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Swollen or twisted veins residing just under your skin surface are known as varicose veins. Although mostly occurring in the legs, they can be found in other body parts as well. They are usually red, bluish or purple in color and contain one-way valves to ensure blood flow towards the heart. When these valves become weak or damaged, it leads to blood back up, increasing the pressure on the veins. The resultant pressure causes the veins to expand leading to varicose veins.
Here are a few signs that indicate you have varicose veins -
Your legs and veins will be examined by the doctor in either sitting or standing position. You might have to get an ultrasound done, which will help the doctor check how blood flows through your veins. Most of the time, you would be asked to make lifestyle changes, instead of going for more aggressive treatments.
Varicose veins don’t always cause discomfort or require treatment. Treatment is considered essential if your varicose veins are causing discomfort or pain. Besides easing symptoms, certain complications such as leg ulcers, skin discoloration or swelling might also require adequate treatment. Sometimes, the treatment is opted for cosmetic reasons as well.
Following are the common surgical procedures for treating varicose veins -
The surgical removal or closing of varicose veins using a variety of techniques is known as varicose vein surgery. The blood supply in the legs isn’t harmed in the process but redirected into other healthy veins. Surgery can be performed on both deep and superficial veins. The aim of the surgery is to reduce the pressure on the veins and relieve the symptoms.
The surgery is performed under general anesthesia and varies from case to case. Mostly, a slanting cut or incision is made along the groin through which the top end of the faulty skin vein is tied. This is done to stop the blood flow through the faulty vein and the process is known as ligation. A wire is inserted through the vein till the knees where a second cut is made to pull the vein out. The process is known as stripping.
Although varicose veins cannot be prevented completely, improving muscle tone and circulation can help reduce the risk of developing additional ones. Following are the measures that will help prevent varicose veins as well as treat the discomfort the patients with the condition may undergo -
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