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Frequently Asked Questions About Vascular Diseases

What are the main causes of varicose veins?

Varicose veins are caused due to the malfunctioning of valves that restrict the flow of blood back to the heart. This increases the pressure in the area affected, resulting in pooling of blood. Although varicose veins affect legs and feet usually, they can also develop on face and arms.

What problems do varicose veins cause?

Varicose veins cause problems like leg swelling, restless leg syndrome, skin discolouration, pain, and blood clots. Patients also experience a throbbing or itching sensation and a feeling of heaviness. They are common and are more likely to affect women than men.

What happens if you don't treat varicose veins?

Lack in treatment can worsen the situation and lead to the formation of chronic venous insufficiency and leg ulcers. In some cases, blood clots may develop in deep veins, which is termed as Deep Vein Thrombosis. If remains untreated, it can lead to other life-threatening medical conditions.

Is Varicose veins hereditary?

Yes, those who have a family history are at a comparatively higher risk of developing varicose veins. This condition of varicose veins tends to run in families and women are at a higher risk of getting affected.

What are the symptoms of varicose veins?

The common symptoms of varicose veins are: heavy or achy feeling in the legs, itching or throbbing sensation, swelling and muscle cramping in lower legs, skin discolouration, and restless leg syndrome.

How to diagnose varicose veins?

If you suspect that you have varicose veins, without any delay visit a vascular expert. The doctor begins with medical check-up and physical examination. Some tests may also be recommended.

Which is the best treatment for varicose vein?

It is for your vascular doctor to decide the course of treatment. Endovenous laser ablation treatment is a preferred treatment option. It is a painless and minimally invasive procedure that seals the damaged veins without affecting the healthy ones.

What is the best procedure to remove varicose veins?

Varicose veins cannot be removed but the damaged veins can be sealed. The best procedure to do is the Endovenous laser ablation technique. A small cut is made on the surface of the skin in this procedure.

What are the side effects of Endovenous laser ablation?

Endovenous laser ablation technique is a commonly performed procedure with a high success rate. Like any other surgery, it does carry certain risks but rarely has side effects.

How much does endovenous laser ablation cost?

We offer world-class medical treatment at affordable charges. The cost of endovenous laser ablation may vary from one person to another, depending on the severity of the condition. We have tie-ups with insurance providers for a hassle-free cashless mediclaim experience.

How painful is laser treatment for varicose veins?

The laser treatment procedure for varicose veins is painless and minimally invasive. It is a non-surgical process that is performed under local anaesthesia. As there is no cut, no scar and no stitches, the procedure is painless.

Is endovenous laser treatment safe?

Yes, endovenous laser ablation treatment is absolutely safe. At our centres, all the procedures are US FDA approved. Endovenous laser ablation treatment is a painless and minimally invasive procedure with no scarring. It is performed as an outpatient procedure.

How long does laser ablation take?

Performed as an outpatient procedure, the endovenous laser ablation treatment doesn’t take too much time. One doesn’t need to be hospitalised. At our centres, the laser ablation is performed in one sitting.

Can I walk after vein ablation?

Yes, you can walk after the endovenous laser ablation treatment. The vascular surgeon will give you a list of dos and don’ts. Usually, people go back home the same day and resume normal daily activities from the next day itself. One has to avoid strenuous workouts.

Can varicose veins reappear after laser treatment?

There are very low chances of varicose veins coming back after the laser treatment. However, some people may develop varicose veins even after the treatment. They may require a long-term management plan.

Is the Glue treatment suitable for everyone?

Your doctor can help you decide if Glue treatment is the right procedure to treat your varicose veins. It may not be suitable
for individuals with the following conditions:
•Acute Thrombophlebitis (inflammation of the wall of a vein with associated blood clots)
•Acute sepsis (inflammation caused by an immune response to an infection)
•Pregnant ladies and pediatric patients
•If your veins have had surgery or sclerotherapy performed on the targeted veins

Is the procedure painful?

Most patients feel very little pain during the procedure.

How soon can I resume normal activities?

Most patients return to normal activities immediately. However, avoiding strenuous activities is generally recommended for a few days after the procedure.

What happens to the glue injected during the procedure?

The quantity of glue used is very little and over time the human body creates scar tissue around the adhesive and keeps the vein permanently closed.

Will there be bruises or scars at the injected site after the procedure?

Normally patients report little-to-no bruising after the procedure.

I am diagnosed with Lymphedema. Will it ever go away? Can I get a complete cure?

Once the lymphatic system of our body is affected, a major complication that can develop is Lymphedema. With proper medical intervention, care, and treatment the condition can be quite effectively controlled and managed. However, recurrences are common. Lymphedema is a progressive disease, and early diagnosis and treatment are paramount if better outcomes are expected.

Can I identify the signs and symptoms of Lymphedema and detect it at the onset?

Signs and symptoms associated with Lymphedema can be different in different people. In the early stages, lymphedema often resembles general edema and is frequently dismissed as a simple swelling or edema. During the beginning stages, pitting is clear, the skin is soft, and limb elevation assists in resolving the edema. As the disease progresses, pitting ceases to be visible, the skin hardens, and elevation does not relieve the swelling.

