Neurosciences | Posted on 07/09/2021 by RBH
Varicose veins refer to enlarged and twisted veins in the leg, a condition that is often genetic and is made worse by excessive standing. How does this happen?
Our legs contain a group of deep veins buried within our muscles and a group of superficial veins that run underneath the skin. When a weakness in the walls of the superficial veins causes enlargement, there is a build-up of pressure that bulges out as varicose veins. Typically, varicose veins appear in the thighs and calves. They may look blue and bulge, and cause plenty of discomforts.
Varicose veins need treatment only when they cause discomfort. Treatment is necessary to ease symptoms like pain and to treat complications that may arise such as swelling, leg ulcers, or skin discoloration. Before treatment, physicians may recommend some self-care measures at home such as –
There are also less invasive options for treating varicose veins such as include endovenous radiofrequency ablation, sclerotherapy, endovenous laser treatment, and surface laser treatment. One should consult the doctor about all possible treatment options before deciding on varicose vein surgery.
Varicose vein surgery is a general term used for various methods of surgically treating varicose veins.
A varicose vein surgery is done in the following cases –
Varicose veins can be surgically removed in such cases. Because the damaged valves in the veins cannot be cured, removing them altogether is the only option. The aim of varicose vein surgery is to take pressure off the veins in the leg by tying or removing them. This doesn’t affect the blood supply to the legs; the blood is re-directed by other, healthy veins after the surgery. The result is that existing varicose veins are prevented from enlarging and new ones are prevented from growing.
Varicose vein surgery is one of the most commonly performed types of surgery. A combination of general and local anaesthesia is administered, depending on the type of surgery performed.
The main procedures used to remove varicose veins are –
The surgeon can perform one or more of these, depending on the location and types of veins that require treatment. Surgery can also be combined with other less invasive procedures.
A varicose vein surgery is very effective in relieving symptoms like pain, swelling, and itching or it eliminates them completely. After the surgery, new varicose veins develop in a few years.
Before varicose vein surgery, a number of tests are done on the patient. There are of two types – to assess if the person qualifies for varicose vein surgery and some pre-operative tests like blood tests and ECG.
As is the case with all surgeries, the risk of complications exists. Some general complications include bleeding, infection, pain, scarring of the skin, and blood clots in the legs. More specific ones are numbness, nerve damage, developing a lump under the wound, swelling of the legs, etc.
Typically, patients can go home the same day or the day after. Once the wounds are healed, patients can carry out normal activities. It is often advised to exercise regularly to be able to return to one’s usual life as quickly as possible.