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Important Facts About Varicose Veins You Should Know

Varicose veins are the swollen, enlarged veins that appear close to the surface of the skin. They are usually dark blue or purple in color. Any vein can become varicose, but most commonly affected veins are those found in the legs and feet. This usually happen because standing and walking upright increases pressure in the veins of the lower body which causes malfunction of the veins and results in varicose veins.


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Varicose veins appear as bulging, bluish veins on the legs but the condition is not merely cosmetic. In some, there may be a feeling of itchiness or heaviness in the legs, fatigue at the end of the day, and itchy, scaly skin covering the affected areas. In severe cases, the patient may complain of leg cramps, swollen ankles and pain.

What are the symptoms of varicose veins? Varicose veins may cause aching of the legs. The ankles, calf and feet may swell towards day's end, especially in hot weather. Varicose veins can become sore and inflamed, causing redness of the skin around them. Skin changes from long standing vein problems include thickening of the skin, a brown discoloration, red rashes, and skin infections. Some patients with severe vein problems can develop sores on the ankles, known as venous ulceration. These are often difficult to heal, and can be helped by treating the underlying vein problem to prevent the reflux that led to the ulceration.

A vein is a blood vessel that carries blood throughout the body. Normally, these veins do their job like a well oiled pump but sometimes these veins break down, causing the flow of blood to become abnormal.

Each individual case of varicose vein may be different. Always remember that what may work on someone else may not work as well on you. You must be patient as it can often take a bit of time in order for the doctor to be able to determine what the best type of treatment would be for your particular situation.

"Sometimes ulcers form. Ulcers caused by varicose veins or malfunction of the valves within veins ordinarily are located near the ankle and are the result of long-term 'waterlogging' of these tissues as a result of increased pressure of blood within the affected veins. Brownish pigmentation usually precedes the development of an ulcer," added Dr. David E. Larson, editor-in-chief of the "Mayo Clinic Family Health Book." (Next: Quack cures for varicose veins.)

A network of vein carries blood from the legs to the heart. This is accomplished by means of one-way valves which have to work against the force of gravity. But the system is not fool-proof. If the valves weaken or fail to close properly, blood travels down the legs instead of up. The pooled blood stretches the vein which results in the all too familiar problem of varicosities.

Treatment For Varicose Veins There are various medical and non-medical treatment available for varicose veins. If you are looking for home remedies for varicose veins, try an application of apple cider vinegar to the affected veins. This method may help to shrink the veins within a month of beginning the treatment.

How Long Will It Take For Me To See Results After Treatment? You will see some immediate results after treatment for varicose and spider veins. The best results will be seen after 3-6 months, when the swelling and bruising has completely resolved.

Treatment of varicose veins an be as simple as wearing elasticised compression stockings, controlling your weight, undertaking a moderate exercise program, avoiding prolonged periods of standing, and elevating the legs whenever possible.

The signs and symptoms of varicose veins not only includes the unsightly rope-like veins but also a constant dull ache, cramps, swelling and fatigue after standing.

Usually diagnosis is simply a case of visual observation but sometimes a procedure called phlebography is used. This is a painless procedure in which a solution called a radio-opaque contrast medium is introduced into the bloodstream. Imaging of the veins is then carried out to detect the abnormalities in the blood flow and venous pressure.

Will Getting Rid Of Varicose And Spider Veins Hurt My Circulation? The varicose veins that are being treated are not doing their job, and therefore are not missed when they are treated. The body has numerous other veins that are taking blood back towards the heart, and they take over the role of the varicose veins after treatment.

"Varicose veins alone are not too serious, but they may lead to a more serious condition, such as a skin ulcer, phlebitis (inflammation of a vein), or thrombosis (blood clot formation)," said Consumer Guide.

Although arteries transport blood from the heart to all parts of the body, it is the veins that carry blood back to the heart to be re-oxygenated. These vessels work continuously throughout our lifetime, and any problem in the function of the vessels can lead to some types of diseases and can also be the cause of varicose veins.

Deep vein thrombosis is another cause of varicose veins which leads to the veins becoming blue or dark purple in color. Varicose veins usually occur when the valves in the veins fail because of aging or the veins losing elasticity. This cause blood to pool in the veins and become varicose.

If you have varicose veins, it is necessary to seek medical advice. Your health practitioner will advise you of treatment options and will assist you in the care of your condition.

