Varicose Veins

What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins, also known as varicoses or varicosities, occur when your veins become enlarged, dilated, and overfilled with blood. Varicose veins typically appear swollen and raised, and have a bluish-purple or red color. They are often painful.
The condition is very common, especially in women. Around 25 percent of all adults have varicose veins. In most cases, varicose veins appear on the lower legs.

Varicose veins occur when veins aren’t functioning properly. Veins have one-way valves that prevent blood from flowing backward. When these valves fail, blood begins to collect in the veins rather than continuing toward your heart. The veins then enlarge. Varicose veins often affect the legs. The veins there are the farthest from your heart, and gravity makes it harder for the blood to flow upward.

Some potential causes for varicose veins include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Menopause
  • Age over 50
  • Standing for long periods of time like with teachers, policemen, soldiers etc
  • Obesity
  • Familial Tendency

The primary symptoms of varicose veins are highly visible, misshapen veins, usually on your legs. You may also have pain, swelling, heaviness, and achiness over or around the enlarged veins.  In some cases, you can develop swelling and discoloration. In severe cases, the veins can bleed significantly, and ulcers can form.

Clinical examination accompanied by Venous Doppler of the Lower Limb helps diagnose Varicose Veins.

At times a Venogram may be asked for where a dye is injected and XRays of your leg are taken.

Lifestyle changes

The following changes may help prevent varicose veins from forming or becoming worse:

  • Avoid standing for extended periods of time.
  • Lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
  • Exercise to improve your circulation.
  • Use compression socks or stockings.

If you already have varicose veins, you should take these steps to prevent new varicose veins. You should also elevate your legs whenever you’re resting or sleeping.


The doctor may prescribe certain medicines to strengthen your veins

Sclerotherapy:    Here sclerosing agents are used to chemically burn the varicosities. Usually done foe small size (spider veins).

EVLT:   Endovenous Laser Treatment. Here LASER energy is used to burn the vein. This procedure done for larger veins and may be accompanied by a small cut in the groin are to ligate the saphenofemoral junction of the vein.