by Suhani Dewra
Sedentary lifestyle has brought about too many health issues. Varicose veins is one of them. Dr C Chandra Sekhar, a Senior Consultant with the Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at Apollo Hospitals gives an insight into the causes and treatment of this disease
Q1. What are varicose veins?
Ans 1. Seen as swollen veins beneath the skin, varicose veins are disease of the superficial veins of the legs. Varicose veins are the visible surface manifestations of an underlying problem with reverse venous flow.
Q2. Who does it affect more – men or women?
Ans 2. Mostly young men. The statistics say that more than 40% of people get affected by varicose veins.
Q3. What are the causes and symptoms of varicose veins?
Ans 3. There are many. People having similar illness in the family, multiple pregnancies, obesity and sedentary life style are the risk factors. Large prominent veins in the legs, limb swelling causing aches, tiredness and heaviness of legs, discoloration around the ankle are the early warning signs of varicose veins. In later stages, these may cause itching in the lower leg, formation of ulcer, bleeding from the veins and cosmetic disfigurement.
Q4. What are the preventive measures of the disease?
Ans 4. Varicose veins cannot be completely prevented. The vein health can be improved though. For this, the patient must indulge in physical activities such as walking, cycling, jogging and swimming. These are great ways to improve circulation as the blood is pumped up the leg against gravity.
Q5. What is the treatment?
Ans 5. There are no medicines to cure varicose veins, but there are tablets for temporary relief. Broadly speaking, the treatment of varicose veins involves either removal of the diseased veins by surgery or destruction of damaged veins by sclerotherapy or laser energy. The treatment varies from person to person. That is where ‘vein mapping’ helps. It’s an innovative technique that helps a surgeon to arrive at the best plan for a particular patient.
Now surgery has been largely replaced by laser treatment for varicose veins, where in a small laser fiber is inserted precisely into the diseased vein. Then laser energy is applied to diseased vein from inside, which later shrinks and is absorbed by the body. With precise vein mapping techniques and the state-of- art laser treatment, success rate of treatment of this disabling condition has been very promising.
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