One rare cause of varicose veins is overexposure to the sun. Too much sun may cause varicose veins on our face. To reduce chances of getting varicose veins, one should limit exposure to the harmful effects of the sun, maintain body weight and healthy diet and exercise regularly.

The Causes Of Varicose Veins Some factors that can be considered a cause of Varicose+Veins' target=_blank>varicose veins, include heredity, hormonal abnormalities, long periods of standing or sitting, and pregnancy. Before a suitable treatment can be suggested, it is necessary to determine the cause of varicose veins.

Some varicose veins surgeries are considered elective cosmetic surgery so there your insurance policies may not cover expenses incurred to treat this condition. However if your condition is severe and include symptoms such as swelling and bleeding, you may be able to get the treatment expenses covered through insurance. Check this out with your insurance provider before proceeding with the treatment.

I am sure most of us have, or know someone who has the enlarged, twisted, superficial veins in their lower legs and ankles known as varicose veins.

Another diagnostic procedure available is the use of ultrasound to examine the blood flow in the major arteries and veins in the arms and legs. This procedure is known as Doppler's ultrasonography. Ultrasound is high frequency sound waves that echo off the body. It is performed by applying a water soluble gel to the body and then passing a hand held device known as a transducer over the area.

Different Cause of Varicose+Veins' target=_blank>Varicose Veins You Should Know Before seeking treatment, one needs to know what causes varicose veins. The organ that pumps blood to all parts of the body is the heart, which then requires blood vessels to transport the blood to various parts of the body as well as back to the heart.

Exercising regularly is also a good idea, as it will help improve blood circulation. One simple exercise you can do regularly is walking or jogging.

Obesity can also be one of the causes of varicose veins. This occurs because the extra weight usually causes strain on the legs of obese people. We should always maintain average body weight to reduce the chance of getting varicose veins.

What Is Involved In The Care After Treatment? We recommended compression hose or some other type of compression dressing after treatments. These dressings are usually worn for one day following sclerotherapy and 1-2 weeks after EVLT. Compression stockings come in different styles, sizes and colors. We advise return to a normal physical activity routine after the procedure, but vigorous aerobic exercise is not recommended for 2 weeks after ELVT. Sclerotherapy patient can resume normal exercise the day after treatment.

Another method of treatment is called compression sclerotherapy. In this procedure, points of abnormal flow from deep to superficial veins are located and permanently obliterated by the injection of a substance called a sclerosant. Application of continuous pressure then restores the pumping capacity of the vein.

Who is at risk for varicose veins? There are numerous risk factors for varicose veins. These risks include a family history of varicose veins, obesity, pregnancy, hormonal changes at menopause, work that requires prolonged standing or sitting, and past vein diseases such as phlebitis (inflammation of a superficial vein) or deep venous thrombosis (blood clot in the deeper veins). Women also tend to suffer from varicose veins more than men. In addition, varicose veins can appear after trauma to the area.

Besides discussing with your doctor, you may also want to do some research on your own and read up about all of the different forms of treatment that are available for varicose veins. By doing this, you will be able to get the picture of what you might want to ask or point out to your doctor.

There may also be a brownish discolouration of the skin which is known as stasis pigmentation. This is caused by a breakdown of blood cells leading to a leakage in the affected area and is common in people who have suffered from this condition for a lengthy period of time.

What are varicose veins, spider veins, and reticular veins? Varicose veins are ropy, swollen veins that are close to the surface of the skin. Reticular veins are the smaller, fine blue veins that are under the skin. Spider veins are smaller, red or blue veins that are in the skin layer.

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Because of hormonal factors, women are more susceptible to varicose veins. In fact, they're the ones who often complain about the problem, revealed Dr. Larry Roy C. Tojino, a phlebologist or vein specialist in Manila. Special hormones released during pregnancy tend to relax the walls of the veins and the weight of the growing fetus aggravates the condition.

What causes varicose veins? The normal function of leg veins is to carry blood back to the heart. During walking activity, the calf muscle acts as a pump, compressing the leg veins and forcing blood back towards the heart.To prevent blood from going in the wrong direction, veins have one-way valves valves that prevent blood from flowing backwards down the leg. If the valves are faulty (a condition known as valvular incompetence), blood flows back into superficial veins and down the leg. This process is known as reflux. Reflux results in veins enlarging and becoming varicose. Once veins become varicose, they lose their ability to snap back into their correct shape, and become more plastic rather than elastic. Varicose veins unfortunately cannot heal themselves, and this condition is either stabilized with compression hose, or managed with one of the vein treatment plans. The greater saphenous vein is one of the most frequently damaged veins that leads to varicose veins in the leg.

