Varicose veins

Problem

Although predisposition to varicose veins is mainly genetic, the problem may also develop as a result of inappropriate diet, lack of physical activity, and sedentary lifestyle. Veins of purple or blueish-green color are very conspicuous and responsible for unsightly appearance of legs. Varicose veins are formed as a result of improper function of venous valves which should close when blood flowing towards the heart is regurgitated. When they fail, blood starts flowing downwards and the high pressure burdens the vessel walls. As a consequence, veins become dilated and deformed leading to varicose veins.

Symptoms

Varicose veins are a very unsightly disorder which occurs most commonly after the age of 45 years and affects both women and men. However, the disorder is much more prevalent in women; according to the statistics, every one in three women may be affected.  Formation of varicose veins may be associated with side effects such as skin itching or muscle contractions. The disorder may lead to dangerous disorders such as deep vein thrombosis, and therefore women and men with excessive venous dilation should report for a specialist consultation. At advanced stage, varicose veins are manifested not only by visible subcutaneous thickening, but also by strong pain and local erythema. In addition, impingement or inflammatory lesions may occur within calves and ankles as well as leg discolorations.

Treatment

Since it is practically impossible to obliterate varicose veins in a non-invasive manner, a vascular surgery procedure is required. These may include endovenous laser treatment (EVLT) and sclerotherapy; both procedures consist in closing the veins with defective valves. EVLT is a professional and very effective procedure; patients regain full fitness two weeks after the procedure. Sclerotherapy consists in a special chemical substance being injected into the vein; the procedure does not require anesthesia. However, only small vessels and spider veins may be obliterated by the latter technique.

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