Varicose veins is a condition that relates to the development of enlarged or swollen veins on the legs. The condition is triggered by either faulty vein valves or weak vein walls, that prevent the normal flow of blood towards the heart. The resultant pressure buildup causes venous insufficiency that can be treated only via self-care measures or sclerotherapy and/or radio-frequency treatment.
The symptoms manifest in the form of:
- Feeling of heaviness in the legs.
- Telangiectasia or spider veins.
- Swelling of the ankles.
- Stasis dermatitis or venous eczema.
- Restless legs syndrome.
- Atrophie blanche.
Though varicose veins are known to be benign, if neglected, they could result in severe varicosities. The pain leads to a gradual inability to walk or stand to meet vocational demands. Resultant dermatitis predisposes skin loss―and skin ulcers near the ankle could convert into venous ulcers. Severe bleeding, blood clotting or thrombophlebitis, and fat necrosis occur, making daily chores quite an ordeal.
This condition could be treated with any of the following procedures:
- Non-surgical treatments like sclerotherapy (directly injecting medicine into the affected veins), wearing of special elastic stockings and regular exercise.
- Surgical treatments like vein stripping (removing the saphenous vein mass), radiofrequency ablation, and endovenous laser treatment.
The condition is more common in women than in men. It is further aggravated during pregnancy, menopause, aging, and abdominal straining. The veins could swell up to more than 2.5 mm in diameter. The symptoms can be controlled with the help of anti-inflammatory medication like aspirin and ibuprofen. Topical applications for thrombophlebitis and compression hosiery helps contain the condition. Medical intervention helps both, the surgical and non-surgical lines of varicose treatments. Self-care helps a lot in the treatment procedure, and involves the adoption of a lifestyle change that accommodates:
- Regular exercise.
- Conscious weight loss.
- Preference for loose clothing.
- Elevation of the legs while resting or sleeping.
- Adopting regular use of compression stockings.
The goal of any treatment option adopted is to reduce the symptoms and effectively reduce the risk of developing complications. The size of the varicose veins largely determines the treatment option. Larger ones are treated via dedicated surgery, and in some cases, doctors even prescribe a combination of treatments.