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Varicose Veins - Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins, also called as varicosities, are swollen blood vessels that appear to bulge out on your skin’s surface. It appears as blue or purple bulges that commonly occur in your lower body such as legs, feet and ankles.

For many people, varicose veins aren’t dangerous and are just a cosmetic issue. For others, these are extremely discomforting because it can be quite painful and itchy around the affected areas. Severe varicose veins may even lead to serious health issues like non healing wounds , large ulcers, infection and bleeding.

That’s why we, at SLVC Clinic, are here to help you understand varicose veins. In this article, we’ll look at this condition in detail – causes, diagnosis and also the treatment that we offer to help you overcome varicose veins.

What can cause varicose veins?

Varicose veins are caused when the blood pressure increases in the veins. It commonly occurs when the valves in your vein weaken or damage. This results in blood constantly getting collected in the veins. Thus, it tends to enlarge the veins in your body.

Sitting or standing for long time periods causes the blood to pool in the leg veins, thus increasing the pressure within the veins.

What are the associated risk factors of varicose veins?

Varicose veins are most common if your family has a medical history of varicose veins. As per the research, varicose veins commonly affect 3 out of 10 people and occur in women and older adults.

The following are the risk factors associated with varicose veins:

  • Obesity or overweight
  • Pregnancy
  • Inactivity (sitting or standing for longer periods)
  • Family history
  • Lifting heavy weights for long period. 

What are the symptoms of varicose veins?

In this section, we will look at the symptoms of varicose veins.

For many people, varicose veins may not cause any pain but appear in your body. Here’s how to identify this condition:

  • Blue or purple coloured veins
  • Twisted and bulging veins usually appear in the legs

For others, varicose veins can be quite painful. Some of its signs and symptoms include:

  • Sharp pain and the feeling of heaviness in the legs
  • Itchiness around these veins
  • Cramps and swelling in the lower section of the legs
  • Burning sensation around the affected area
  • Pain gets worse after sitting or standing for a long time period
  • Skin colour changes around varicose veins

People may also experience spider veins. The spider veins are a common and mild variation of these varicose veins. They appear in blue or red colour and often look like a spider’s web in your lower legs.

What are the complications for varicose veins?

Varicose veins can typically develop into serious health conditions. It can cause ulcers, bleeding and skin discolorations if you do not take proper care. Varicose veins also affect the ability of your veins to pump blood to your heart.

People suffering from the condition of varicose veins are more likely to develop blood clotting. You may suffer from severe complications if you don’t see any professional vascular expert. Some of these complications include:

  • Superficial Thrombophlebitis – It is quite a painful condition that is caused due to blood clots forming inside the varicose veins.
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) – It may turn out to be quite a serious condition that occurs due to blood clots in deep veins of your body.
  • Pulmonary Embolism – It is a life-threatening condition that is caused due to blood clots in your body and onto the lungs in your body.

How are varicose veins diagnosed?

Once you visit a professional, there is nothing to worry about because they will diagnose and suggest a treatment plan. SLVC Clinic has professional vascular interventional radiologists who provide comprehensive care plans to diagnose and treat the condition of varicose veins.

A professional expert will examine the varicose veins while making you sit and stand. They will ask you about your pain or any other symptoms you’re facing. There are tests like ultrasound and venogram to assess the blood flow as well as the condition of your veins. 

These tests help ensure that there is no blood clot or a possibility of another disorder that is causing the pain in your legs. 

How can varicose veins be treated?

There are 6 stages of varicose veins:

  • C1 – Spider Veins
  • C2 – Varicose Veins
  • C3 – Swelling
  • C4 – Skin Changes
  • C5 – Healed Ulcer
  • C6 – Venous Stasis Ulcer

Depending upon the stage of your varicose veins condition, you’ll be provided with the treatment option.

Here are some effective ways to treat varicose veins, depending on your condition:

Changes in lifestyle

For mild or early detection of varicose veins or its variation (spider veins), professional experts will advise you to make some changes in your lifestyle.

These are the following lifestyle changes you can do to help prevent varicose veins:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Wear compression socks or stockings
  • Avoid continuously standing or sitting for longer time periods
  • Regularly exercise to improve the blood circulation

These changes will certainly help treat the condition of varicose veins. However, if you’re experiencing some severe issues, your provider will suggest other treatment plans.

Surgery

If varicose veins are causing immense pain and irritation, your healthcare professional may recommend you for an invasive surgery such as vein ligation and varicose vein stripping. During the surgery, your varicose surgeon makes a cut in your skin. They cut the varicose veins and remove them via incisions. 

Please note that this surgical process is quite traditional and not done at SLVC Clinic. At SLVC clinic we provide non-surgical treatments as mentioned below.

Endovenous Laser ablation Therapy – EVLT

Endovenous laser therapy uses heat from a laser to block off varicose veins. This procedure involves minimum hospital stay.

Your vascular interventional radiologist will numb the area where they will place the catheter with the laser fiber into your vein. As they pull out the catheter, the laser will heat up your affected veins and close them up. These veins will eventually get shrunk and your varicose veins condition will get treated.

The procedure takes less than an hour. You will not need any stitches in this surgical treatment and be allowed to go after a few hours once the expert ensures everything is fine.

How varicose veins can be prevented?

If you want to stay away from the condition of varicose veins, then you should focus on improving the blood flow as well as maintaining the right muscle tone in your body. Here are some of the prevention techniques that we recommend:   

  • Regularly exercising to stay fit
  • Avoid wearing high heels or tight hosiery clothing
  • Lower your salt intake and eat a diet rich in fibers
  • Change your habits of constant standing or sitting.
  • Keep an eye on your weight by constantly measuring it

These are small yet effective techniques to help you prevent varicose veins. However, if you are facing any difficulties or have some questions, you can always contact SLVC Clinic. We will surely help you out.

Don’t worry, SLVC Clinic is near you!

We want to let you know that you’re not alone dealing with varicose veins. This is a common condition that occur in many people and some of them even don’t face any kind of complications from them. However, if you happen to face any kind of varicose veins issue or discomfort, you can try home treatments or lifestyle changes as mentioned in this article. Or, you can also reach out to us.

We, at SLVC Clinic, have professional vascular interventional radiologists, who will take care of you in effectively diagnosing and treating your varicose veins. Once the diagnosis is complete, we create a personalized treatment plan and provide specialized care in helping you recover faster.

SLVC Clinic is the first and only vascular clinic in Navi Mumbai and we take great pride in keeping you healthy and fit. For more details, you can reach out to 

SLVC Vashi Clinic

Shop No. 17, Gagangiri Apartment

Behind Maru Gift Shop, Sector – 17

Vashi, Navi Mumbai

Maharashtra – 410210

Or you can call us at (+91) – 8369559053

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