What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are enlarged veins, which are swollen and are raised above the surface of the skin. Spider veins are a form of varicose veins, only on a smaller scale. They look like spider webs with their short jagged lines.
Where are they?
Varicose veins can be found on the thighs, backs of the calves or on the inside of the leg. They can also form around the pubic area and buttocks during pregnancy.
What causes them?
Varicose veins are caused by weak and damaged valves in the veins. Oxygenated blood flows continuously around our body pumped by the heart. Arteries carry the blood and its vital component- oxygen, around the organs; veins return the blood minus the oxygen to the heart.
When the leg muscles move, they push blood back to the heart against the flow of gravity. The valves prevent the blood from flowing backwards. However if the valves become damaged, blood leaks back and collects there. This leaking blood continues until the veins grow ever larger and so, become varicose veins.
Spiders veins are also created this way, but hormone changes and exposure to sun as well as injuries can form them.
How can they be treated?
The swollen and enlarged veins can not only be unsightly, but also very painful. Many women suffer with cramped and fatigued
legs thanks to poor circulation and the Royal Aesthetic Clinic can put a halt to all that! The following treatments are all available at the clinic and all relieve symptoms, improve appearance and prevent complications.
Surgery is only necessary for the treatment of large varicose veins. In this case, the problem veins are tied shut and removed from the leg through small cuts in the skin. Blood circulation in the leg is not affected at all. Other veins, closer to the bone and not at the surface take care of the larger volumes of blood and so, this is an entirely safe procedure. This treatment does require anaesthesia and must be done in an operating room. It can take between a week and a month to recuperate entirely.
- Endovenous Techniques (Radio-frequency and Laser),
Endovenous techniques use heat radiation via a probe inserted into a catheter to terminate varicose veins. The heat, created by radio frequency or laser, seals the vein. Local anaesthesia is required and there might be slight bruising after the treatment.
- Pin stripping,
A Pin Stripper is inserted into a vein, the tip of the instrument is sewn to the end of the vein and as the Pin Stripper is removed from the leg, so is the vein.
- Ambulatory phlebotomy,
Ambulatory phlebotomy is a procedure where tiny cuts are made in the skin, small hooks are inserted and these hooks pull the vein out of the leg. Only the areas around the cuts are numbed with anaesthetic. Slight bruising and temporary numbness are short-lived, possible side-effects.
- Surface Laser Treatment,
Surface Laser Treatment sends intense bursts of light through the skin and into the vein. The veins slowly fades and disappears. This is not a universal treatment as some skin types and colour can’t be safely treated. No needles or injections are used but the intense heat can be painful. Laser treatments last a quarter of an hour with two to five treatments required to remove spider veins. Normal activity can occur immediately after treatment. In varicose veins larger than 3mm, this treatments isn’t effective.
Sclerotherapy is the most common of all the treatments for eradicating spider and varicose veins. The doctor uses a needle to inject a liquid chemical into the bundled vein. The vein’s walls swell due to the introduction of the chemical, the walls then stick together and seal shut. This stop the flow of blood in that particular vein entirely and the once varicose vein simply becomes scar tissue. Within weeks, the vein should fade.
This particular treatment doesn’t require anaesthesia and is an Outpatients’ procedure, meaning you can return to everyday activity after treatment!
The six treatments all have their own particular advantages and disadvantages and the final selection of which treatment is for you, depends upon your own case and the severity of the varicose veins.
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