Varicose veins are enlarged and swollen veins that are prominently visible on the skin surface. These bluish-purple veins usually occur on the legs and feet but can also develop on the arms and face.
Varicose veins occur due to malfunctioning valves that restrict the flow of deoxygenated blood back to the heart. This results in excessive blood pooling and increased pressure in the affected area.
As per the reports of numerous medical studies, it has been cited that women are more likely to develop varicose veins than their male counterparts. The risk of developing varicose veins also increases with growing age.
People who have a family history of a venous disorder or those who are obese and have a sedentary lifestyle are at a comparatively higher risk. Other risk factors for varicose veins include pregnancy, smoking, hormone therapy, and any medical history of a blood clot.
It has also been noted that people who have a job that requires them to sit or stand for long durations at a stretch have a greater chance of developing varicose veins at a much younger age.
In a few cases, varicose veins do not produce any symptoms. For most other people, varicose veins are accompanied by pain and severe swelling in the affected area. Patients also experience itching and a throbbing sensation along with a feeling of heaviness.
Skin discoloration (venous eczema) is another prevalent sign of varicose veins. Patients also complain of immense pain after sitting or standing for a long time. RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome) is also commonly reported in varicose veins patients.
Delay or lack of treatment is known to worsen the symptoms and lead to the formation of difficult-to-heal leg ulcers and chronic venous insufficiency. In some extreme cases, blood clots are likely to develop in the deep veins. This condition is known as Deep Vein Thrombosis. Treatment is essential to prevent other life-threatening medical conditions.
The vascular expert will begin the medical check-up with a physical examination. He/she will check for the presence of any swollen or enlarged veins in the affected area. The doctor will also ask you to describe the pain, discomfort, and other symptoms that you may be experiencing.
As varicose veins are known to be a genetic disorder, the doctor is likely to question you about the medical history of your family and any past incidence of a blood clot. Always share the correct medical details with your vascular expert.
In most cases, the doctor will ask you to undergo a color doppler examination which is similar to an X-Ray scan. This helps the doctor to look closely at the malfunctioning valves and check for the presence of blood clots.
Endovenous Laser Ablation
The painless and minimally invasive treatment for varicose veins is now possible with the help of laser technology! This process is called endovenous laser ablation technique.
In this procedure, a small cut is made on the skin surface. From this tiny cut, a catheter and a laser fibre are inserted into the affected area. The heat from the laser fibre is then used to close off the damaged veins.
The body reabsorbs the damaged veins and automatically reroutes the blood to the neighboring healthier veins. The laser removal of varicose veins is performed as an outpatient procedure and there is no need for the patient to get hospitalized.
It is a safe procedure that is performed with local anesthesia. It does not require general anesthesia. There is only a minimal chance of any side effects or recurrence of varicose veins.
Glue Treatment for Varicose Veins
Dramatic improvements in the treatment modalities for varicose veins are observed in recent years. In earlier days vein stripping was the single mode of treatment, where the damaged vein was removed under general anesthesia and it took several weeks for the patient to fully recover. Today, vein stripping is rarely performed. Next came a minimally invasive thermal ablation procedure, in which laser or radiofrequency was used to treat and seal the varicose veins. However, this involved multiple injections of local anesthesia.
The most recent development in the treatment of varicose veins is the use of a medical “glue” for treatment. This simple method basically glues the varicose veins and the body then naturally reroutes the blood through healthy veins in the area, while reabsorbing the shut vein. The reabsorption causes the vein to disappear.
Varicose veins Symptoms, Causes and Advance Treatment
What are the main causes of varicose veins?
Varicose veins are caused due to 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 comparatively higher risk of developing varicose veins. This condition of varicose veins tends to run in families and women are at 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.