How is Lymphedema treated?

The treatment for lymphedema aims at reducing the swelling and minimize the discomfort that patients experience. Treatment often involves physiotherapy, decongestive therapy, compression therapy, and medication, banging, and exercise. A lymphedema care specialist can suggest a combinational treatment therapy based on the stage and severity of the disease.

How can I tell if I have Lymphedema?

When the functions of body’s lymphatic system get disrupted, it undermines the ability to drain fluids properly and excess fluids starts to build up. A condition called lymphedema occurs which causes swelling in various body parts and largely in the arms or legs. Fingers and toes may retain fluid and begin to swell. 

The swelling often begins in the feet and ankles and progresses up the legs to the knees. Affected area may feel itchy, with a burning sensation and occasional fever

Is Lymphedema hereditary?

Primary lymphedema, referred by conditions like Milroy’s disease, Meige’s disease or late onset lymphedema, results from genetic factors that occur due to the improper development of body’s lymph vessels. Patient maybe symptomatic at birth or later in life. However, it can also be caused by radiation, physical trauma, or after a surgical procedure.

Is lymphedema and edema different?

Edema is a clinical term in medicine in which excess fluid is trapped in your body tissues. Edema can be the result of pregnancy, medications or an underlying condition like congestive heart failure, kidney disease or cirrhosis of the liver, vein conditions or even severe long term protein deficiency. The chronic accumulation of edema in one or both lower extremities often indicate venous insufficiency. Medication to remove excess fluid, and reducing the salt content in your diet can help to reduce the edema.

On the other hand, lymphedema occurs due to a defective lymphatic system. In lymphedema, an accumulation of fluid settles around the legs and calves making the legs bulging, heavier, and bigger. Decreasing the pressure in the venous system by removing water from the venous system does not help reduce lymphedema.

Why can’t the excess fluid be drained off?

In lymphedema the swelling dose not collect as a single pool of fluid. The lymph is continuously formed in the tissues where it spreads generously. Hence, drainage becomes difficult as it is quickly replaced.

Why diuretics have little effect on lymphedema swelling?

Positive short-term effects are possible with diuretics when the water content is removed from swelling. Eventually, it provides a negative impact as the dehydration effect of diuretics leaves more concentration of protein mass in the lymph fluid that further draws more water to the swollen area when the diuretic wears off.

Hence, diuretics, also known as water pills, are avoided in the treatment.

I have lymphedema. Can I exercise? Will the swelling aggravate if I do?

Exercise is safe. However, you must ensure that you wear your compression while you exercise as it increases the efficiency of the muscle in moving the fluid from your limbs, trunk, or face. Without bandages or compression garments, the increased circulation and production of lymph fluid will tend to collect in the swollen areas. 

For more clarity on the disease and information on the treatment options, do visit out center and talk to our expert doctors at Avis Vascular center.

Is Manual lymphatic drainage effective for Lymphedema treatment?

Lymphedema is the swelling of the skin and underlying structures below the skin, due to accumulation of a fluid called Lymph. Manual lymphatic drainage is a light lymph massage performed by a trained professional, quite different from a standard massage and is designed to increase lymph flow from the end of the limb to other parts of the body and is very effective.

Does cancer and its treatment increase the risk of Lymphedema?

Secondary Lymphedema due to malignancies or malignancy-associated treatments is common. Lymphedema often occurs in breast cancer patients who had all or part of their breast removed and axillary (underarm) lymph nodes removed.

It is also common with related treatments for uterine cancer, prostate cancer, lymphoma, or melanoma and malignancy of head and neck.

Are there any risks involved in Glue therapy for vein closure?

Glue therapy is a relatively new treatment for varicose veins and related vein problems found effective like any other treatment alternative. During the procedure, an adhesive is injected along the veins in small amounts which normally dissipates into the body over time.

Though very rare, some studies have reported a very low risk of the glue causing allergy and skin damage, or possible infections, requiring it to be removed by a surgical operation.

After the glue treatment, what are the chances of recurrences of varicose veins?

New varicose veins may develop over the years and it can happen with any other treatment procedure. The veins may re- grow in the areas where treatment was done or a new system of veins may turn problematic. This can be addressed with another session of treatment.

After the glue treatment, can I drive back home?

Probably, not a good idea to drive yourself back home after the procedure. If you were under sedation, it is generally recommended to avoid driving for next 24 hours.

What is a major advantage of glue treatment over the alternate treatments?

During glue treatment, there is no need for multiple injections of anesthetic fluid.

Unlike other treatment procedures, glue treatment does not necessitate long term compression bandaging or stocking to be worn over the veins that have been glued. Compression needs to be worn only for a day or two to minimize the bruising following the treatment. This is a major relief to the patients.

Can I immediately walk after the treatment? Is it advisable?

Following the procedure, you will be encouraged to go for a walk. This is recommended in order to eliminate the remote chances of developing DVT. You can resume your normal activities immediately, but avoid strenuous exercises for 48 hours.