As valves stop working properly in leg veins, blood pools to form varicose veins. Because it is not circulating properly, blood then runs low on oxygen and becomes acidic. This can cause symptoms such as pain, throbbing, fatigue, cramps, burning sensations and restless legs.
A strong family history is a common finding in patients with varicose veins. Females are also more likely to be affected than males, due to factors such as fluctuations in hormones during puberty, pregnancy and menopause. Pregnancy in itself causing an increase in volume, and pressure on the leg veins, so varicose veins during pregnancy are common. Other predisposing factors include obesity, immobility, standing occupations, previous deep-venous thrombosis and leg injuries.
If varicose veins become symptomatic or require treatment to prevent or cure varicose eczema or ulcers then a number of treatments are available. A medical consultation and ultrasound is performed to determine the most appropriate method of treatment. Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) involves a small laser fibre inserted painlessly into the vein under local anaesthetic. Laser energy is then delivered into the vein causing it to collapse and seal shut.
Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy (UGS) involves the use of ultrasound to precisely locate abnormal veins and to inject them with foam to close them down. A combination of both EVLA and UGS is commonly used. Treatment takes approximately one hour per leg, after which medical grade compression stockings are worn for two weeks. Patients can walk immediately after treatment and are encouraged to walk to speed recovery. Patients have a follow-up treatment after three to five weeks, then another one a year after treatment to ensure any new veins that develop are treated.
Some medical insurance companies may cover the cost of consultations and treatment for varicose veins.
Your first step to healthier legs is to call for a vein consultation with Dr Deshpande. During this hour consultation she will take a detailed history about your veins and general health. She will then assess your veins using an ultrasound machine and discuss the best treatment options for you.
Large painful varicose vein treated. Same leg 6 weeks after treatment with Endovenous laser and ultrasound guided sclerotherapy
Venous ulcer due to underlying varicose veins and previous deep vein insufficiency following a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Ulcer and surrounding skin improving six months after treatment.