Articles on varicose veins

Varicose Veins & Its Management

Dr. Nidhi Kumar, Physiotherapist
The progressing age brings along different sets of challenges on a routine basis. They range from serious ones, nagging ones or unattractive ones. To start with, varicose veins and spider veins are commonly seen among mid 40s people. Though, varicose veins don’t present a serious health hazard but might turn out to be highly uncomfortable & may even be very painful. On the other hand, the spider veins are more likely to be unsightly. The condition of varicose veins is more common in women and is also known as varicose or varicosities. Let’s understand the basics of this phenomenon.What are Varicose veins?Varicose veins are veins that have become twisted, enlarged and overfilled with blood. They are commonly seen in legs. The veins have valves that prevent the flow of blood backwards, while leg muscles pump the blood against gravity towards the heart. The malfunctioning of these valves results in altered blood flow in veins, thus leading to varicose veins. Spider veins are a cluster of smaller veins that develop closer to the skin. They often appear as red, blue or purple with spider web like appearance.Potential causesThe causative or aggravating factors are-InheritancePregnancyObesityAdvancing ageOccupations that require long standing hours e.g. traffic policemen, etc.SymptomsThe symptoms of varicose veins may range from ropey feel in the leg due to bulge, heaviness, itching, and pain in legs which intensifies on long standing. There can be swelling & discoloration around the ankle.ManagementThe management of varicose veins & spider veins includes relieving symptoms, prevention of complications, and improved appearance through lifestyle changes. The treatment can be surgical intervention or through conservational methods. Following are few conservational methods used to manage the varicosities;Elevate your legs; to counter the effect of gravity, elevate the feet above the level of the heart. It will not only assist the flow of blood but also temporarily relaxes the valves.Weight check; obesity is a major aggravating factor of varicose & spider veins. Thus, maintaining apt weight, low salt & healthy diet may help in better management.Compression stocking; these are a highly effective method of managing varicose veins as the pressure garment reduces dilation of veins. This reducing the pressure on veins, thereby, reducing pain also.Cold fomentation; cold helps blood vessels to constrict thereby relieving stress on dilated vessels.Uncross the legs; sitting crossed legs for longer period puts additional pressure on calf muscles leading to restricted blood circulation.Avoid wearing tight waistlines; tighter waistlines hamper thorough blood circulation.Avoid long standing; if it is an occupational demand, try taking frequent breaks of sitting or move around.Exercise regularly; regular exercise routine helps in toning of muscles, which act as a natural circulatory pump.These lifestyle modifications require little but persistent effort. They can be beneficial in providing relief & reducing complications.A journey of thousand steps begins with a single step. Start walking in the direction of health & wellness, for each minute of investment in heath will reap bigger returns for a healthier tomorrow.

Varicose Veins: A Medical Condition That Can't Be Avoided!

Dr. Dhruv Kumar Rai, Radiologist
What are varicose veins?A varicose vein can be described as a vein that has lost its elasticity. In essence, it has become weak and flabby and it expands, or dilates, easily. The first sign that one of your veins has become varicose is that when you stand up, the vein becomes swollen and visible below the skin.Normally blood circulates from the heart to the legs via arteries and back to the heart through the veins. Veins contain one way valves which allow the blood to flow towards the heart, against gravity. If the valves become damaged, they leak, and the blood flows back to the legs (reflux). This causes the blood to pool in the leg veins. This excess volume of blood in the veins makes them enlarged or varicosePregnancy & varicose veinsOne of the problems that shows early in many pregnancies is the appearance of varicose veins. If the lady already has them, then she notices that they are suddenly getting much worse. There are two reasons for this:The first is that the enlarged womb presses on the veins in the mother's pelvis which slows the return of the blood form the legs to the heart. The pressure thus builds up within the veins in the legs and the pressure is thus transmitted all the way back to the surface veins of the leg which then expand.Second, we know that female sex hormones (oestrogens) relax the muscles in the veins and this also increases the tendency of the veins to expand. Interestingly, the uncomfortable varicose veins of pregnancy rapidly improve once the baby has been born and these two aggravating factors have been removed. The standard treatment of varicose veins in pregnancy is to fit the mother with full length, properly fitting elastic support stockings. Put your feet up! Raise your legs up during the day whenever possible and also sleeping with the feet raised on pillows or with the foot end of the bed raised by about 5 inches is very helpful. Once the pregnancy is over the varicose veins may be assessed wether the varicose veins, now much improved, need any treatment. If they are not too severe,treatment may be delayed until you have given birth to your last child. However, if the veins are causing discomfort, then any time from a few weeks after delivery is perfectly satisfactory for either sclerotherapy or laser treatment, whichever is right for your particular condition. Varicose veins are a progressive and irreversible condition and there is nothing yet known to medical science that will prevent them.

