Varicose veins are a common condition affecting millions of people worldwide, some of whom are not aware of their condition. It is characterised by visible veins in the feet and legs and is treated in a variety of ways by a vascular specialist or surgeon. This short article aims to explain the condition in more detail, from symptoms to treatment.
What Are Varicose Veins?
Most people have heard of varicose veins but do not know what they are or what causes them. They are swollen, enlarged veins, typically in the legs and feet, and are caused when the valves in your veins stop working properly, allowing blood to collect in the veins. As the NHS points out, there is not always a clear cause, but certain things, such as being overweight, being female or standing up all day, can increase the risk. Not everybody feels that varicose veins are a problem, but if yours are causing you pain or discomfort, see your GP to find out what the options are.
What Are The Symptoms Of Varicose Veins?
The main symptom of varicose veins is, of course, the veins themselves, which will appear blue or purple and will bulge through the skin. For some people, this is the only symptom, but others have aching legs, heavy-feeling legs and muscle cramps, as well as feeling that their skin is itchy and discoloured. Varicose veins can also lead to a further condition called phlebitis, which can cause more severe pain. It is likely that your GP will immediately recognise varicose veins and will be able to advise you on what treatment would be best for your particular circumstances and conditions.
How Are Varicose Veins Treated?
The treatment your GP or specialist will choose depends on the severity of your condition and on the impact it has on your life. If your veins are a minor problem, it may be recommended that you wear compression stockings or to alter your life in small ways. There are also treatments that involve using radio waves or lasers to help relieve your veins, which your GP can explain in more detail if they are suitable for you. If your condition is negatively impacting your life and other treatments have proved unsuitable, you may be referred to a vascular surgeon. As BUPA explains, the main surgical option for varicose veins is known as ligation and stripping, during which your faulty veins will be removed. This surgery is relatively simple, and you will probably not need to stay in the hospital overnight.
While varicose veins can be inconvenient and can lower your self-confidence, it's important to remember that there are a range of effective treatments available. If you are worried about your veins, please speak to your GP as soon as possible.Share
29 August 2018
Hello, my name is Catherine and this is my blog all about health and medical topics. I was inspired to start this blog by my husband who works in a hospital. He isn't a doctor, he works in a lab testing blood samples. However, he is extremely interested in medicine. When his grandma got sick, he quickly established what might be wrong and got her all the help she needed. Sometimes is the evening, we sit and read textbooks and talk about medicine. It sounds insane but we both really like it. I decided to start this blog to show off some of what I have learnt.