Varicose veins are a common condition among Indians. Each year, varicose veins affect about 5 percent of the Indian population. The condition is characterized by enlarged or swollen veins on the feet and legs, often on the lower legs. However, varicose veins may also appear in other parts of the body. Although they do not constitute a serious medical problem, varicose veins cause a lot of discomforts, not to mention acting as a source of embarrassment. Moreover, they can trigger the development of more serious medical conditions if not addressed. Varicose veins come about due to damaged valves in your veins. As a result, there is either a backward flow of blood or stagnation altogether. The affected veins become swollen and enlarged. They also turn red or bluish-purple in color.
Varicose veins can also be caused by diseased or injured valves. Other causes of varicose veins include pregnancy, genetics, and being overweight. To prevent varicose veins, it is advisable that you adopt lifestyle habits that will reduce the pressure on your veins, especially if the varicose veins are located in the lower parts of your legs. This can happen if you regularly stand or sit for long periods. Regular exercise and dietary modification to correct weight also help. Varicose veins can also be corrected through a surgical procedure.
What are the causes of varicose veins?
Varicose veins can be a result of several factors. They come about due to disrupted or weakened veins and valves in your legs. Consequently, your valves stop functioning normally. This results in the collection of blood in your legs. The condition can also be triggered by the following:
If there is a history of varicose veins in your family, you are at a higher risk of getting diagnosed with the condition than an individual who does not have a family history of this medical problem.
As one gets older, the valves in your veins also weaken. Weak veins cannot function properly, and this may trigger the development of varicose veins.
During pregnancy, you are highly prone to a rise in blood pressure. This might cause your veins to enlarge.
If you are a smoker, there is the risk that you could damage your blood vessels, including valves and veins. When your valves and veins malfunction, this leads to the varicose veins.
During menopause, there is a fluctuation in the levels of the female hormones. The rise and fall of progesterone and estrogen might trigger the development of less flexible and thickened vein walls.
Lack of movement
If you have a habit of either sitting or standing for long, this puts a lot of pressure on your veins as they try to pump blood to the heart. As a result, your veins could get weakened over time, in effect resulting in the development of varicose veins.
What are the symptoms of varicose veins?
Some people who have varicose veins report feeling pain and discomfort. In other people, however, such pain is not evident. Some of the signs and symptoms of varicose veins include:
- Your veins have a blue or dark purple color
- Your veins bulge out, and they have a twisted appearance to them
- Swollen legs
- You are also likely to develop a rash
- Skin discoloration
- The affected area turns dark
- Skin dryness or thinning out
Painful varicose veins may present with the following signs:
- An aching or burning sensation on your legs
- Your lower legs might swell, or you could develop muscle cramping
- The pain is likely to exacerbate after standing or sitting for a prolonged period of time
- Your varicose veins might start to bleed
- Formation of blood clots
- Skin inflammation and color change. In particular, the color change or discoloration is evident around the affected area
- One or more of your veins may develop an itching sensation
- Your feet and ankles may swell
For some people, their varicose veins worsen during warm conditions. Other people develop swollen feet and ankles after standing for a very long time. However, these symptoms will get better if they elevate their legs or take a rest.
How are varicose veins diagnosed?
A simple physical examination is enough for your doctor to give a diagnosis of varicose veins. In this case, your doctor will check if there is any swelling on the back of your legs. Your doctor may also take your medical history, as this will enable them to determine whether there are any risk factors that might predispose you to the development of varicose veins. These include age, pregnancy, genetics, and occupation. You may also be asked to describe any situation that worsens your varicose veins. For instance, some women report that their varicose veins worsen when they are having their monthly periods.
Your doctor may also order a Duplex ultrasound scan to establish the cause. The test provides a vivid picture of the veins in your leg via high-frequency sound waves. The test is painless and often takes about 30 minutes on each leg. It evaluates the amount of blood that is flowing back into each of your legs. It also determines the valve function in the groin area. In case there is any blood clot in your veins, this test will also reveal them. This is in addition to showing the flow of blood in your veins. In case of a damaged valve, the specialist is in a position to notice this.
Treating varicose veins
Varicose veins may not always cause any discomfort. If you do not feel embarrassed by the sight of your varicose veins and they are also not a source of discomfort, you need not seek any medical treatment. On the other hand, in case the condition presents with symptoms such as discomfort, pain, swelling of the legs, and discoloration, there is a need to seek medical attention. This will help to avoid complications that may accompany varicose veins. In treating varicose veins, your doctor will mainly focus on two goals:
Easing the symptoms – In this case, treatment is geared towards easing the discomfort or pain brought about by the varicose veins
Addressing complications – If not treated, varicose veins can cause skin discoloration and swelling. In rare cases, varicose veins can also cause leg ulcers. It is important, therefore, to address the symptoms as soon as they become apparent to avoid an exacerbation of the condition
Once your doctor has determined that you require treatment for your varicose veins, he or she can recommend that you first try home remedies. These include:
- Regular exercising
- Elevating your legs while resting
- Minimize sitting or standing for a very long time
- Compression stockings
Not everyone would benefit from compression stockings. Your doctor would have to conduct a Doppler investigation to determine your blood circulation before recommending their use. The way compression stockings work is that they gradually squeeze your legs, thus promoting blood circulation. Compression stockings are tighter around the ankle region but become loose as you move up the leg. This promotes an upward blood flow. Compression stockings relieve the discomfort, swelling, or pain due to varicose veins. In case your legs get dry as a result of using compression stockings, it is recommended that you use a moisturizing cream.
