|Varicose Veins||Varicose Veins||Varicose Veins||Varicose Veins
Almost 20% of the population, from 18 to 80 years of age, suffers form varicose veins and related problems. These range from “spider veins” (tiny reddish-purplish thread-like veins forming patterns in the skin that look like spiders) to larger worm-like, meandering knots of veins deeper beneath the skin.
Varicose veins appear as thick bluish bulging veins under the skin, sometimes looking like worms.
Although the exact cause of varicose veins is not known, the fault starts with a weakness of valves in the some veins of the leg, resulting in failure of blood in these veins to flow normally towards the heart. These affected veins then stretch and enlarge due to pooling of blood. This results in the symptoms of aching, heaviness and night cramps. Over time, the poor circulation in the leg can results in damage to the skin, leading to complications including ulcers, some of which may be permanent.
Traditionally the way to treat varicose veins has been by surgery. This method has been around for decades and has been proven to be fairly effective. However, it is a formal operation, that requires anesthesia and hospitalization. with the usual risk associated with a moderately major surgical procedure. There are also incisions which mean some pain and scars.
Although Sclerotherapy has been used to treat varicose veins for centuries, until recently, it is was limited in its success to smaller veins, especially spider and reticular veins. However, recent advances like the use of ultrasound guidance and newer materials like foam have allowed a renaissance of this technique. Now, foam sclerotherapy is being used increasingly to treat all sorts of varicose veins, including large ones, with nearly equal success as other techniques.
The latest method to treat large truncal varicose veins is Endovenous Laser Therapy(EVLT). This method has revolutionized the treatment of varicose veins in the past decade. This is done in the clinic as a day case and needs only local anesthesia. There are no incisions, on scars and minimal pain. There is hardly any “down-time” for the patient.