Varicose veins are easy to spot with highly visible ‘bulging “ on both sides of the legs. They are defined as distended branches of the major veins in the leg and usually present as visible bulging veins on the legs when sitting or standing and tend to reduce in the lying down position.
It is precisely the visible nature of the condition that has led people to focus simply on eradicating the surface signs without addressing the underlying cause.
Although Varicose veins appear superficially,it happens because the deeper veins in the legs have lost their essential valve function allowing blood to flow the wrong way down the vein. Hence any treatment aimed at dealing with the superficicial problen without investigating and treating the underlying cause is bound to fail!
The risk of varicose veins increases with age due to wear and tear of the Valves in the veins that regulate blood flow. Eventually that wear causes the valves to allow some blood flow back into the veins where it collects instead of flowing up to the heart.
Women are more likely to develop varicose veins. Hormonal changes during pregnancy, premenstruation and menopause may be a factor because hormones tend to relax the vein valves.
Some of the other major causes of varicose veins are:
Family history: If other family members had varicose veins, there is a greater chance you will too.
Obesity:Being overweight puts added pressure on the veins.
Standing or sitting for long periods of time: Your blood doesn’t flow as well if you are in the same position for prolonged periods of time
Self-care:Such as exercising, losing weight, not wearing tight clothes, elevating your legs, and avoiding long periods of standing or sitting — can ease pain and prevent varicose veins from getting worse.
Compression stockings:Wearing compression stockings all day is often the first approach to try before moving on to other treatments. They steadily squeeze your legs, helping veins and leg muscles move blood more efficiently. The amount of compression varies by type and brand. You can buy compression stockings at most pharmacies and medical supply stores. Prices vary. Prescription-strength stockings also are available. Additional treatments for more-severe varicose veins
If you don't respond to self-care or compression stockings, or if your condition is more severe, your doctor may suggest one of these varicose vein treatments:
Sclerotherapy: In this procedure, your doctor injects small- and medium-sized varicose veins with a solution that scars and closes those veins. In a few weeks, treated varicose veins should fade. Although the same vein may need to be injected more than once, sclerotherapy is effective if done correctly. Sclerotherapy doesn't require anesthesia and can be done in your doctor's office.
Endovenous Laser Treatment: Doctors are using new technology in laser treatments to close off smaller varicose veins and spider veins. It's performed by inserting a laser directly into the varicose vein, and delivers bursts of energy that heat up the vein and seal it closed. It's far less invasive than traditional surgery and promotes faster recovery. Similarly, radiofrequency energy may be used.
Catheter-assisted procedures using radiofrequency or laser energy: In one of these treatments, the doctor inserts a thin tube (catheter) into an enlarged vein and heats the tip of the catheter using either radiofrequency or laser energy. As the catheter is pulled out, the heat destroys the vein by causing it to collapse and seal shut. This procedure is the preferred treatment for larger varicose veins.
High ligation and vein stripping: This procedure involves tying off a vein before it joins a deep vein and removing the vein through small incisions. This is an outpatient procedure for most people. Removing the vein won't adversely affect circulation in your leg because veins deeper in the leg take care of the larger volumes of blood.
Ambulatory phlebectomy: The doctor removes smaller varicose veins through a series of tiny skin punctures. Only the parts of your leg that are being pricked are numbed in this outpatient procedure. Scarring is generally minimal.
Endoscopic vein surgery: You might need this operation only in an advanced case involving leg ulcers if other techniques fail. Your surgeon uses a thin video camera inserted in your leg to visualize and close varicose veins and then removes the veins through small incisions. This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis. Varicose veins that develop during pregnancy generally improve without medical treatment within three to 12 months after delivery.
Ulcers:Extremely painful ulcers may form on the skin near varicose veins especially at the ankles. Ulcers are caused by long term fluid build up in the tissues caused by increase pressure of blood within affected veins
Blood clots:Occasionally veins deep within the legs become enlarged. In such cases the leg may swell considerably. Any sudden leg swelling warrants immediate medical attention because it may indicate a blood clot.
Bleeding:Occasionally bleeding may occur due to bursting of the veins close to the skin.