What are varicose veins?
Normal healthy veins have valves within them that help to maintain continuous blood flow to the heart. These valves can get damaged or diseased leading to venous reflux disease. Varicose veins develop as a result of venous reflux disease.
Varicose veins are swollen enlarged veins under the skin. They are seen most commonly in the legs. Some patients present with spider veins, which are mild varicose veins that look like a fine network of red or blue lines just under the skin.
Symptoms of varicose veins
These are simply not a cosmetic issue. Varicose veins and venous reflux disease can lead to significant physical problems. These include heaviness, fatigue, aches and pains, and cramps in the legs. These can also lead to swollen legs. In more severe cases, these can cause skin changes such as dermatitis/ eczema and ulcers affecting the legs, besides causing recurrent infections.
Spider veins are usually not a serious medical problem. They can be of cosmetic concern to individuals. Occasionally spider veins can cause itching and aching pain in the affected part that can be quite significant.
Treatment of varicose veins
Various minimally invasive techniques are available to treat varicose veins. These include
- Laser therapy (EVLT)
- Radio-frequency ablation (RFA)
- Clariveinendovenous treatment
- VenaSeal closure system
- Venous avulsions
What are the advantages?
- No major surgery
- No or minimal visible scars
- No general anaesthesia in most cases
- Quick recovery
- Same day admission and discharge
- Back to normal activities within one to two days