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Varicose veins

Varicose veins are characterized by twisted and enlarged veins near the surface of the skin. Varicose veins are most common in the superficial veins of the legs. This condition is usually treated with vein striping. Other treatments include: sclerotherapy, laser surgery, catheter-assisted procedure, ambulatory phlebectomy, and endoscopic vein surgery.Causes and Symptoms of Vein VaricoseVeins carry blood from the body to the heart in order to recirculate the blood. The vein valves prevent the blood from flowing retrograde. Muscle contraction in legs act as pumps and elastic vein walls help blood return to the heart. In varicose veins, these valves stop working properly when walls of veins in the legs loose their elasticity stretch.

This condition is often caused by aging, pregnancy, obesity, menopause and prolonged standing. Varicose veins are commonly seen in women and are considered to be hereditary.

Signs of varicose veins include: veins that are blue or dark blue in color and veins that appear twisted and bulging. Painful signs and symptoms include: heavy feeling in legs, muscle cramping and swelling, increased pain after standing or sitting for extended period of time and itching around the vein.

Vein Stripping

Vein stripping is a surgical procedure performed to relieve the pain from varicose veins and to improve circulation. Stripping includes removal of all or part the saphenous vein main trunk. This surgery is indicated if ultrasound of the veins confirms malfunctioning and diseased veins. It is an outpatient procedure but commonly conducted in the operating room. The patient can receive general or spinal anesthesia.

Surgical Procedure

During the surgery, an incision is made near the groin to access saphenous vein. Then, surgeon disconnects the sapheous vein from the femoral vein. The second incision is made below the knee and thin, flexible plastic wire is then inserted through groin toward the other cut in the leg. Wire is then pulled out and the vein with it. The surgeon closes the incisions with stitches and compression bandages are applied on the leg.

Complications of Vein Stripping

Vein stripping is generally safe. There are the risks connected to general anesthesia such as: allergic reaction to medicines, breathing problems, bleeding and infection. The risks for vein stripping include: bruising or scaring, nerve injury and return of the varicose vein over time.

After the SurgerySurgical wounds are wrapped with bandages and compression stockings can be used to manage swelling and bleeding. Bandages remain for several days or weeks after the procedure. Analgesic may be prescribed to the patient and he or she will be advised to take 10 to 12 walks, lasting from 5 to 10 minutes, every day.

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