
Once the vein has been closed, your blood will naturally be redirected to one of the healthy veins.
Your doctor may recommend you wear compression stockings for up to a week after this procedure.
This procedure involves having a catheter inserted into the vein and using an ultrasound scan to guide it into the correct place.
During the procedure, your doctor will pass a tiny laser through the catheter and position it at the top of the varicose vein.
The laser sends short bursts of energy that heat the vein and seal it closed. Then the doctor will pull the laser slowly along the vein using the ultrasound scan to guide it, which allows the entire length of the vein to be closed.
This procedure is carried out under either local or general anesthetic.
Surgery for varicose veins
The surgical procedure is usually the last option if all the available treatments cannot improve your problem.
The surgical solution is ligation and stripping to remove the affected veins.
This surgery is usually carried out under general anesthetic, which means you will be asleep during the procedure and not feel any pain.
It is performed by tying off the vein in the affected leg and removing it.
The surgeon will make two small incisions. The first one will be near the groin at the top of the varicose vein.
While the other one will be down the leg, around the knee.
Your surgeon will tie up the top of the vein and seal it.
Then they will pass a thin, flexible wire through the bottom of the vein and pull out and remove it through the lower cut in the leg.
This procedure may cause some complications, like any other surgery.
Your doctor will recommend you wear compression stockings for up to a week after surgery.
Why should you choose HayatMed?
Selecting your dermatologist based on quality, skills, and experience is essential.
At HayatMed, we have the best vascular specialists in Turkey who can diagnose your condition accurately and determine the appropriate treatment for you.
Contact us for more information about the best treatments for varicose veins and their costs.