This phenomenon is known as a varicose vein. These thickened, twisted, swollen, varicose veins are generally harmless but they are sometimes found to be a precursor of ulcers in the calf.
Varicose veins are generally found in the extremities, such as the calves and legs. These veins can commonly be inherited or genetic – people whose parents have varicose veins are also predisposed to having them. There are also other factors that precipitate the onset of varicose veins. These are deep vein thrombosis, pelvic surgery, pregnancy, and being overweight.
What is the varicose veins treatment?
The main cause of varicose veins is when the valves that help the passage of blood from the body towards the heart become defective. There are various types of treatments, some of them are listed below.
With a number of private hospitals offering treatments for varicose veins, these veins can be removed with a minor surgical or non-surgical procedure. These treatments include:
- Laser treatment involves the use of a laser to close these varicose veins. This causes them to shrink down in size. Multiple treatment sessions are usually required for the total elimination of varicose veins. Generally, laser treatments target larger varicose veins. Often the smaller veins can be treated at the same time with phlebectomy or later with sclerotherapy.
- Sclerotherapy is another form of varicose vein treatment that involves the injection of a certain chemical inside the vein. It does not harm the surrounding areas. Once the chemical is injected, patients are advised to wear bandages and compression stockings. There are complications in the use of sclerotherapy which are uncommon. These are allergic reactions, partial lumps, and rarely, permanent discoloration of the affected site.
- Ambulatory phlebectomy, or the removal of smaller varicose veins through small punctures is very effective for smaller varicosities. They can be done on a day surgery basis under local anaesthetic. There is minimum scarring with this type of procedure.
- Compression stockings are an alternative choice for varicose vein treatment rather than surgery. They compress your varicose veins to help circulate the blood correctly. Stockings come in different strengths and styles. Please ask your doctor which type of compression stockings you should use.
Regular exercise, especially walking, is good for your legs. It promotes proper blood circulation and improves the calf muscle which helps pump venous blood. Propping your legs up after exercise or whenever they feel tired is the best way to prevent the aching associated with varicose veins. You should avoid standing for long periods of time.
Any information in this article should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you. If you have any questions, you should ask your GP or relevant health professional.