Varicose veins aren\’t easy to live with. Unsightly and embarrassing, they are also a symptom of a vein disease known as venous insufficiency, or chronic venous hypertension. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of varicose veins treatments.
For many patients, varicose veins treatment begins with simple lifestyle changes. Often, a patient can make relatively simple adjustments to their day-to-day life that can result in major improvements in the appearance and severity of varicose veins. If these results are satisfactory, there may be no need to undergo a medical procedure at all. Thus, vein doctors often ask patients to try lifestyle changes first and only move to more serious varicose veins treatments when needed.
Lifestyle changes to treat varicose veins come in two main categories: improving your health and fitness, and avoiding activities that exacerbate varicose veins. For health and fitness, daily light exercise is often prescribed. This helps get the blood moving through your veins and improves muscle tone and vein health.
Activities that exacerbate varicose veins include sitting or standing still for long periods of time without breaks and habitual heavy lifting. This allows blood to essentially pool in the lower extremities and makes it difficult for the circulatory system to return blood back up the body toward the heart. Taking breaks to get off your feet and elevate your legs is generally recommended. Additionally, other factors and pathological conditions contributing to development of venous insufficiency should be treated or optimized. Some of them include chronic constipation, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, morbid obesity and many others.
For some patients, these changes aren\’t enough and varicose veins treatments are needed. These treatments include:
- Schlerotherapy – A harmless chemical agent is injected into the diseased veins that causes them to scar, seal shut and simply stop being used by the body. This type of treatment is suitable only for spider vein in absence of chronic venous hypertension.
- Laser or radiofrequency therapy – the vein responsible for formation of varicosities is being sealed with heat generated by either laser light or radiofrequency waves brought into the diseased vein through a needle.
- Vein Ligation & Stripping – surgical removal of the diseased veins: nowadays should not be used under any circumstances.
- Microphlebectomy – interruption of persistent varicosities with a special needle: is rarely needed these days.
This is just a basic introduction to varicose veins treatments, but it will help you to become familiar with these recommendations and procedures before you speak to a vein doctor. How long have you dealt with varicose veins, and what\’s made you decide to have them treated?