Ensure that you replace your compression stockings after 3-6 months for increased effectiveness
This treatment of varicose veins entails a sealing of the affected veins. This can be done via radiofrequency ablation or laser treatment.
The procedure entails the use of radiofrequency energy. The heat is directed at the walls of our varicose veins. To access the affected vein, your doctor will make a small cut slightly below or above your knee. Thereafter, your doctor inserts a catheter with a probe attached to it. The probe is responsible for relaying radiofrequency energy. The walls of your varicose veins get heated by radiofrequency energy to the point of collapse. This promotes the sealing of the vein. The blood will then flow to any other healthy veins, naturally.
The procedure can be conducted either under general anesthesia or local anesthesia, depending on your preference. Your surgeon will discuss these options with you at length before the procedure so that you can make an informed decision. The procedure is characterized by a few side effects, such as the sensation of pins and needles but it is short-lived.
After radiofrequency ablation, your surgeon will recommend that you wear compression stockings for the duration of 1-week port surgery.
During this procedure, your doctor will insert a catheter into the affected vein. There is an ultrasound scan that is attached to the catheter for purposes of correct positioning. Your doctor will then pass a tiny laser via the catheter onto the top of the varicose vein, where it is positioned.
The vein gets heated through laser energy. This energy is delivered in short bursts, effectively promoting the sealing of the affected vein. Once this is done, your surgeon will then pull the laser along the sealed vein. Again, the ultrasound scan guides your surgeon with this activity. In this way, the vein gets closed in its entirely.
The procedure takes place under general or local anesthesia. Following a laser treatment for your varicose veins, you are likely to have a tightness sensation in your legs. Moreover, the affected area could feel pain and get bruised. There is also the risk of nerve injury, albeit temporarily.
After laser surgery, your doctor will encourage you to take a brisk walk for about 30 to 60 minutes. You may have developed bruises after the procedure but you need not worry as these should disappear within 2 weeks. We will make arrangements for your transport back home after the procedure.
After treatment for your varicose veins, it is important that you get as much rest as possible, to promote faster healing. Avoid extraneous activities such as swimming or sporting activities. Avoid standing or sitting for prolonged periods of time. Whenever you take a rest, make sure that your leg gets elevated to promote the flow of blood. Also, do not engage in vigorous physical activities such as climbing stairs or running.
The following activities would also be helpful:
- Place an ice pack on the affected area to minimize swelling. This can be done for 15 minutes.
- It is important that you check the incision site daily
- Make sure that the incision site does not come under any direct contact with water for at least 48 hours
- Avoid taking hot baths for the next 1-2 weeks
- Avoid lifting heavy objects but keep active
Your doctor might recommend over-the-counter medication to minimize pain. Make sure that you take the medication as prescribed. Do not take any medication without the doctor’s prescription.
We will request that you come back for follow-up appointments. During this period, the doctor will order an ultrasound to ascertain that the procedure was a success. It is advisable that you honor this appointment. You are also free to call us in case the swelling worsens or if there is any sign of infection.
Varicose veins, commonly known as spider veins appear as bulging and twisted bluish and sometimes purplish veins beneath the skin surface. They are extremely painful and may cause bleeding as well. A varicose vein may also rupture and develop into ulcers that may need immediate medical attention. Varicose veins generally appear with age and are more common in women than men. It may also appear due to weight gain, prolonged pressure on veins due to standing or sitting in the same position, or a family history of varicose veins.
Benefits of Laser Surgery in Bangalore
- Minimally invasive procedure
- Low cost
- Minimum side effects
- Fast recovery
- Complete healing after surgery
How can goficure help in the treatment of varicose veins in Bangalore?
Fortunately, in Bangalore, there are many hospitals and medical facilities that provide quick and safe treatment for varicose veins. If you are searching for a good doctor or a medical facility to treat your condition, you can contact us at goficure. Goficure is a Bangalore-based healthcare service provider. We have tie-ups with some of the best doctors and medical practitioners in Bangalore.
Our medical providers are trained professionals and have extensive experience in providing guidance and counseling to patients. Varicose veins may be treated through self-care or compression stockings, and if the condition is severe, surgery may be needed. In Bangalore, we can provide you the best doctor and medical services. We will handle everything from booking doctor’s appointments, diagnostic tests, insurance coverage for surgery, hospital care, and postoperative care. So, if you are in Bangalore and seeking the best care for varicose veins, do contact us. We will be happy to help.
1. Dedicated Medi-Pal
A dedicated Medi-Pal is assigned to you. Your Medi-Pal will be your one point contact throughout the treatment and post-op period. They will always be available for you
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Your Medi-Pal would ensure quick recovery. This includes booking your follow up consultations and helping you with doctor-recommended steps for diet & exercise
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