Varicose veins can't be cured, but they can be successfully treated. Treatment concentrates on relieving pain and managing complications. People who have obvious spider veins want to make the veins less noticeable, often through a cosmetic procedure. Wearing lightweight compression hosiery (stockings) can stop the pain from small, mild varicose veins altogether. Heavier elastic support stockings, knee-length or thigh-length, can also be worn if you have advanced varicose veins.
Sclerotherapy is a procedure that involves injecting a concentrated saline or chemical solution into the vein. The sclerosing (hardening) solution causes the vein to close up or collapse and become scar tissue. This causes blood to flow only to the non-varicose veins. This is only effective for smaller varicose veins.
Many veins can be injected during a single visit. Several injection sessions are usually required to effectively close a vein, and it usually takes a few weeks for healing to occur after each injection.
A dermatologist or vein specialist usually performs sclerotherapy. It causes little discomfort.
Allergic reactions to sclerotherapy are rare. Scarring can occur and a brown blemishing of the skin may appear. It usually fades, but in some cases it can be permanent. Some superficial varicose veins can be treated with a laser.
A new technique called microsclerotherapy is another way to remove varicose veins. It uses improved solutions and injection methods. No anesthesia is needed for sclerotherapy or microsclerotherapy.
Varicose veins can also be treated by surgery. Your doctor may suggest surgery if you:
- have extremely visible varicose veins
- experience changes in your skin
- have significant pain and constantly inflamed veins (recurrent phlebitis or thrombophlebitis)
Physicians who recommend extensive surgery may "strip" deeper veins in the legs while removing as many of the swollen, twisted varicose veins as possible. A few isolated varicose veins may continue to be bothersome after surgery, but these can usually be treated with injections.
Some of your options for surgery include:
- Laser surgery: Laser light or intense pulsed light (IPL) is used on the veins to make them fade over time. This is most successful for very mild forms of the condition.
- Catheter-assisted radio frequency ablation: Generally, heat is used to damage the vein, causing blood to be redirected to healthy veins in the body.
- Ambulatory phlebectomy: Small holes are made in the skin to remove small veins.
Here are some things you can do to help prevent varicose veins:
- Exercise: Walking is a great way to increase blood flow in the legs.
- Lose weight: Shedding excess pounds takes unnecessary pressure off veins in the legs.
- Wear compression stockings.
- Avoid high heels: Stick with low-heeled shoes that give the calf muscles a better workout, which can help give you healthier veins.
- Elevate legs: Take 3 or 4 daily breaks (10 to 15 minutes) to elevate the legs above the level of the heart (e.g., lie down with legs resting on 3 or 4 pillows).
- Avoid long periods of sitting or standing: Make a point to change position frequently to encourage blood flow.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/condition/getcondition/Varicose-Veins