What is Varicose Vein?
Varicose veins are superficial veins that have become enlarged and twisted. Typically they occur just under the skin in the legs. Usually they result in few symptoms but some may experience fullness or pain in the area. Complications may include bleeding or superficial thrombophlebitis. When varices occur in the scrotum it is known as a varicocele while those around the anus are known as hemorrhoids. Varicose veins may negatively affect quality of life due to their physical, social and psychological effects.
Often there is no specific cause. Risk factors include obesity, not enough exercise, leg trauma, and a family history of the condition. They also occur more commonly in pregnancy. Occasionally they result from chronic venous insufficiency. The underlying mechanism involves weak or damaged valves in the veins. Diagnosis is typically by examination and may be supported by ultrasound. In contrast spider veins involve the capillaries and are smaller.
Treatment may involve life-style changes or medical procedures with the goal of improving symptoms and appearance. Life-style changes may include compression stockings, exercise, elevating the legs, and weight loss. Medical procedures include sclerotherapy, laser surgery, and vein stripping. Following treatment there is often reoccurrence.
Varicose veins are very common, affecting about 30% of people at some point in time. They become more common with age. Women are affected about twice as often as men. Varicose veins have been described throughout history and have been treated with surgery since at least A.D. 400.
Varicose Vein Signs and symptoms
Aching, heavy legs.
Appearance of spider veins (telangiectasia) in the affected leg.
- Ankle swelling, especially in the evening.
A brownish-yellow shiny skin discoloration near the affected veins.
Redness, dryness, and itchiness of areas of skin, termed stasis dermatitis or venous eczema, because of waste products building up in the leg.
Cramps may develop especially when making a sudden move as standing up.
Minor injuries to the area may bleed more than normal or take a long time to heal.
In some people the skin above the ankle may shrink (lipodermatosclerosis) because the fat underneath the skin becomes hard.
Restless legs syndrome appears to be a common overlapping clinical syndrome in people with varicose veins and other chronic venous insufficiency.
Whitened, irregular scar-like patches can appear at the ankles. This is known as atrophie blanche.
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Clinical tests that may be used include:
Trendelenburg test–to determine the site of venous reflux and the nature of the saphenofemoral junction
Traditionally, varicose veins were investigated using imaging techniques only if there was a suspicion of deep venous insufficiency, if they were recurrent, or if they involved the saphenopopliteal junction. This practice is now less widely accepted. People with varicose veins should now be investigated using lower limbs venous ultrasonography. The results from a randomised controlled trial on patients with and without routine ultrasound have shown a significant difference in recurrence rate and reoperation rate at 2 and 7 years of follow-up.
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For any queries regarding Varicose Veins please contact
Dr. Salil Patil
Third Floor,Bhondve Corner building,
Ravet-D.Y.Patil College Road,Ravet
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