Best Hospital for Vascular Disease Treatment in Chennai

Varicose Veins: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Varicose vein is a very common condition with about 25 percent of all adults having it appear on the lower legs. Varicose veins also known as varicosities occur when veins become enlarged, dilated and overfilled with blood making it typically look like swollen and raised ropes that are bluish-purple or red in colour underneath the skin. Varicose veins develop when the valves in the veins do not work properly, and the blood does not flow back as effectively, allowing the blood to pool within the damaged veins. Varicose veins may not need immediate treatment for health reasons, but if symptoms cause discomfort and complications, best treatment for varicose veins in Chennai is available as conservative and minimally invasive management. 

Causes of varicose veins

Blood vessels that carry blood from various parts of the body to the heart are the veins. Healthy veins have a series of one-way valves that keeps the blood flowing in the direction against gravity and towards the heart that keeps the veins functioning properly. Varicose veins occur when the one-way valves fail to prevent blood from flowing backward, collecting blood in the veins rather than continuing towards the heart and causing enlarged veins.

The veins in the legs are the farthest from heart and work much against gravity making it harder for the blood to flow upwards and hence varicose veins occur more often in the legs. Superficial veins that lie just beneath the skin of the legs are the most common place where varicose vein develop, mainly because of problems in the vein junctions present in the upper thigh, behind the knee and in the calf muscle region. Varicose veins are also found in other parts of the body such as haemorrhoids in the anus or rectal area. While there is no definite cause for varicose veins, there are a number of factors that can contribute towards causing varicose veins, which include:

  1. 1. Increasing age, where the natural wear and tear on the veins due to older age can lead to weakened valves. 
  2. 2. Family history plays the role of genetic predisposition.
  3. 3. Being female, because female hormones make the walls of veins relax more, making valves more prone to leaking in women more than in men. 
  4. 4. Obesity puts extra pressure on the valves of veins present in legs.
  5. 5. Pregnancy, because uterus applies pressure to the large vein that carries blood back to the heart from feet and legs.
  6. 6. Circulatory problems, such as blood clots or thickening of blood vessels.
  7. 7. Injury or trauma can cause inflammation of the veins.
  8. 8. Menopause, as the hormonal fluctuations of oestrogen and progesterone during the many years and phases can make vein walls less flexible.
  9. 9. Lifestyle factors such as jobs that involve standing for prolonged periods of time, like nurses, flight attendants and teachers, are at higher risk of developing varicose veins that needs to be addressed for varicose vein laser treatment in Chennai

Symptoms of varicose veins

The primary symptoms of varicose veins are highly visible, misshapen veins, usually on the legs, sometimes with swelling and discoloration. Besides the outward appearance of these veins, symptoms that can cause concern are:

  • 1. Bulging or twisting of the affected vein
  • 2. Pain or aching legs especially after sitting or standing for lengthy periods 
  • 3. Swelling in the legs specially the ankles
  • 4. A feeling of heaviness and muscle fatigue in the legs especially after exercise or while sleeping
  • 5. Red, dry, flaky, itchy skin around the area of affected veins 
  • 6. Leg cramps at rest, that gets worse at night called restless leg syndrome
  • 7. Prolonged bleeding after a minor injury to the affected area 
  • 8. Fat under the skin just above the ankle can become hard, resulting in the skin shrinking
  • 9. Irregular white patches of skin that appear around the area

Varicose veins is a condition where proper blood flow is undermined and though complications are uncommon, patients are prone to risk of complications that include venous ulcers, thrombophlebitis, DVT, varicose eczema and lipodermatosclerosis.

Treatment for varicose veins

Varicose veins can be initially treated through conservative management that involves lifestyle changes, compression therapy and home remedies. Some individuals wanting to get rid of ugly veins may also want treatment for cosmetic reasons. If varicose veins are large and troublesome, they may need to be surgically removed. Varicose vein treatment cost in Chennai usually depends on the required method of management. Conservative management measures to prevent varicose veins from becoming worse and to prevent from developing new varicose veins, include:

  • 1. To avoid standing for extended periods of time
  • 2. To lose weight or maintain a healthy weight
  • 3. Exercise to make circulation better
  • 4. Use prescribed compression socks or stockings
  • 5. Keeping the legs elevated whenever possible

If varicose veins are causing a lot of pain or damaging health, an invasive procedure is advised. Vein ligation and stripping is a surgical treatment done under anaesthesia where the surgeon makes cuts in the skin, disconnects varicose vein and removes it through the incisions. But this method is less commonly performed these days because of newer, less invasive options such as:

  • 1. Sclerotherapy or micro-sclerotherapy uses a liquid or foam chemical that is injected to block off larger or smaller veins
  • 2. Endoscopic vein surgery blocks the vein through a small lighted scope inserted through a small incision.
  • 3. Endovenous ablation therapy uses heat and radiofrequency waves to close the damaged vein
  • 4. Laser surgery involves light energy that blocks off the varicose vein

The method recommended can depend on your symptoms, size and location of the varicose vein. Even with necessary lifestyle modifications, varicose veins may get worse over time, causing lot of pain and other symptoms. Chronic inflammation of varicose veins could lead to rupture of veins. In order to prevent such complications, personalised treatment options that offer best treatment for varicose veins in Chennai should be discussed before choosing a method. 

However, for cosmetic reasons or in severe cases such as a varicose vein rupture and varicose ulcers, minimally invasive techniques are used.