What we need to know about Varicose Veins
Varicose Veins and and spider veins are swollen, twisted veins that usually appear on the legs. Varicose veins, also known as varicoses or varicosities, occur when your veins become enlarged, dilated, and overfilled with blood. Women are more likely to have varicose veins and spider veins. Pregnancy, older age, and obesity can increase your risk of varicose veins and spider veins. Varicose veins and spider veins are often painless and do not usually cause health problems. Around 25 percent of all adults have varicose veins. In most cases, varicose veins appear on the lower legs.
Varicose veins are often on the thighs, the backs and fronts of the calves, or the inside of the legs near the ankles and feet. Spider veins, or thread veins, are smaller than varicose veins. They are usually red. Spider veins can usually be seen under the skin, but they do not make the skin bulge out like varicose veins do.
Dr. Abhijeet Soni- Consultant Interventional Radiologist, Kohinoor Hospital, said, “Varicose veins can be described as swollen and twisted veins, under the skin. It is a common problem in our country, with 1 in 3people suffering from it. People who have long-standing jobs, like traffic policemen, constables, and teachers are more prone to it, also it can be hereditary. It can cause aching and ulceration of the legs. This patient suffered from varicose veins due to long-standing hours in his job and represented with symptoms like bleeding in the left leg, owing to which he wasn’t able to walk.”
Dr. Ashish D Dhadas, varicose veins expert, Samata Hospital, Dombivli, said, "Varicose veins are enlarged, dilated, tortuous veins with defunctioning valves. They occur due to defunctioning valves in the superficial veins or the perforator veins of the legs. Majority of the patients who suffer from varicose veins are unaware of the disease pathology and the complications it can lead to."
Some treatments for varicose veins seal off or remove the vein permanently. But, over time, new varicose veins or spider veins can develop. You can't control some risk factors for varicose veins and spider veins, like your age and family history. Your doctor may advise you to wear special compression socks or stockings. These place enough pressure on your legs so that blood can flow more easily to your heart. They also decrease swelling. The level of compression varies, but most types of compression stockings are available in drugstores or medical supply stores.
Dr. Dhadas spoke about the latest treatment for varicose veins. He added, "EVLT is Endovenous Laser Treatment of varicose veins. It is painless, scarless and there are no/minimal complications. The patient can resume his/her daily activities at the earliest. Apart from EVLT, Cryo Laser and Cryo Sclerotherapy (CLaCS) recently started in India, is a revolutionary Brazilian technique for the treatment of spider veins and small varicose veins of the legs. CLaCS is a combination of different technologies like augmented reality, transdermal laser, sclerotherapy and skin cooling for local anesthesia."
Smaller varicose veins and spider veins respond best to sclerotherapy. You may be able to see improvement within a few weeks of treatment. For larger varicose veins, the visual improvement can take up to four months.