Varicose Veins: Treatment Options

Dr. Dhruv Kumar Rai, Radiologist
Treatment optionsThe patient with varicose veins obviously wants to know about the treatment and management options that are available at Varicose Veins Clinic. The management depends upon the stage of the varicose veins and therefor all patients do not require EVLT. The various management options are briefly outlined here. We perform EVLT & Foam sclerotherapy at our clinic.We do not perform surgical procedures for the treatment of varicose veins.In some cases, the veins are not treated at all and are best left alone. Other choices are the use of support stockings, injection treatment and laser treatment.No TreatmentIf you have only very mild varicose veins that give little, if any, trouble, your doctor will usually advise you to leave well alone. Varicose veins do not suddenly become much worse, and minor degrees of swollen veins are not subject to the various complications. Lifestyle modifications, exercise and follow up with your doctor, is all that is required.Elastic StockingsThe veins in your legs can be supported and compressed by elastic stockings, but these will not by themselves cure varicose veins.The stockings are, however, extremely useful in a number of categories.They are very helpful to elderly patients whose general health is not good enough for even the safe and fairly minor treatments used to cure varicose veins.The stockings are also useful in giving temporary relief to very overweight patients while they slim themselves down in preparation for more specific treatment.Support stockings are very valuable for the management of varicose veins during pregnancy.Compression stockings are available at our clinic.Micro foam sclerotherapyAn injection of an irritant solution will be given into penetrating, or communicating veins, called the perforators, which will set up an intense but controlled inflammation.The idea is that the body's defence and healing mechanism will immediately start to close off the blow-out by the creation of scar tissue, thus stopping the high-pressure back-flow of blood through the varicose vein and so reduce the swelling.To encourage the flow of blood from the leg and to prevent the slight risk of any extensive clotting of stagnant blood within the veins of the leg, you will be instructed to walk briskly at least 3 miles (5 kilometres) every day, starting with the day of treatment.Laser TreatmentEndovenous laser therapy (EVLT) has become treatment of choice of varicose veins. The laser pulse, from the latest 1470 nm laser fiber, is of a very short duration and destroys the veins from the inside. The vein is then removed by the body's immune system. There may be some reaction to the laser for the first 24 hours, with redness at the site, but this resolves quite quickly. This treatment is given on an out-patient basis and does not require any general anaesthesia. Mild sedation may be given in the case of patient anxiety. The patient is made to walk immediately after EVLT and is then discharged.The use of the 1470 nm laser fiber has ensured minimal patient discomfort and superior results.Advantages of EVLT & foam sclerotherapy:                                                High success rateNo hospital stay, day care procedurePerformed under local anesthesia, no general anesthesia requiredHighly affective, safe & simple to performEarly return to normal activitiesPossible complications of EVLT & SclerotherapyAs with any proceedure that is performed, EVLT and foam sclerotherapy also have their inherent risks and benefits. The possible complications of the procedure may be due to various factors. In general, the potential complications, are:Pigmentation of the skinMild pain / discomfort InfectionRecanalisation of the veinDeep vein thrombosis, etc.Most of the complications are transient and daily exercise / walking, weight loss etc., as prescribed, will help resolve most of them. In severe cases, treatment of the specific complication may be required. These complications can occur in inexperienced hands with poor ultrasound scanning technique. A typed Treatment & Discharge Card detailing the treatment given and the follow up instructions, along with the investigation reports and bills, are provided immediately after EVLT, to all patients and the provisions therein are explained to the patient. Post procedure follow up, as advised, is very important in ensuring a happy outcomeWe have not had any significant complications in our clinic.EVLT is a safe gold standard procedure with a high success rate.     

