Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are superficial veins that have been subjected to high internal pressure which caused them to dilate and elongate to accommodate the increased blood volume. This term is applied to both large bulging veins within the superficial subcutaneous tissue and the smaller telangiectasias, or ‘spider veins’ that occur just beneath the epidermis. As a result of the venous hypertension the valves themselves may get damaged or the vein walls may be dilated so that the valve leaflets are too far apart. Weakness in the walls of the varicose vein is due to thinning or damage of the muscular layer and partial decomposition of collagen fibers. Varicose veins may be primarily of cosmetic concern, but can also cause pain, leg heaviness, fatigue, itching, night cramps, restless legs at night and leg swelling. Moreover, severe varicose veins can compromise the nutrition of the skin and lead to eczema, inflammation or even ulceration of the lower leg. In addition, varicose veins increase the risk for phlebitis. Symptoms are often worse at the end of the day because more pooling of blood has occurred. Other factors that increase pooling off-set and therefore symptoms include prolonged standing and sitting, exposure to heat (summertime, hot baths) and hormonal factors (pregnancy, around the time of the menses). There are many sources of venous hypertension. Some of them are the increased deep venous pressure caused by venous obstruction, or deep venous pressures communicated to the superficial veins through incompetence of the saphenofemoral or saphenopoplitial junctions, perforator valvular incompetence and valvular damage. It is important that a thorough pretreatment examination be done to determine the precise underlying problem in order to choose the appropriate treatment method and have a positive treatment outcome. The treatment goal is to improve venous circulation by removing the source of the abnormal hypertension through destruction of major reflux pathways. Treatment methods may include the use of chemical sclerosants, endovascular or surgical techniques.

Due to the various types of venous diseases and lymphatic diseases please consult a physician for proper diagnosis and treatment.