Varicose veins can be brought under control in several ways, including with simple lifestyle changes and with medical procedures. The goal of any treatment is to ease symptoms, prevent additional complications and also improve the way the bulging and discolored areas look.
When varicose veins are causing few symptoms, doctors often suggest only lifestyle changes. When symptoms interfere with daily life, a doctor may suggest having one or more medical procedures to ease pain, blood clots or skin disorders that are linked to the vein condition. You may also choose to move forward with a medical procedure for purely aesthetic reasons.
While treatment won’t stop new varicose veins from forming, it can dramatically improve those already present.
Making Lifestyle Changes
A first line of treatment for varicose veins, lifestyle changes can keep vein issues from worsening, reduce the amount of pain you experience and delay the formation of other varicose veins. Changes to consider include:
Avoiding standing or sitting for a long time without a break. And when you do sit, try not to cross your legs. It also helps to raise legs when sitting, sleeping or resting. When possible, raise legs above your heart to reduce stress on your veins.
Partaking in physical activity. When you can keep get your legs moving more often and improve your musculature, this makes it easier for blood to move through your veins.
Losing weight. Easier said than done, being overweight or obese contributes to varicose veins. Ease press and improve the flow of blood by shedding some pounds.
Avoiding tight clothing. When you wear clothes that are tight at the waist, in the upper thigh or around the legs, you’re worsening your varicose vein situation.
Avoiding high heeled shoes. Lower heels improve the toning of calf muscles, and toned muscles have better blood flow. If you must wear heels, wear them only for short times and only occasionally.
Trying compression stockings. If your doctor recommends them, compression stockings can help by putting gentle pressure on the legs that prevents blood from pooling and decreases swelling in the lower extremities.
More About Compression Hose
There are three primary types of compression stockings. The first is a kind of support hose and offers very little pressure, so these may not help you. A second is an over-the-counter solution that provides more pressure than support pantyhose. If you can’t find these at your usual stores, try medical supply stores or specialty pharmacies.
Prescription-strength compression stockings are also available for added support. Providing the greatest amount of support and pressure, these are available at pharmacies and in medical supply stores. Because of risks involved in using these incorrectly, you need to have them fitted by specially trained people.
Medical Procedures For Varicose Veins
With medical procedures, it’s possible to remove varicose veins or close them so they are no longer an issue. These procedures don’t usually cause problems with blood flow since the blood can reroute itself through other veins nearby.
Procedures that may be used include the following:
Involving a liquid chemical to close a vein, sclerotherapy is the injection of the chemical into the vein so that there is irritation and scarring that effectively closes it. Once it closes, it fades away. Used mostly for small varicose veins and spider veins, it can be performed in a doctor’s office while standing. Several treatments may be required for complete closure, done at 4 to 6 week intervals. The treated leg is wrapped in an elastic bandage after treatment to assist with healing and decrease swelling. Business owners or health practitioners that would like to offer Sclerotherapy, see this course.
Used for treating small varicose veins and spider veins, microsclerotherapy involves very small amounts of liquid chemicals that are injected into small veins with a fine needle. The chemical creates scarring inside the vein that closes it off.
The process of applying light from a laser to a varicose vein, laser surgery can quickly and effectively make the vein vanish. Used mostly for small veins, there’s no cutting and no chemicals are involved.
Endovenous Ablation Therapy
Using lasers or perhaps radio waves, it’s the heat that closes off the varicose veins in this case. When administered by a doctor with proper training, it can work wonders. A tiny cut is made near the vein, then a small tube-like catheter is inserted into the vein. At the tip is a heat-generating device that heats up and closes off the vein. While you’re awake, you’re simply numbed locally, and you can usually go home the same day.
Endoscopic Vein Surgery
Also involving a small cut through the skin near the vein, a tiny camera is used in this case to guide the procedure, then a device on the end of the insertion tube is used to close up the vein. Used only in severe cases when the veins are causing skin ulcers, it may be a few weeks before you can return to normal activities.
Involving a small cut in the skin once again, ambulatory phlebectomy is the physical removal of veins that are causing problems by a doctor with special skills and training. Usually used for veins near the surface, you remain awake during the vein removal with only some local numbing needed. In most cases, you can go home on the same day you have the procedure.
Vein Ligation Or Stripping
Done only in the severest cases, this involved tying closed and then removing veins through a series of small cuts in the skin. Medicine is usually given to patients to put them to sleep temporarily so there’s no pain. Done as an outpatient, the recovery time can vary from 1 to 4 weeks. Posing the greatest risk of side effects of any vein procedure, pain, blood clots and infections are possible but very rare.