Varicose Veins: What Causes Them?

Dr. Raksha Nandagudi, Dietitian/Nutritionist
The ugly looking bluish purple veins on the legs may not be merely a cosmetic problem. Varicose veins can cause pain, swelling, discomfort and in rare cases bleeding ulcers and ruptured veins. Measures taken to combat enlarged veins in early stages can relieve the symptoms and prevent complications.Dysfunctional valves in your veins are the cause:Veins carry blood towards the heart and they have valves which prevent regurgitation. Varicose veins occur when these valves in the veins become weak and fail to prevent blood from flowing backwards. Blood begins to collect in the veins instead of flowing towards the heart. Varicose can occur anywhere in the body but its most common occurrence is in the legs as they are the farthest from the heart and even the gravity makes it harder for the blood to flow upwards.These may be the reasons for  your varicose Veins:HeredityOccupations that involve a lot of standing, such as nurses, hairstylists, teachers, and factory workersObesityHormonal influences of pregnancy, puberty, and menopauseThe use of birth control pillsPostmenopausal hormonal replacementA history of blood clotsConditions that cause increased pressure in the abdomen, such as tumors, constipation, and externally worn garments like girdles.Trauma or injury to the skin, previous vein surgery, and exposure to ultraviolet rays.They are painful:Though for some, the appearance of varicose veins seems to be only a cosmetic issue, but many people with varicose complain of pain, described as an aching or cramping in the legs. Other common symptoms include tiredness, restlessness, burning,throbbing, tingling, or heaviness in the legs. Left untreated, it can lead to swelling, ulcers and darkening of the skin, especially in the ankle region. Further it can cause rupture of veins and bleeding.How do I know, it is a varicose vein? When you meet your doctor, they can diagnose it by physical examination and your history of pain, swelling or other symptoms. Meanwhile, they may also suggest an ultrasound test to see the functioning of your veins and rule out certain other conditions like DVT. How do I treat them?The symptoms of pain and swelling are usually relieved by elevating the legs. But unresponsive cases always need non-invasive or less invasive treatments to tackle the pain and related symptoms and to prevent complications.Stockings: The most conservative approach is to simply wear properly-fitting support stockings. Support stockings help to reduce swelling and discomfort. They help the veins and leg muscles to effectively move the blood within. They are easily available and easy to wear.Dynamic sequential compression therapy:  This is a new generation non-invasive therapy which is very effective in treating venous insufficiency, lymphedema, lipedema and other swollen leg conditions. It involves a sequential pressure and release cycle and its directional compression which promotes the flow of blood upward towards the torso and assists its way towards the heart.Once again, this is a very comfortable and reliable therapy for people having varicose veins and for whom wearing support stocking for long duration seems uncomfortable and not wearable which forces  them to stop using it and worsen the condition.Life style changes: Exercise to boost circulation.  Elevate your legs at, or above, heart level. Do this a couple of times each day if possible. Avoid leg crossing. Avoid the heels and go for flats. Check your undergarments. Avoid tight panty-leg girdles. This type of undergarment tends to restrict blood flow to the legs. Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time. Lose weight, or watch your weight.Other less invasive treatments for varicose veins include Sclerotherapy, Endovenous laser treatment, Radio frequency occlusion etc.Surgical techniques to treat varicose veins include ligation (tying off of a vein), stripping (removal of a long segment of vein) and ambulatory phlebectomy.

