Varicose veins are a common condition prevalent nowadays. It is seen more often in people who are elderly, overweight, constipated or people who stand for long hours. Women are more susceptible than men especially those who are pregnant or the ones n their menopause stage. People above the age of 50 become more prone to the getting varicose veins rather 42 % of the men above sixty suffer from venous insufficiency. It occurs when the valves lining the wall of the vein are damaged and is characterized by enlarged veins especially in leg or thighs that appear red or blue in colour. Major cases include harmless and painless symptoms such as bulging or twisted veins that appear purple or blue in colour. However, people suffering from this condition may also complain of swollen ankles and feet or itchy skin, leg heaviness, tiredness, throbbing, tingling or restlessness. It occurs when the vein enlarges due to pooling of blood usually resulting in pain in the form of cramps or aching, burning, skin discoloration, ulcers etc especially during summer seasons.. Skin tears or ulceration indicate a very severe case and a minor trauma can cause a varicose vein to burst and bleed. Alternatively, it may become hard and painful resulting in phlebitis etc. Unpleasant as well as unsightly, it should be treated before it becomes a life threatening shape such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
In case, the patient does not experience any major discomfort or symptoms and does not have any cosmetic issues, treatment may not be required. However, if the discomfort or pain persists you should visit a vascular surgeon before it worsens and starts causing ulcers or sores on your legs, eczema, lipodermatosclerosis (hard and tight skin), blood clots, or chronic inflammation A physical examination by the doctor in the form of a Doppler test or ultrasound may be needed to assess the blood flow as well as the severity of the condition and what type of treatment is required in the case. Surgical intervention in the form of open surgery was done in varicose veins treatment earlier. Now, minimally invasive options are there like laser, EVLT and the patient can be discharged the same day.
In case Dr. Gaurav Singal is a senior vascular surgeon in Grecian Super Specialty Hospital, Mohali. He has over 15 years of experience in the field of Vascular Surgery and varicose veins treatment. He has treated some of the most complex cases in the Tricity and elsewhere.