What Are Varicose Veins?
Sometimes, because of age, health, or genetics, people develop varicose veins on their legs. These large, rope-like bulges on the surface of the skin are caused by weaknesses in the veins of the legs. When a vein becomes weak blood ends up getting stuck within it, causing it to expand, twist, and contort. This is usually referred to as ‘pooling.’ This can happen up near the groin, in the thighs, calves, and feet!
Fortunately, this is a treatable condition!
Symptoms of Varicose Veins
When left untreated, Varicose Veins usually end up being sources of discomfort. A few of the major symptoms are listed below:
• Painful, Itchy, Fatigued legs
• Edema, or swelling
• Skin Discoloration
• Superficial Phlebitis (bruising on the skin from blood-clots)
• Ulcers and Sores on the legs
• Pelvic Congestion Syndrome
Causes of Varicose Veins
Unfortunately, Varicose Veins is one of the most prevalent vascular diseases in the world, and one of the main risk factors is genetics… that means you may not be able to completely avoid it. However, if you notice the some following things are present in your lifestyle, you may be able to proactively battle the disease, and delay its advance.
• Excessive sitting
• Excessive standing
• High fat/grease diet
Some other common correlations seen are:
• A history of vascular disease
• A genetic history of Varicose Veins
• Deep Vein Thrombosis’s
Varicose Vein Treatment
Varicose Veins have been around for a long time, so the treatment options are well studied and all viable. However, it should be noted that the best treatment is prevention, which requires an active, healthy lifestyle.
• Conservative Treatment
Conservative Treatment involves using compression stockings and massages to manage the swelling in the legs. There is also a physical regiment that your doctor will discuss with you—it usually consists of light walking and exercise every day.
Sclerotherapy is a process in which solution is injected into problem veins—forcing them to clot naturally and letting the body do the rest of the work. This is usually done with ultrasound, but can also be done conventionally.
• Endovenous Ablation
Endovenous Ablation is performed with a small catheter. This catheter is placed in front of compromised veins to seal them off. An infrared laser is then used to cause the catheter to expand and stop blood flow.
• Ambulatory Phlebectomy
Ambulatory Phlebectomy is the surgical removal of diseased varicose veins. This is done with various small incisions along the legs and veins, and is minimally invasive.
Your doctor should discuss which approach is best for you, as well as address any concerns you may have.
If Varicose Veins are Left Untreated
When left untreated, Varicose Veins can cause a condition known as Deep Vein Thrombosis. Although this is rare, it is a pain in the butt! (no pun intended)