Overview.

Varicose veins are swollen veins that are a blue or purple color. They show through the skin, usually on the legs and feet.

Normal vein vs varicose vein

The superficial veins lie below the surface of the skin. The deep veins pass through the deep tissues of the legs. They transport blood from the legs and feet back up towards the heart. The superficial and deep veins are connected by perforator veins.

The deep veins run between the muscles of the legs. Contractions of these muscles when you move your legs and ankles help to squeeze the blood back up towards your heart.

Veins also have valves that prevent the blood from flowing back towards your feet.

Varicose veins are thought to develop when the valves don’t close properly. If the valves don’t work properly, the blood is able to flow backward. Blood pools in the vein, causing the vein to stretch. This is called a varicose vein.

Symptoms.

Varicose veins may cause symptoms such as aching, itchiness or swelling of the ankles. However, often they don’t cause any symptoms. The main problem is usually their appearance.

  • Discolored Skin
  • Throbbing
  • Aching/cramping
  • Itching
  • Skin Infections
  • Bleeding
  • Ulcers

Treatment.

Most cases of varicose veins can be treated with the following procedures:

These procedures can be done in your doctor’s office require no large cuts and have a short recovery period. You may need more than one treatment over several weeks to see results.

Sclerotherapy.

Sclerotherapy

Sclera therapy works best on smaller veins and spider veins, in this procedure a chemical is injected into the vein. The chemical irritates and scars the vein this causes the vein too close off and fade away.

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Surface treatments using laser or micro electric devices.

Surface treatments

The surface laser and micro electric treatments are used to treat smaller veins near the skin surface, in these procedures the heat from small bursts of laser light or electric current make the vein fade away.

Phlebectomy.

Phlebectomy

A phlebectomy is also used to treat smaller veins near the skin surface. During a phlebectomy a tiny cut is made in the skin over the vein then the vein is pulled out and removed.

Endovenous ablation.

Endovenous Laser Treatment

The Endovenous ablation is a procedure to treat deeper varicose veins, in this procedure, a flexible tube called a catheter is inserted through. A small cut into the vein the catheter is used to send heat from either laser light or radio waves into the vein. The heat closes off the vein and causes it to fade away.

Stages

On rare occasions, your healthcare provider may advise a more invasive procedure such as vein stripping it’s usually performed in a hospital and may require more recovery
time.

Usually, two or three cuts are made in the skin over the damaged vein then the vein is tied off and pulled out through the lower cut.

As with any procedure, there are risks as well as benefits talk to your health care provider to see what type of varicose vein treatment may work best for you.