 

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"Varicose veins are caused by the number of factors that put excess pressure on the veins in the legs: prolonged standing; prolonged sitting, especially with the legs crossed; lack of exercise; confining clothes; obesity (which puts excess pressure on the legs and contributes to the inability of the muscles to push blood upward); heredity (a tendency toward weak vein walls and valves seems to be inherited); and even height (tall people may be more susceptible because their blood needs to move farther in its return to the heart)," according to the editors of Consumer Guide's "Family Health & Medical Guide."

Will My Health Insurance Cover My Care For Vein Problems? Most insurance companies will cover treatments for varicose veins that are causing problems despite conservative management. Conservative management means a trial of compression hose for 3-6 months. If you continue to have pain or swelling despite wearing compression hose, then most insurance carriers will cover EVLT or microphlebectomy. Insurance does not usually cover the treatment of spider veins, and these treatments are paid for by the patient.

In severe cases, a surgical procedure called stripping and ligation may be considered necessary. During this surgery, one or more incisions are made over the varicose veins, and the vein is tied off (ligated). If several valves in the vein and the vein itself are heavily damaged, the vein (or the diseased part of the vein) is usually removed (stripped). An incision is made below the varicose vein, a flexible instrument is threaded up the vein to the first incision, and the vein is grasped and removed.

For more questions about all things venous, including deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and the latest management techniques such as thrombolysis of DVT's and pulmonary emboli, please visit my vein website at www.my-varicose-veins.com. I am a Vascular Surgeon in Dallas. I have been voted by my colleagues to be one of the best Vascular surgeons in the Dallas Fort-Worth area according to Dallas Magazine for 2006. My expertise is in circulation surgery, especially in vein problems. I am being featured in the cable TV show "Heartbeat of America" hosted by William Shatner and Doug Llewelyn from "The People's Court." I also will be featured in the Dallas Fort-Worth edition of Redbook, Women's day, and Good Housekeeping for the April/May edition for my work on varicose veins. http://www.my-varicose-veins.com

How Does Endovenous Therapy Work? Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT) treats the incompetent greater saphenous vein (GSV). The GSV vein courses along the inside part of the leg from the groin to the ankle, and is frequently the underlying cause of varicose veins. The procedure is done in the office under local anesthesia using ultrasound guidance. A laser fiber is passed through a small sheath inserted into the GSV. As the laser is activated, the resulting heat treats the inner lining of the vein causing it to seal. The whole procedure is performed through a tiny skin incision, so there is no post-operative scarring. Pressure is applied to the treated veins using compression hose or other compressive dressings. The recovery time from EVLT is rapid as there are no large surgical incisions or side effects of general anesthesia. Normal activities can be resumed the net day. Vigorous physical activity such as weight lifting and aerobics are not advised during this time, and we advice that patients do not take plane flights for at least one week after the procedure. Why Endovenous Laser Therapy Instead of Other Treatment of Varicose Veins? The benefits of EVLT are the following: 1. A simple procedure 2. Performed under local anesthetic 3. Minimally invasive, so minimal risk of scarring and postoperative infection 4. The procedure takes about one hour and avoids surgery in the operating room with its associated costs 5. Rapid recovery with reduced postoperative pain 6. Normal activities can be resumed almost immediately 7. Excellent clinical and aesthetic results 8. Covered by most insurance companies including Medicare after failure of conservative medical management

Varicose vein are twisted and enlarged veins close to the surface of the skin. These swollen veins may occur anywhere on the body but they often appear on the legs and feet. The swelling is caused by blood that accumulates in the veins. How does this happen?

In the United Suites, the presence of a blue vein on a child's forehead that touches the nose supposedly indicates an early death. But in Europe, the same vein is a sign that the person will never marry.

Another cause of varicose veins is hereditary, as the risk of getting varicose veins for women with a family history of varicose veins are greater than others.

Varicose veins can occur in any part of the body but are more common in the lower extremities. These veins can be due to genetic default but this is not the only cause. Other contributing factors can be prolonged standing or pregnancy. For many women, the first signs of varicose veins appear during pregnancy. Obesity is also a contributing factor. The added pressure of supporting excess weight is almost certain to result in chronic venous breakdown.

Other methods are by using compression stockings, creams and lotions or surgically removing the affected veins. Many people worry about having varicose veins, because of the ugly appearance on the skin, and also the pain and discomfort involved. You should always seek medical advice to find out what treatment options are available for your case. Your doctor is the best person to advise you on how your condition should be treated and which treatment is best for you.

