Varicose veins are the veins that is twisted and swollen ones which mainly be seen behind the knees. At first varicose veins may be visually disturbing but with time they could cause pain. If a blockage occurs than it is followed with swelling, pain, discoloration (redness, bruising) in the feet and legs. Varicose veins are more common amongst women and in old age, rate increases.
What are the causes of varicose veins?
Standing up for a long time is one of the main reasons and it is mostly seen in people who are constantly standing, like teachers and health personnel. Blood pools in the feet due to gravity and this leads to veins to expand in the feet, calves, thighs. Best preventative recommendation to people with these occupations would be using compression socks which help blood to return from the legs to the heart, preventing blood from pooling in the feet and legs.
- Pregnancy: Due to the weight gained during this period and the baby occupying a large space in the abdomen, the pressure in the abdomen increases, and as a result, return of the blood in the feet and legs to the heart could be problematic. Blood that cannot return to the heart in sufficient quantity accumulates in the feet and legs.
- Obesity: Occurrence is same as in pregnancy, due to the loss of intra-abdominal fat, return of blood to the heart is not sufficient.
- Some birth control pills, especially estrogen-containing ones, can cause blood to clot in the vein and cause the vein to become blocked
- Constipation: People who are constantly constipated, excessive pressure could increase the intra-abdominal pressure and cause blood to pool in the feet.
- Tight clothes: Clothes that squeeze the abdomen around the abdomen with an external pressure can cause varicose veins.
- Geriatric: Collagen structure of the skin, subcutaneous and around the vessels deteriorates which results with blood flowing towards the heart.
- Genetics: Genetic mutations with incorrect DNA production related diseases increases the risk of clotting which can lead to varicose veins.
What Are The Symptoms Of Varicose Veins?
Blue purple discoloration in the feet and legs, pain relief when raising the feet, painful swellings covering the feet and legs due to the swelling of the veins or itching and numbness in the legs. In the presence of such complaints, immediate consultation of cardiovascular surgeon is necessary.
What Are The Types Of Varicose Veins?
There are 3 types of varicose veins. Beginning phase is the superficial capillaries that form in the skin that named telangiectasias. These are generally caused by damage to capillaries. It can be seen during pregnancy and in women using various hormones. Second one is the reticular varices. These are more common in the posterior arch of the knee and around the ankle which is slightly raised from the surface in blue colour. The third one is the vein varicose, caused by problems in the main vein in the leg, called saphenous vein. It is visible on the skin, fluffy and curved, causes discomfort to the patient with its display.
How To Prevent Varicose Veins?
Primarily, all the determinant that cause varicose veins should be eliminated.
- If the patient performs his/her job standing up or has a genetic pre-disposition to varicose veins, he/she should wear compression socks, which would be useful in transmitting the pooled blood in the legs towards the heart.
- Constipation to be refrained, and diet should be consisted of fresh vegetables and fruits.
- The person should do regular exercises and prevent the blood from pooling in the legs by accelerating the blood flow. In addition to the muscles contract with the exercises, the veins create pressure around the vein and allow the blood to move within the vein.
- If the patient is overweight, he/she should lose weight.
- Clothes that will tighten the abdomen should be avoided, blood flow should not be prevented.
- If the patient will be standing for a long time, then he/she should rest by raising legs.
- In situations that require prolonged sitting and lying down, the legs should be moved frequently.
How to diagnose varicose veins?
The diagnosis of varicose veins is determined by a radiological imaging method, which uses sound waves showing the leg veins called lower extremity venous doppler ultrasonography, performed by a radiologist. Harmful radiation rays are not used in this screening and there are no negative side effects.
How to treat varicose veins?
In general, operations are performed with local anesthesia. The oldest method is the surgical removal of the veins that cause varicose veins. In addition, the foam method is also used nowadays. In this method, the varicose vein is entered with a catheter and the substances called sclerosing substances, which cause hardening of the vein, and result in the drying of the curved and enlarged veins, are injected.
Apart from these methods, various techniques such as entering the vein with a catheter and burning the vein by sending laser beams or radio waves through this catheter are used.