July 24, 2024

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What Are Varicose Veins And How Are They Treated?

How Varicose Veins Are Treated

For many people, varicose veins are simply a cosmetic concern, while for others they can be a cause of excruciating pain and discomfort. Varicose veins can also lead to life-threatening consequences if left untreated. 

Coconut Creek, FL nurse practitioner along with experienced varicose veins specialists offer state-of-the-art vascular solutions to manage the condition. 

Overview of varicose veins 

Varicose veins are defined as bluish-green, or reddish-purple bulged, twisted veins found in your lower leg, feet, and ankles. Although they appear aesthetically unsightly, varicose veins are not dangerous for many. But, for some people, it can lead to serious health problems, such as blood clots, if left untreated. 

Aetiology and risk factors for varicose veins

Varicose veins usually occur due to weakened vein walls that stretch and bulge. This disrupts the one-way valve system of the veins, preventing the blood from flowing back to your heart, leading to blood pooling. As a result, the veins swell and give a bulged appearance. This phenomenon is known as chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). 

Several factors can contribute to varicose veins and CVI such as:

  • Family history
  • Females beyond 35 to 40 years
  • Prolonged standing or sitting 
  • Being overweight (obese)
  • Certain health conditions like constipation
  • Hormonal imbalance as seen in pregnancy
  • Using restrictive clothes and footwear

Varicose veins- patient complaints

The most common patient complaint is the appearance of unaesthetic, bluish-green, bulging, twisted veins in the lower leg. 

Other symptoms include:

  • Muscles in your leg feel heavy
  • The skin around varicose veins is itchy and dry
  • Legs may be painful, achy, or sore, especially behind the knee
  • Your legs, ankles, and feet appear swollen 
  • Brown discoloration in your skin, and ulcerations if varicose veins are left untreated 

Modalities and techniques to treat varicose veins

Doctors would recommend minimally invasive procedures based on your lifestyle, needs, and expectations from the treatment. 

These include:

Sclerotherapy

  • This procedure involves injecting solutions into the affected vein that irritates the inner lining of the veins.  
  • This causes scarring of the membrane to shut the vein. 

Endovenous laser ablation

  • Beans of lasers are targeted on the affected veins shrink them and build up scar tissue. 
  • The blood will eventually flow through healthy veins in the area.

Phlebectomy 

  • This procedure can remove the affected veins through tiny incisions or punctures in the skin surface.

Takeaway

Varicose veins can be debilitating if not diagnosed and treated early. Currently, minimally invasive procedures are increasingly popular since they offer accurate results, minimal hospital stay, and quick recovery with fewer post-op complications.