5 Steps to Prevent Clots in Veins

Dr. Saurabh Joshi, Vascular Surgeon
We all love zipping around on a flight. It saves us a lot of time and  flying is a fun way to travel. But did you know that taking long haul flights increases the risk of developing clots in the Veins ? This is called Deep Vein Thrombosis.Here's how you can prevent clots in the veins, called Deep Vein Thrombosis.Exercise your calf and foot muscles regularly:Every half hour or so, bend and straighten your legs, feet and toes when you are seated.Press the balls of your feet down hard against the floor or foot rest every so often. This helps to increase the blood flow in your legs.Take a walk up and down the aisle every hour or so, when the aircraft crew say it is safe to do so.Make sure you have as much space as possible in front of you for your legs to move. So avoid having bags under the seat in front of you, and recline your seat where possible.Take all opportunities to get up to stretch your legs, when there are stops in your journey.Drink plenty of water to avoid a lack of fluid in the body (dehydration).Do not drink too much alcohol. (Alcohol can cause dehydration and immobility.)Do not take sleeping tablets, which cause immobility.People with untreated Varicose Veins have a higher risk of DVT. We are the premier Vein Treatment center, specializing in Vein Laser Treatments.These are our distinguishing features :Super-Specialty Consultation: Post-Doctorate Vascular Interventional Radiologists with international recognition. Colour Doppler Ultrasound done at same sitting. Short Treatment Cycle: Investigations are usually done on the same day of your first visit. If required, laser treatment can be done as soon as the next day.Reputation: We are regularly featured as a leading authority on varicose veins on TV and Press. Insurance Accepted: Laser Treatments are covered by reimbursement and cashless insurance. Corporate Health insurance is also covered.

