Varicose veins are enlarged and twisted veins seen on the skin, also known as varicosities. These veins can occur anywhere in the body but generally more common in legs.
How varicose veins occur?
Normally there are two systems in the body, one is arterial that carries blood away from the heart and another is venous that returns to the heart. In that case the blood flows against the gravity to reach in the heart from legs. Veins have a valve that maintains the flow of blood towards the heart and prevent backflow. When these valves damage then blood start leaking back into veins and results in enlarged swollen veins known as Varicose veins.
Almost 30-40% population is suffering from this condition due to multiple factors especially due to the sedentary lifestyle. Women have more tendency to develop varicose veins mainly during pregnancy which results in pressure on the main vein called Large Vena Cava by the gravid uterus that results in the increment in venous pressure in legs and results damaged to the valve.
The General Causes of Varicose veins are:
- Prolong standing or sitting
- Genetic Factors
- Secondary to Deep Vein Thrombosis
- Hormonal factors
Varicose Veins Symptoms:
In most of the cases, there is no pain in these veins. So common symptoms include:
- Veins appear a bit twisted, swollen and lumpy
- The color of the veins changes to dark purple or blue
However, if the problem prolongs, some patients may also experience the following symptoms:
- Pain in legs.
- Heaviness in legs.
- Swelling in ankles.
- Discoloration of skin around the affected area.
- Sometimes the skin around the affected area gets itchy and gets redness.
- Restless leg syndrome.
In most of the cases, doctors can easily detect Varicose veins by physical examination as these veins are easily visible due to their dark coloration. The doctor also checks the swelling in the veins when the patient is standing.
The doctor will always do Doppler ultrasound in your first visit to know about the status of vein and valves. Color Doppler is a non-invasive and very handy tool that provide exact information in very less time, almost 20-30 minutes. With the help of the ultrasound, the doctor can easily check the direction of blood flow and the presence of any blood clots or any other obstruction in the veins.
Treatment for Varicose Veins:
The treatment of Varicose veins depends on multiple factors such as
- Status of the disease (CEAP Class)
- Body Habitus
- Associated comorbid conditions
1. Conservative Treatment Methods:
Almost 70-80% of the patient will get benefit from these methods. These are the following conservative methods:
- Exercise to strengthen the calf muscle
- Keep weight within normal limits
- Avoid prolong standing or sitting
- Compression Stockings: These are special shocks which create positive pressure and help in blood circulation. Many varieties are available in the market and come in pre-customized or customized forms.
2. Definitive treatment:
Surgery: At the advanced stage, it is a conventional method in which multiple cuts are given at skin and vein is removed by pulling; called ligation and stripping.
3. Minimal Invasive Treatments:
In the era of minimally invasive treatments, there are many options in the basket.
- Endovenous laser treatment called ‘EVLT’: It is the most common technique in varicose veins treatment. In this, a laser fiber is inserted in the entire vein by small pin hole under USG guidance and local anesthesia. A fiber generates heat which destroys the vein lining and results in collapse and permanent closer. Thus these abnormal veins get bypassed by normal circulation.
- Radiofrequency ablation called ‘RFA’: Recently, a new technology has been introduced that is highly effective in curing and minimizing varicose veins in lesser time. This is a highly non-invasive treatment therapy as it uses radio waves, instead of the laser. As the name suggests, it involves “ablation”. This technique does not cause any damage to any other part or tissue of the body. RFA treatment helps treat the issue using heat created from RF. This heat is sent into a vein using the catheter. The catheter is inserted into the vein and removed when the treatment is done.
- Mechanochemical ablation called MOCA: It is the most recent technique available with us. It works on different principal from LASER and RFA. In this case, mechanical damage to intima is done by multiple prongs by injecting liquid agents called sclerosant leads to chemical ablation. Moreover, there is no involvement of heat as like in RFA and EVLT.
Advantages of these new Varicose Veins Treatments:
- Faster Recovery as compared to traditional surgical methods.
- Less or No Scar on the affected area after treatment.
- No need for Anaesthesia.
- OPD procedure.
- No Post Operative Pain hence, the patient can resume his/her working from the next day.
|Hospital Stay||2-3 Days||1 day||1 Day||6 Hours|
|Recovery Time||One week||2-3 days||2-3 days||1 day|
|Post Operative Pain||High||Mild||Minimal||Nil|
|Complication like Infection etc||High||Low||low||Very low|
|Anesthesia||Spinal Or General||Local||Local||Local|
How to prevent Varicose Veins?
One should follow a few simple tips in order to prevent the development of varicose veins. Some of the effective varicose veins prevention tips are as follows:
- Go for a regular exercise.
- Avoid conditions like obesity or being overweight.
- Avoid standing in the same posture for long.
- Do not cross your legs while sitting.
- Keep your feet slightly raised while sleeping.
- Get treatment from highly experienced and skilled team.
- Friendly and comfortable environment.
- Latest technologies for effective treatment.
- Tied up with numerous insurance companies so you can tie up for insurance via TPA.