Varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency both affect the veins of the legs. The veins in the legs are equipped with one-way valves, which direct the flow of blood from the legs to the heart. If these valves malfunction, the blood may flow backwards. This blood may collect in small pools somewhere in the veins or the veins may become enlarged and swollen. This causes immense pain that makes it difficult to go about your everyday activities.
What are the complications linked with varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency?
Usually, both disorders cause a lot of discomfort and pain. But sometimes the varicose vein may rupture and cause varicose ulcers on the skin of your legs. The blood clot may travel to your heart and it may lead to cardiac complications.
Who is susceptible to varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency?
Although anyone can get varicose veins or chronic venous insufficiency, women are more likely to develop these venous disorders than men. The chances go up if you are-
• Older than 50
• If someone in the family has varicose veins or chronic venous insufficiency
• Pregnant or if you have been pregnant before
• If you have been diagnosed with blood clots
• If you consume alcohol or smoke
Diagnosis of varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency-
As interrupted blood flow leads to both varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency, your doctor will conduct a blood flow test through a duplex ultrasound. The sound waves can help determine in which direction the blood is flowing and the speed of the flow.
Treatment of varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency-
The doctor will ask you to implement lifestyle changes-
• You need to lose weight because being overweight is the chief contributing factor towards both these disorders. Besides regular exercise can improve blood flow through your veins
• Do not sit for long stretches of time. Go for small walks and stretch those legs.
• Medications that can target the pain and the swelling
If medication and lifestyle changes do not work, you might have to undergo surgery. The surgery is performed under general anaesthesia. You can leave on the same day. Not much follow-up care is required.
Sclerotherapy: Another popular option is sclerotherapy . A chemical is injected into the vein that closes it. The scar it produces will disappear within 4-5 days.
Laser therapy: Painless small procedure to close diseases vein.
Open surgery: Small cuts over skin to remove diseases vein.
Both varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency are accompanied by pain. Medication can help keep the pain and discomfort under check but in severe cases surgery is necessary.