Varicose Veins May Indicate More Serious Problems Most varicose veins are not a serious condition but they may cause aching pain and in certain instances can also lead to more serious conditions. Varicose veins can also be a symptom that indicates a higher risk of other circulatory system disorders.

Although most of us probably have strange beliefs about veins - including the ever-popular notion that washing the hands immediately after ironing or doing hard work will make them bulge -- there is one thing people agree on: visible veins are ugly. That makes varicose veins a problem.

Will Abnormal Veins Come Back After Treatment? After sclerotherapy for spider veins, a small number of patients who have a natural tendency to form spider veins will need yearly treatments or "touch-ups". Larger varicose veins can also recur, especially if one gains weight, or does not wear compression hose. These recurrences are usually not as severe as the initial episode, and can be treated with sclerotherapy or microphlebectomy.

What Are The Complications Of Vein Management? Sclerotherapy and EVLT have rarely been associated with any serious complications. Minor complications of these procedures include bruising, mild itching, tingling, tenderness and tightness in the treated leg for up to two weeks after the treatment. Allergic reactions to the sclerosant have been reported, but are extremely rare. Ulceration of the skin after sclerotherapy can rarely occur. If they occur, the usually heal in 2-3 months and leave a small scar. Deep Vein Thrombosis is a very rare complication following sclerotherapy of larger varicose veins or EVLT. Other potential complications include: 1. Staining or brown pigmentation at the site of treatment. This occurs in about 30% of patients. In most cases the staining resolves but it may take many months. 2. Clots under the skin. These clots may affect the treated veins. These are not dangerous and can be removed through a small incision if necessary. Most of these clots dissolve by themselves. 3. Bruising at the injection sites usually resolves within one to two weeks. 4. Capillary matting is an increase in the number of fine red vessels around the injection site. This problem may disappear on its own, or can be treated by further injections.

How can varicose veins be treated? There are several ways to treat varicose veins, depending on the symptoms and types of veins present: 1. Compression stockings: The conservative management of varicose veins is to wear compression hose, exercise, control your weight, and elevate your legs above your waist as much as possible in order to drain the vein blood out of your legs. Compression hose will assist the vein in pumping blood up the leg and back to the heart. However, this technique will not make the varicose veins go away. Nevertheless, the use of compression hose is very important in not just preventing worsening of varicose veins, but also in preventing recurrent problems after treatment. 2. Sclerotherapy: This technique is used for the treatment of smaller varicose veins, as well as reticular veins and spider veins. A small amount of a medication (sclerosant) is injected directly into the diseased vein. The medication irritates the inner lining of the vein and causes it to seal shut. The newer types of sclerosants are not painful when injected using a very tiny needle, and multiple sites of injection are typically needed. In addition, one usually needs anywhere from 2-6 treatments to obtain 70-80% clearance of the spider veins. The procedure is performed quickly and easily without the need for anesthesia. Sometimes, we use ultrasound guidance for sclerotherapy. The number of treatments required will vary with each individual, depending on the extent of visible varicosities and spider veins. A range of 2-6 treatments can be expected in order to achieve a 70-80% clearance of the spider veins. We also use a Lyra 1064 nm YAG laser to treat stubborn spider veins. 3. Surgical Stripping: In the past, surgical removal or "stripping" of the diseased vein out of the leg was the best treatment we could offer patients with vein problems. This procedure required an operating room, general or spinal anesthesia, and recovery times that varied from 2-6 weeks. Vein stripping is an antiquated procedure and should be very rarely used in the management of Varicose+Veins' target=_blank>varicose veins with the newer techniques that are currently available. 4. Microphlebectomy: This procedure involves the use of several, 1 mm, tiny incisions along the course of the leg veins in order to remove the diseased vein in segments. These tiny incisions heal well with minimal discomfort. Microphlebectomy can be performed by itself or in combination with another type of vein treatment. 5. Endovenous Laser Therapy: The use of lasers in the management of vein problems is replacing the standard surgical approach to treating large varicose veins. With Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT) a very thin fiber or catheter is inserted into the diseased vein through a small needle puncture in the leg, requiring only local anesthesia. The laser delivers energy directly to the inner lining of the vein, causing the vein to close. The procedure can be performed in the physician's office in approximately one hour. Patients are usually able to resume their routine activities immediately after the procedure.



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