Varicose Veins

Dr. Naman Ajudiya, Ayurveda
What Are Varicose Veins?Varicose veins are swollen, twisted veins that you can see just under the surface of the skin. These veins usually occur in the legs, but they also can form in other parts of the body. Varicose veins are a common condition. They usually cause few signs and symptoms. Sometimes varicose veins cause mild to moderate pain, blood clots, skin ulcers (sores), or other problems.Overview Veins are blood vessels that carry blood from your body's tissues to your heart. Your heart pumps the blood to your lungs to pick up oxygen. The oxygen-rich blood then is pumped to your body through blood vessels called arteries. From your arteries, the blood flows through tiny blood vessels called capillaries, where it gives up its oxygen to the body's tissues. Your blood then returns to your heart through your veins to pick up more oxygen. Veins have one-way valves that help keep blood flowing toward your heart. If the valves are weak or damaged, blood can back up and pool in your veins. This causes the veins to swell, which can lead to varicose veins.Many factors can raise your risk for varicose veins. Examples of these factors include family history, older age, gender, pregnancy,overweight or obesity, lack of movement, and leg trauma.Varicose veins are treated with lifestyle changes and medical procedures. The goals of treatment are to relieve symptoms, prevent complications, and improve appearance.Outlook Varicose veins usually don't cause medical problems. If they do, your doctor may simply suggest making lifestyle changes.Sometimes varicose veins cause pain, blood clots, skin ulcers, or other problems. If this happens, your doctor may recommend one or more medical procedures. Some people choose to have these procedures to improve the way their veins look or to relieve pain.Many treatments for varicose veins are quick and easy and don't require a long recovery. Many vein problems are related to varicose veins, such as telangiectasias, spider veins, varicoceles, and other vein problems.Telangiectasias Telangiectasias are small clusters of blood vessels. They're usually found on the upper body, including the face. These blood vessels appear red. They may form during pregnancy, and often they develop in people who have certain genetic disorders, viral infections, or other conditions, such as liver disease.Because telangiectasias can be a sign of a more serious condition, see your doctor if you think you have them.Spider Veins Spider veins are a smaller version of varicose veins and a less serious type of telangiectasias.Spider veins involve the capillaries, the smallest blood vessels in the body. Spider veins often appear on the legs and face. They're red or blue and usually look like a spider web or tree branch. These veins usually aren't a medical concern.Varicoceles Varicoceles are varicose veins in the scrotum (the skin over the testicles).Varicoceles may be linked to male infertility. If you think you have varicoceles, see your doctor.Other Related Vein Problems Other types of varicose veins include venous lakes, reticular veins, and hemorrhoids.Venous lakes are varicose veins that appear on the face and neck. Reticular veins are flat blue veins often seen behind the knees. Hemorrhoids are varicose veins in and around the anus. What Causes Varicose Veins?Weak or damaged valves in the veins can cause varicose veins. After your arteries and capillaries deliver oxygen-rich blood to your body, your veins return the blood to your heart. The veins in your legs must work against gravity to do this.One-way valves inside the veins open to let blood flow through, and then they shut to keep blood from flowing backward. If the valves are weak or damaged, blood can back up and pool in your veins. This causes the veins to swell.Weak vein walls may cause weak valves. Normally, the walls of the veins are elastic (stretchy). If these walls become weak, they lose their normal elasticity. They become like an overstretched rubber band. This makes the walls of the veins longer and wider, and it causes the flaps of the valves to separate.When the valve flaps separate, blood can flow backward through the valves. The backflow of blood fills the veins and stretches the walls even more. As a result, the veins get bigger, swell, and often twist as they try to squeeze into their normal space. These are varicose veins.Who Is at Risk for Varicose Veins?Many factors may raise your risk for varicose veins, including family history, older age, gender, pregnancy, overweight or obesity, lack of movement, and leg trauma. Family History Having family members who have varicose veins may raise your risk for the condition. About half of all people who have varicose veins have a family history of them.Older Age Getting older may raise your risk for varicose veins. The normal wear and tear of aging may cause the valves in your veins to weaken and not work well.Gender Women tend to get varicose veins more often than men. Hormonal changes that occur during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause (or with the use of birth control pills) may raise a woman's risk for varicose veins.Pregnancy During pregnancy, the growing fetus puts pressure on the veins in the mother's legs. Varicose veins that occur during pregnancy usually get better within 3 to 12 months of delivery. Overweight or Obesity Being overweight or obese can put extra pressure on your veins. This can lead to varicose veins. For more information about overweight and obesity, go to the Health Topics Overweight and Obesity article.Lack of Movement Standing or sitting for a long time, especially with your legs bent or crossed, may raise your risk for varicose veins. This is because staying in one position for a long time may force your veins to work harder to pump blood to your heart.Leg Trauma Previous blood clots or traumatic damage to the valves in your veins can weaken their ability to move blood back to the heart, increasing the risk for varicose veins.What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Varicose Veins?The signs and symptoms of varicose veins include:Large veins that you can see just under the surface of your skin. Mild swelling of your ankles and feet.Painful, achy, or "heavy" legs.Throbbing or cramping in your legs.Itchy legs, especially on the lower leg and ankle. Sometimes this symptom is incorrectly diagnosed as dry skin.Discolored skin in the area around the varicose vein.Signs of telangiectasias are clusters of red veins that you can see just under the surface of your skin. These clusters usually are found on the upper body, including the face. Signs of spider veins are red or blue veins in a web or tree branch pattern. Often, these veins appear on the legs and face.See your doctor if you have these signs and symptoms. They also may be signs of other, more serious conditions.Complications of Varicose Veins Varicose veins can lead to dermatitis, an itchy rash. If you have varicose veins in your legs, dermatitis may affect your lower leg or ankle. Dermatitis can cause bleeding or skin ulcers if the skin is scratched or irritated. Varicose veins also can lead to a condition called superficial thrombophlebitis. Thrombophlebitis is a blood clot in a vein. Superficial thrombophlebitis means that the blood clot occurs in a vein close to the surface of the skin. This type of blood clot may cause pain and other problems in the affected area.Living With Varicose VeinsVaricose veins are a common condition. They often cause few signs and symptoms. If your signs and symptoms are minor, your doctor may simply suggest making lifestyle changes.If your condition is more severe—for example, if you have pain, blood clots, or skin ulcers we recommend treatments for varicose veins are quick and easy and don't require a long recovery.For more information about lifestyle changes and medical treatment(Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Alternative Medicine & Physiotherapy) come to AROGYDEEP POLYCLINIC & LASER CENTER. +91 81405 70004