Varicose Veins

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are bulging, bluish cord-like veins extending under the surface of the skin. Varicose veins can develop in any part of the body, but most commonly seen on the legs and thighs. Usually, they are harmless, but are painful and tender to touch when swollen. Some factors like pregnancy, menopause, and changes in hormone levels can make women more prone than men for developing varicose veins.

Symptoms of Varicose veins:

  • Aching
  • Cramping
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Excessive weakness

Surgery for varicose veins:

Varicose veins are usually a cosmetic concern and do not require surgical treatment. However, surgical treatment is performed when the symptoms are very bothersome, and the varicose veins do not respond to compression therapy.

Types of surgical procedures for varicose veins:

  •  Laser surgery
  • High ligation and vein stripping
  • Ambulatory phlebectomy
  • Endoscopic vein surgery
  • Catheter assisted procedures using radiofrequency or laser energy

Who are the candidates for varicose veins surgery?

Patients with the following conditions are eligible for undergoing

varicose veins surgery:

  •  Patients having ulcers due to varicose veins
  • Patients with discolored and bulged veins
  • Patients suffering from restless leg syndrome

Before the procedure:

Before initiating the surgical procedure, the doctor collects all the medical history, medication history and family history of the patient. The patient is advised to undergo certain physical examinations to ensure if the patient is suitable for the surgery. The doctor may also order certain diagnostic tests to determine whether the saphenous vein requires surgery or can be treated with endovenous ablation.

During the procedure:

The surgeon injects local anesthesia below the knee to numb the region. By using ultrasound guidance, a catheter is placed into the vein and passed through the groin. A halo of fluid is created around the vein that helps in absorption of heat, and protects the surrounding tissue from damage. The catheter is removed, and the veins collapse due to the heat. After the removal of the catheter, the area is and is wrapped with a compression bandage. After the procedure, the patients are advised to walk for about two hours to minimize the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

After the procedure:

The patients are advised to wear compression stockings to reduce the possibility of edema, discoloration, and pain. However, the doctors recommend certain painkillers for reducing the pain and discomfort. The patients should consult the doctor if redness, swelling, pus, fever, and any other signs of infection are noticed.

Complications after the surgery:

  • Allergic reaction at the site of anesthesia
  •  Infection
  •  Heavy bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Bruising or scarring and
  • Nerve injury

You need to avoid strenuous exercises for two weeks after the procedure, however you may continue low-impact forms of activities such as yoga, walking or riding a bicycle.

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