Varicose veins commonly develop on the superficial veins of legs that get enlarged due to improper flow of blood.
According to the natural body system, legs have two different types of veins: the superficial veins that are visible and the deep veins that lie deep under the skin.
The leg has two superficial veins, great and small; both serve to supply blood to the deep veins and then return deoxygenated blood back to the heart. Then superficial veins have further leaflet valves preventing blood from flowing backwards.
When these valves do not work properly, they cause excessive blood flow back to the veins and consequently enlarge them. Such enlarged veins are known as varicose veins.
The major causes of varicose veins are genes, obesity, aging, pregnancy, leg injury, prolonged standing, abdominal straining, and crossing legs over the knees or ankles.
There are various symptoms of varicose veins.
In addition to cosmetic problems, these veins make the legs heavy and painful. Around the varicose veins brownish-blue skin surfaces while swelling with irregular scarring patches may also appear on ankles.
Due to imbalanced circulation of blood, the affected person feels heaviness and walking to long distance becomes very difficult.
The inflicted person may also suffer from venous ulcers, a type of skin ulcer occurring near the ankle.
The treatment of varicose vein includes both surgical as well as non-surgical methods.
The former aims at removing the enlarged vein while the latter only shrinks the vein; hence both have their own benefits and advantages. Among non-surgical treatment of varicose vein, sclerotherapy has been a traditional and common method of treatment in which veins medicine is injected into the veins to minimize their size.
These medicines include Polidocanol, Hypertonic Saline, Glycerin, Chromated Glycerin and Sodium Tetradecyl Sulphate.
This method is rarely followed by complications but at the same time the chances of blood clots and ulceration cannot be ruled out.
There are many traditional methods of varicose vein removal.
Among these, elevating the legs, regular exercise, and wearing of compression stockings have been proved effective in providing temporary relief, reducing the swelling, and improving the microcirculation in legs.
Similarly, anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen can also be helpful comforting the inflicted person, however there is a risk of intestinal bleeding.
Therefore seeking assistance from phlebologists, those physicians who are specialized in vein treatment, is a must prior to using some treatment method.
As far as surgical methods for varicose vein removal are concerned, Stripping and Ambulatory Phlebectomy are commonly sought after for their efficacy as well less complications.
Since superficial veins of legs return about 10 per cent of the total blood of the legs to heart, it can be removed without serious risk.
In stripping, the superficial vein is completely or partially removed whereas Ambulatory Phlebectomy involves the varicose veins removal through small incisions in the skin. Here complications are uncommon, but may include paresthesia, hematoma and bruising.