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Are Varicose Veins Causing You Trouble?

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Varicose Veins

Are Varicose Veins Causing You Trouble?

Dr. Digvijay Sharma
Senior Consultant - Vascular & Endovascular Surgery
Vascular Surgery

Varicose Veins- A frequently occurring condition,which is an indication of a malfunction of a venous system and requires immediate intervention by a vascular surgery specialist. It has been observed a large amount of research has gone into knowing more on veins and venous diseases. This has been possible due to the Duplex ultrasound that has allowed us to look inside to know how they work. This research has clarified several things that we need to know about varicose veins. Consequently, several percepts that we considered to be common knowledge have turned out to be either false or misleading.

Know more about varicose veins:

Q1. Are Varicose veins dilated veins in the leg?

Yes, these veins develop when you have experienced a breakdown in return pump valve, which allows the blood to stay in the veins resulting in their dilation. Surprisingly, once a vein becomes dilated it is no longer functional for your body’s circulatory system.

Q2. Standing or crossing your legs for long periods of time cause varicose veins?

No. It is a myth! Continuous standing does not cause varicose veins, but hastens deterioration of malfunctioning valves, causing development of varicose veins. Since most of our valves fail at a young age, standing for long periods can create a greater likelihood of developing varicose veins in those who already have defective valves.  

Q3. Women get varicose veins more often than men?

Not much research has gone into this to discover that women have more varicose veins than men. However, it is observed that women are more organized in having their regular check ups, so they are more likely to be diagnosed with this condition.  The UK community study 1998, in Edinburg found that more men had varicose veins as compared to women.  

Q4. Pregnancy causes varicose veins?

Pregnancy is a contributing rather than a casual factor. Women with weak or pre-existing valve problems develop varicose veins eventually. Thus, it is incorrect to say that pregnancy exacerbates or hastens the development of varicose veins.

Q5. How can I know if I will get varicose veins?

You cannot know; although it is more likely if your parents or relatives had them. Therefore, it is advisable to take preventive measures before or after that make an unwelcome appearance.  

Q6. Varicose veins do not require treatment as they are only a cosmetic problem?

Incorrect. Varicose veins are a condition that veins are not working properly. Naturally, if the valves are not working properly, their outcome will be vancosities, and their accompanying problems (leg acting/eczema/tipadermatesctersis/cellulites/thrombosis/venous/ulcer etc). It is essential to treat varicose veins in symptomatic patients who have developed skin changes.

Q7. What can I do to prevent varicose veins?

Preventive measures can be taken to taken to delay their appearance since they are partly determined by genetics. Wear comfortable heels, try to maintain a healthy lifestyle, well balanced diet, regular exercise and avoid prolong standing.

Q8. You should wait until you have finished having children before getting varicose veins treatment?

Since pregnancy hastens the development of varicose veins, the sooner you get it fixed, less damage will be done to legs and easier will be your treatment. In case, you have persistent varicose veins after 6-8weeks of delivery then it advisable to undergo the treatment before you plan for second child.

Q9. Varicose veins treatment is futile because they always return?

Myth. Accurate diagnosis and treatment ensures that’s some of them do not return. Sometimes it is necessary to get varicose veins treated, whether there is neovascularisation or not, because the symptoms are unacceptable or unbearable for many people. If varicose veins are not properly treated or evaluated properly, the chances of reoccurrence are even higher.

Q10. Conservative treatment is the best treatment?

The treatment of primary varicose veins depends on the extent of the varicosity and the damage to the skin at ankle. Graduated elastic compression stockings are good for temporarily relief of symptoms and are used below knee with pressure between 23-32 mmHg.