October 15, 2022

Varicose Veins – What you should know

Varicose veins  what most people commonly call phlebitis, phlebitis, “broken vessels” or varicose veins – are essentially veins (vessels) in the skin that have become dilated (enlarged and visible under the skin) for some reason that will explained immediately below and is an indication of increased venous pressure where they appear. 

With the feet being the most common area of ​​the body where varicose veins are seen, it is estimated that approximately ½ of the population will experience varicose veins at some point in their adult life. This rate increases dramatically with age (about 8 in 10 older people). 

Although it is a condition that most affects a person’s aesthetic image, often having an impact on their psychology and self-confidence, it can also be a sign of a more serious, underlying condition that should be diagnosed and treated. 

Causes of Varicose Veins 

So far, the exact causes of the appearance of varicose veins have not been clearly defined. However, based on the data so far, heredity and hormones (especially in women who are going through a phase of life that disrupts their normal hormone levels, such as pregnancy), as well as some natural causes, such as surgical incisions, may cause their appearance. Various medical conditions also seem to be linked to causing varicose veins. 

Symptoms of Varicose Veins 

In terms of symptoms, varicose veins usually do not cause noticeable symptoms. In rarer cases, the patient may experience a feeling of heaviness, small-scale pain, edema (swelling), itching and/or a burning sensation at the site – symptoms that are usually local and mild. Patients who do experience some varicose veins-related symptoms notice a gradual worsening of their symptoms in the middle and as nighttime approaches, especially in the summer months. They may also feel pain, cramps and restlessness in the legs just before or when they lie down at night to sleep. 

As already mentioned above, in most cases, varicose veins are more of an aesthetic problem. For this reason, the existence of severe symptoms should concern the attending physician, who will look for the possible existence of other factors that may be responsible for these symptoms. 

Diagnosis of coronary arteries 

In addition to the clinical picture and examination of the vessels, the attending physician will take into account the complete history of the patient to identify any causes that may indicate the existence of a pathological condition or a disease. 

In combination with an ultrasound of the venous system to rule out venous insufficiency, the treatment for varicose veins is investigated and planned with the method of percutaneous transillumination and other methods, both classic and more innovative, for a more effective and radical treatment. 

Vascular treatments 

One of the most common, effective and safe treatments for varicose veins is sclerotherapy, during which a drug is injected into the affected vein to eliminate insufficient subcutaneous and intradermal veins. 

The results are visible within 4-6 weeks of applying the treatment. As for the number of sessions that will be needed to fully restore the problem, this is determined by the size and number of the vasculature, as well as how the vasculature responds to the administered substance/medicine. 

Other treatments applied to treat varicose veins are thermocoagulation (through a very fine needle, the doctor transmits high-frequency waves to the affected area, shrinking the vein) and skin laser. 

Prevention of varicose veins 

Of course, the best cure is prevention. For this reason, it would be good to avoid a sedentary life and long hours of standing and to adopt a healthy lifestyle in general, which will include mild daily exercise (eg, walking). Also, whenever possible, try to rest your feet in a position above the level of the heart, do not expose them to the sun, and do not wear tight shoes or clothes. Of course, if your doctor recommends you wear compression stockings, you should follow his instructions to the letter.