Has your curiosity ever got you staring at the swollen, gnarled veins in the legs of an elderly person? Ever wondered what could be the possible reason behind this? These are varicose veins, a disorder of the blood vessels.
Varicose veins are the visible blue-blood vessels that return blood flow to the heart. They are composed of a set of superficial veins that can be easily seen in the lower limbs of the elderly. Learn more about them and varicose veins treatment below.
What is the cause of varicose veins?
Veins are responsible for bringing blood back to the heart in order to be circulated again. For this purpose, veins have to work against gravity to push blood back to the heart. The muscles of your legs contract to bring about this action and their tiny valves stop blood from flowing back into your legs. As your age progresses, these valves become lethargic and do not work efficiently. This causes blood to pool in the lower limbs and causes varicose veins.
About 60% of the population reportedly suffers from this condition. If condition worsens, tiny spider veins pop up from these varicose veins. This is not a pretty picture and many female sufferers often get these veins removed. To clarify, removal of these superficial veins is possible because we have a set of deep veins, rather than just one, which keep blood circulation effective.
What are the treatment options available for varicose veins?
Varicose vein treatment involves some useful steps. These are not painful at all. Methods such as the duplex ultrasound are used to evaluate the blood circulation system of the legs. This gives your doctor a clear two-dimensional picture, which helps in the treatment procedures. This ultrasound points out the exact vein which is the source of the obstruction.
Another procedure involves the introduction of a small catheter inside the affected vein, under anesthesia. Blood is pushed out of the lumen of the vein and the swelling is immediately removed. The scar caused by this procedure is too minute to be noticeable.
A wide range of lasers are also used as an effective varicose vein’s treatment option. The laser introduces a stream of light inside the vein. You will only feel a minute tinge of discomfort as the laser hits the vein. Your doctor will immediately cool down the affected point of your skin and you will notice the pain has vanished. This way, all obstructions are removed.
Foam sclerotherapy is also used to treat varicose veins. This uses an agent such as a detergent or an emulsifier to clear the affected vein. This clears the vein of the occlusion and gets rid of the clogged, blue appearance.
Ambulatory phlebectomy is yet another technique in which the vein is extracted using a crochet device, which has a hook-like shape. This is a quick procedure and does not require you to wait for the vein to reabsorb.