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What are varicose veins and why do they appear?

Varicose veins is another name for enlarged veins, and eventhough most commonly the veins on legs and feet are affected, unfortunately,practically every vein in our body may become varicose. A milder form of thiscondition are spider veins, but they are not a reason for concern, because theydo not cause and problems or pain, and they are practically only a problem thatis cosmetic in nature. On the other side, this more severe form of the problemusually causes pain and aching, or sometimes even itching, and people whosuffer from it frequently have problems with circulation. Besides theseproblems, they may also lead to the swelling of the ankle, cramps, restlesslegs syndrome, and discoloration of the skin in the affected area.

They tend to occur in people who spend a lot of timestanding or walking either because of the nature of their job, or because ofsome other reason, because in such people the pressure in the veins of thelower part of the body is increased. It is not uncommon that varicose veins appear in pregnancy,but in the majority of the cases, they do not require any treatment, and theydisappear on their own, some time after the delivery.

Is it possible to treat varicose veins, and how?

To a certain extent, it is possible to treat this condition,but it should be mentioned that there are cases that are so serious, that eventhe most invasive methods of the treatment cannot help. Also, this condition requiresself-care even after the treatment, which means that people with these problemsshould first make sure that their weight is appropriate, to lose extra poundsif that is necessary. Then they should avoid sitting, standing or walking for avery long time, and they should consider wearing compression stockings, sincethey squeeze the legs, thus helping the blood to move better.

As for the available methods of treatment, they can bedivided into invasive and non-invasive, but it is important to stress out thatalternative methods of treatment of this problem are becoming more and morepopular. Traditional surgical treatment of varicose veins are being replacedwith procedures such as sclerotherapy, radiofrequency ablation, endovenous lasersurgery, vein stripping, and ambulatory phlebectomy, the majority of which aredone on an outpatient basis. Very serious cases in which leg ulcers evenappear require endoscopic vein surgery, but it is also outpatient procedure.

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