The term most commonly used to describe large, bulging veins on the leg varicose vein. The veins of the leg have valves, called leaflet valves that prevent the blood from flowing backward and help the leg muscles pump the blood from the legs back to the heart.
Varicose veins develop when these leaflet valves get weak, do not work they way they should and then start to let the blood flow backward causing pain and swelling in the lower leg especially when walking or standing for long periods.
Symptoms seen in the leg varicose vein include aching, pain or a heaviness feeling in the legs, swelling in the lower leg, ankles and feet, a shiny, brown to blue discoloration of the skin of the lower leg, red, dry, itchy skin due to waste buildup in the leg, cramping, abnormal bleeding and longer healing time with a minor injury to the area.
Women develop varicose veins more often than men do and are usually hereditary. Which means, if your mother or grandmother had them, you probably will, too. Other conditions, or factors, related to the development of varicose veins are; pregnancy, obesity, menopause, standing for long periods, injury to the leg, and abdominal straining.
You can try to control the symptoms that accompany varicose veins by elevating your legs for several minutes throughout your day. Make sure to get them high enough that they are at a level that is above the level of your heart. Also good advice is to get regular exercise. Walking is the best thing for you. It keeps the blood pumping and the muscles of your calf in shape, giving more support to the veins of the leg.
If you are overweight, tell your doctor you want to lose the excess poundage and that you are starting a daily walking regimen. If you have questions about diet, she can probably refer you to a nutritionist to help customize an meal plan for you. You can also ask about supplements you can take to improve the condition of your veins. Could be something as simple as a fish oil capsule a day is all you need to restore proper function and keep your veins in good working order.
If you do need more extensive treatment there are several options available to you, both surgical and non-surgical.
Stripping of varicose veins is the most common procedure performed and is done to remove all or part of the greater saphenous vein. This is the vein usually affected by varicosities, it runs down the inside of the leg from the groin area to the ankle. Also the main vein used in bypass surgeries, removal of the saphenous vein means that it is no longer available for venous bypass if needed in the future. Complications of stripping include deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, pulmonary embolism (which happens very rarely-0.06%) and infection of the surgical site.
Non-surgical treatment of varicose veins, includes work done with lasers and ultrasound equipment called endovenous thermal ablation. ETA is performed on the leg varicose vein as an outpatient procedure with a local anesthetic, has a shorter recovery time and is less invasive and has less complications than regular open surgery.
This article is for information purposes only and is not professional medical advice. Nor should it be used as medical advice at any time. You should consult with your own Physician or other proper medical professionals prior to determining treatment or diagnosis.
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