Varicose Veins – Causes and Treatments
If you wonder how some people have their veins on their legs looking prominently knotted, resembling a lot to thick snakes, understand that these are called varicose veins. However, the good news is that they can be destroyed or removed without hampering blood circulation in the leg because they are just a part of the superficial system, while the real venous system in the legs lies much deeper.
Some or the other form of vein disorder is seen in around 60% of women as well as men. While a quarter of the male population suffers from varicose veins, women mainly suffer from spider veins.
Spider veins too are a type of varicose veins and resemble kinky spider webs. They can take a more unsightly form and can cause cosmetic concerns. When exposed to the sun, spider veins get worse by breaking down collagen beneath the skin.
How are Varicose Veins Caused?
Both varicose as well as spider veins are caused when valves meant for preventing blood from running backward in the legs fail or get loosened and flabby, thereby allowing backwash, because of which veins are stretched and slowly leak into leg tissue and ankle, resulting into swelling.
Cause of varicose veins is not exactly known; however, according to dermatologists, they are caused due to a genetic tendency of the vein valves getting weak. In women, hormones too seem to play a major part during phases like puberty, pregnancy and menopause, and also while taking hormones like birth control pills, estrogen and progesterone.
At Clínica de Terapia Vascular, you can know about the latest treatments of varicose veins and other vascular problems in legs.
Duplex ultrasound is used today to take a look at the leg’s circulatory system, which gives a sharp, two-dimensional image instead of a Doppler device through which doctors listened to the blood flow and tried to guess which veins might have been affected.
Also today a thin catheter is inserted in the affected vein, rather than a metal rod of the olden days, and the entire interior of the vein is heated by radio waves, because of which the tough collagen in the vessel wall is shrunk, collapses and is reabsorbed. The vein may take 8 weeks to reabsorb.
Lasers too are used to pass explosions of concentrated light inside the vein and collapsing it. When the skin is hit by laser, there may be a little discomfort, but the skin is quickly cooled down by the doctors.
Another new technique is foam sclerotherapy in which foam formed from a substance like an emulsifier or detergent is injected in the affected vein, slowly making its walls swell and stick together, blocking it off. The deeper venous system then takes over the blood flow.
Thus there are many new treatments for varicose veins today which are almost painless and effective. So, those who have varicose veins or spider veins can take a sigh of relief.