VARICOSE VEINS - A GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING AND PREVENTING THEM
Varicose veins are a common problem that can affect adults of all ages. About half of people over the age of 40 have some degree of varicose veins, and though most people don’t experience symptoms, they can cause serious health problems in the long-term. In this article, we will cover a few ways to identify varicose veins and what you can do to prevent them from getting worse. We'll also discuss treatments available if you find that they're interfering with your daily life.
WHAT ARE VARICOSE VEINS?
Varicose veins are a swelling of the vein that can cause a lump beneath the skin. They're often seen as a blue or purple bulge, and they can be painful if they're near any joints. The good news is that varicose veins don't always have to be treated. Your doctor will determine whether you need treatment by examining your symptoms and checking your history of the problem.
APPROXIMATELY HALF OF ADULTS HAVE VARICOSE VEINS
Varicose veins are a common problem. If you have them, they may not even cause any symptoms. But people with varicose veins are at risk for more serious health problems in the long-term. There are many treatment options available to help you get rid of your varicose veins. You can also take preventative steps to make sure they don't get worse.
TREATMENTS FOR VARICOSE VEINS
Luckily, there are a number of treatments available to help prevent and reduce the appearance of varicose veins.
Lifestyle changes: One of the most effective ways to prevent or reduce the appearance of varicose veins is by making lifestyle changes that can reduce pressure on your veins. This includes quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, and losing weight. These three changes alone can help relieve some pressure on your veins and make them less noticeable.
Sclerotherapy: In this procedure, a doctor injects a chemical solution into the vein which causes it to collapse and eventually disappear. This treatment is typically reserved for larger or more visible veins as it can take up to six weeks for you to see any difference in size or visibility.
Vein stripping: This procedure uses an instrument to remove a section of vein from where it emerges from beneath your skin all the way down to just below your knee. It’s usually recommended for those who have large varicose veins as it can be used as a long-term preventive measure as well as a treatment for those with symptoms such as cramping, leg heaviness, restless legs syndrome or difficulty walking.
Incisional surgery: In this surgery, a doctor actually cuts out sections of diseased superficial vein from the surface layer of skin and then stitches them together leaving behind small scars that will fade over time (typically about six months). The surgery doesn't require general anaesthesia but does require hospitalization and recovery time after the surgery.
HOW TO PREVENT VARICOSE VEINS FROM GETTING WORSE?
Varicose veins can be prevented with a few easy steps, like wearing supportive hose. Support hose are designed to help restrict the flow of blood back up your leg and alleviate pressure on your veins. You should also avoid crossing your legs, avoid standing for long periods of time, and try to elevate your legs when they feel tired or heavy.
Dr. Venu Gopal Kulkarni
MS, MRCS, FRCS
Consultant Vascular and Endovascular Surgeon
For Appointments, Call: 040 4477 7700