Varicose Veins - Causes, Symptoms And Varicose Veins Laser Treatment
Alternative names :- Varicosity; Varicosis
Varicose veins are dilated, tortuous veins engorged with blood that results from improper venous valve function. They can be primary, originating in the superficial veins, or secondary, occurring in the deep veins.
About 10% to 20% of Americans have primary varicose veins, which account for approximately 90% of varicose veins. They're twice as common in women as in men. Primary varicose veins also tend to be familial and affect both legs. Usually, secondary varicose veins occur in one leg. Both types are more common in middle adulthood.
Without treatment, varicose veins continue to enlarge. And, although there's no cure, certain measures, such as walking and using compression stockings, can reduce symptoms. Surgery may remove varicose veins; however, the condition can occur in other veins.
Causes of Varicose veins
Veins are thin-walled, distensible vessels with valves that keep blood flowing in one direction. Any condition that weakens, destroys, or distends these valves allows blood back flow to the previous valve. If a valve can't hold the pooling blood, it may become incompetent, allowing even more blood to flow backward. As the volume of venous blood builds, pressure in the vein increases and the vein becomes distended. As the vein is stretched, its wall weakens and it loses its elasticity. As the vein enlarges, it becomes lumpy and tortuous. As hydrostatic pressure increases, plasma is forced out of the vein and into the surrounding tissue, resulting in edema.
Primary varicose veins can result from:
Secondary varicose veins can result from:
Signs and symptoms of Varicose veins
Signs and symptoms of varicose veins may include:
Possible complications of varicose veins include blood clots second3IY to venous stasis, venous stasis ulcers, and chronic venous insufficiency.
Diagnosis of Varicose veins
Tests used to help diagnose varicose veins include:
Varicose veins treatment
Additional treatment measures include:
Varicose veins removal by laser treatment
Laser ablation is a new non-surgical way to cure varicose veins which has been developed over the past five years at centres in USA, Spain and Germany. It is performed as an outpatient "walk in, walk out" procedure with no requirement for general anaesthetic or overnight stays in hospital.
The laser treatment involves the insertion of a laser fibre into the varicose vein of the thigh from the knee to the groin using ultrasound imaging to guide the way. The laser fibre is then withdrawn along the vein, heating it from within to close it, using local anaesthetic to minimize discomfort. The treatment session lasts in the region of one hour. A pressure stocking is applied and must be worn for a week. The majority of patients can return to normal activities including work the next day.
Special considerations and Prevention
After stripping and ligation or after injection of a sclerosing agent, administer analgesics, as ordered, to relieve pain.
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