What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are swollen and twisted veins that can appear close to the skin’s surface. They are most common in the legs as standing and walking can increase pressure in these veins. Some people see them as a cosmetic issue while others experience pain and discomfort. In severe cases, they can lead to additional health problems. Treatment options range from self-care to procedures performed by healthcare providers to remove or close the veins.
Varicose veins occur when the valves in the veins are weak or damaged. Blood flows from the heart to the rest of the body through arteries and is returned to the heart through veins in the legs, which must work against gravity. The muscle contractions in the lower legs help pump the blood, while the elastic walls of the veins aid in its return to the heart. The tiny valves in the veins open to allow blood to flow toward the heart and then close to prevent it from flowing backward. However, if these valves are damaged or weak, blood can soak in the reverse direction, pooling in the veins and causing them to stretch or twist.
Types of varicose veins
Varicose veins come in different types, each with distinct features. This is because there are various types of veins in the body; not all appear the same when they become varicose. Here are some common types of varicose veins:
Saphenous varicose veins: These veins affect the saphenous veins in the legs, causing them to significantly enlarge and bulge out from the skin, appearing large and rope-like. They can be colorless but are noticeable due to their protrusion. Reticular varicose veins: These veins spread like a mesh and cover a wider area of the skin. They are typically thicker and appear in red, green, or purple hues.
While they don’t necessarily bulge out, they can still be unsightly. Spider veins: These are smaller veins, usually red or blue in color, that are common anywhere on the body. They spread in a web shape rather than a mesh shape and are smaller and thinner than other varicose veins.
Symptoms of varicose veins
Varicose veins may or may not cause pain, but can be recognized by the following symptoms:
Dark purple or blue veins appear twisted and bulging, often resembling cords on the legs. An aching or heavy feeling in the legs Burning, throbbing, muscle cramping, and swelling in the lower legs Increased pain after prolonged periods of sitting or standing Itching around one or more veins Changes in skin color around the varicose vein
In addition, spider veins are a milder form of varicose veins, often red or blue, and appear closer to the skin’s surface. They can appear on the legs or face, and resemble a spider’s web.
Cause of varicose veins
Some common factors that can contribute to the development of varicose veins include:
- Advancing age over 50 years
- Prolonged standing
- Family history of varicose veins.
How to prevent varicose veins?
Here are some tips to prevent varicose veins:
- Exercise regularly to improve blood flow in the legs.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Follow a low-salt diet to prevent swelling.
- Wear low-heeled shoes and avoid tight clothing.
- Raise your legs above heart level periodically throughout the day.
- Avoid long periods of sitting or standing and change positions frequently.
Treatment Options for Varicose Veins
Varicose veins don’t have a cure, but the following treatments from the best vascular doctor can minimize their appearance and alleviate discomfort:
Elevation: Raising your legs above your waist several times a day can enhance blood flow and reduce pressure in the veins. Compression stockings: Wearing supportive stockings or socks that compress the veins can alleviate discomfort and prevent veins from stretching by promoting blood flow.
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Sclerotherapy: In this procedure, a healthcare provider injects a solution into the vein that causes the vein walls to fuse together, eventually turning into scar tissue and disappearing. Laser therapy: In a minimally invasive endovenous thermal ablation procedure, a thin tube (catheter) and laser are used to close off a damaged vein. Vein surgery: This procedure, also called ligation and stripping, involves the surgeon tying off the affected vein to prevent blood pooling, and potentially removing the vein to prevent varicose veins from recurring.
Choose Dr. Ashish Airen for varicose veins treatment
Dr. Ashish Airen is a highly experienced and skilled doctor for varicose veins treatment in Jaipur. He is dedicated to providing quality patient care and ensuring the best possible outcomes. With years of training and after having done many vascular surgeries, he is equipped with the knowledge and expertise to diagnose and treat this condition effectively. Patients can trust Dr. Ashish Airen to provide the highest standard of care and a personalized approach to their treatment. If you are seeking effective and compassionate care for varicose veins.