Varicose veins, or varicose veins, are blood vessels that appear through the skin as winding blue-purple, sometimes swollen veins. They often occur on the legs but can also occur elsewhere on the body. Many pregnant women suffer from varicose veins. The complaints do not only consist of pain and fatigue, but mainly the fact that they are unsightly. What is the treatment for varicose veins?
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins range from large to small. Large varicose veins are visible under the skin as blue to purple thick cables. Small varicose veins are small winding rivers. Often small varicose veins are not swollen or minimally swollen, while large ones can be visible as a thickening. Varicose veins are most common on the leg.
Cause and origin
There are various causes for varicose veins. First of all, varicose veins are hereditary. Children of parents with varicose veins are much more likely to also develop varicose veins. In addition, varicose veins are seen more often in women than in men. Pregnancy sometimes also causes varicose veins, especially if there is a hereditary predisposition to them. Hormones play an important role in this. Standing a lot increases the risk of varicose veins. We often see this in people who care deeply about their profession, such as shop assistants. In addition, varicose veins are more common in people with thrombosis.
Now that we know the causes, the question is how varicose veins arise. The veins contain valves that ensure that blood does not flow back. Blood from the feet must be transported back to the heart. This blood must be pumped up against gravity. The valves ensure that the blood pumped up does not sink back down. If the valves do not close sufficiently due to one of the above causes, the blood may partially backslide. This puts pressure on the vessel walls and causes them to expand. Due to the increased pressure in the veins, more and more valves will not work sufficiently. Eventually the pressure has become so great that the expansion of the vein becomes visible from the outside.
Symptoms and complaints
Varicose veins are sometimes only mentioned when thick, swollen blue to purple veins are visible. Yet many people also have small varicose veins that are not thickened. These small varicose veins can later become larger and thicker, but this does not always have to happen. Small varicose veins are also sometimes called blood spider veins. Medium to large varicose veins have a clearly visible thickening. There is often also edema present in the leg. Large varicose veins often cause a tired and lethargic feeling in the legs and pain. The complaints worsen when the veins become warm, and many people suffer more from them in the summer months. In addition, standing for a long time is also a triggering factor.
Laser and removal
Varicose veins do not always need to be removed. Varicose veins are only removed if they cause clear symptoms or if they are large varicose veins. Large varicose veins increase the risk of open leg, thrombosis or inflammation. Health insurance therefore always reimburses the removal of large varicose veins.
In the past, the most commonly used method was the surgical removal of varicose veins. This method is still used, but is slowly making way for other treatment methods. Surgical removal of varicose veins is not always successful: sometimes varicose veins return.
A new method is laser treatment of varicose veins. With laser treatment, a thin tube is inserted into the varicose vein and closed using laser energy . This is done under local anesthesia. The advantage of this treatment method is that it is a lot more pleasant and the recovery is faster than with surgical removal. However, laser treatment of varicose veins is not for everyone.
Varicose veins do not disappear on their own, but they can diminish. In pregnant women with varicose veins, we often see that varicose veins become minimal after giving birth. Varicose veins can be reduced in size. Exercising a lot improves blood circulation. Walking has a pumping effect in the veins, pushing the blood upward. This prevents or alleviates a lot of complaints. By eating a healthy diet and paying attention to your weight, you can prevent more varicose veins from developing. Overweight people are much more likely to develop varicose veins. Even if varicose veins run frequently in the family, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If varicose veins remain painful despite everything, see a doctor. This will determine whether treatment is possible.
- Vascular surgery on blood vessels
- Open leg: wound on the leg