Varicose veins on the legs are not just an aesthetic problem. When we notice the first symptoms of varicose veins, it is worth immediately taking measures that can prevent their aggravation. This will keep the venous vessels in good condition and avoid serious complications.
Causes and symptoms of varicose veins
In our body, blood circulates in a closed system. The arteries carry blood from the heart to all parts of the body and the veins in the opposite direction. When venous blood flows from the feet to the heart, it must be injected to a significant height. The walls of the veins are thin and do not actively pump blood. The return of blood from the lower parts of the body up is caused, among others the work of the heart, which works like a suction pump, and the work of the leg muscles. In order for blood not to flow back down, there are valves inside the veins that protect against this phenomenon and help to force it towards the heart.
When the venous vessels are healthy, circulation occurs without disturbance. Problems can arise when valves in the veins of the lower extremities become leaking. There may be blood retention inside the vessels. This condition is venous stasis. It is the first phase of varicose veins. As a consequence, the thin and flexible walls of venous vessels are stretched and thickened. Sick vessels are clearly visible below the surface of the skin, especially on the calves and thighs. They have a blue or purple colour, and sometimes a characteristic, twisted shape.
Varicose veins on the legs can also occur in pregnant women when the enlarged uterus hinders the outflow of blood from the lower extremities. Overweight people are more vulnerable because high body weight overloads the cardiovascular system. The work performed is also important. People who spend a lot of time standing or sitting can also complain of varicose veins, as insufficient movement may limit venous circulation.
Methods of treatment of varicose veins of the lower extremities
It may happen that despite the treatment, the symptoms persist. It is then necessary to visit a primary care physician who will propose another type of therapy or order a visit to a specialist phlebologist.
Compression stockings worn regularly can help to alleviate the symptoms of venous insufficiency. Thanks to them, calf muscles and veins work more efficiently, thus improving circulation. They can be purchased in pharmacies or medical equipment stores. Your doctor will help you choose the right type of stockings and the right amount of pressure because it can’t be too small or too large. For best results, compression stockings should be worn as instructed, worn throughout the day, and removed for the night.
Surgery can also be a way to treat varicose veins. Several different procedures will help cure both minor and extensive varicose veins. They are usually not complicated.
Sclerotherapy is suitable for the removal of small and medium varicose veins. This procedure involves injecting into a diseased vein a solution that causes inflammation in it, and consequently its fibrosis and closure. Sometimes it has to be repeated several times before the desired effect is achieved.
A newer method is the closing of varicose veins with laser radiation. This treatment is also suitable for removing so-called spider veins, i.e. dilated small vessels in the skin. The surgeon may also use a special catheter inserted into the vein. Its tip heats up and the high temperature closes the diseased vein.