Here’s why you should be aware of Varicose Veins and the available treatment

If not treated, Varicose veins can lead to serious medical problems in the body. Mumbai's Endovascular Specialist Dr. Bhavesh Arun Popat shares more information about the same.

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Blood vessels in the human body transport blood from one part to the other, thereby helping in every day functioning of the system. One such type blood vessels are Veins which bring blood from different parts of the body to the heart for re-circulation. But due to medical conditions, some veins do not function the way they are supposed to. These are called Varicose veins.

These veins comprise of tiny valves which due to some instances begin to malfunction thereby collecting and holding the behind the valves. This turns the veins weak causing them to bulge, raise, and welt, often turning lumpy or twisted with the colour changing to red, blue or purple.


How does this happen?

Varicose veins occur with age mostly due to an increase in weight and in selected professions involving continuous sitting and standing. In some cases, genetics, smoking, oral contraceptives or hormone replacements are also some of the reasons behind the development of the Varicose veins. Further, it occurs mostly in women than in men.

Talking about preventing the same, especially at a young age, Dr. Bhavesh Arun Popat, who provides varicose veins treatment in Mumbai, said, "Youngsters and athletes can avoid Varicose Veins and its complications by avoiding standing in one position for a long time. Also, certain exercises to tone up the calf muscles should be done."


Factors involved in Varicose vein development

  • Professions involving a lot of standing
  • Obesity and when the BMI greater than 30
  • Hormonal changes occur due to pregnancy, puberty, and
  • Postmenopausal hormonal replacement
  • Usage of birth control pills
  • Medical history of blood clot


Implications

Varicose Veins development is serious only in some cases where one with heavy & uncomfortable legs with mild to heavy swelling or burning sensations in legs. One might also feel muscle cramps in legs, thickening of skin around calves or ankles, sores, dryness, itchiness and dark patches due to the veins.

Medical treatment needs to be considered in case of the above symptoms, as records suggest that negligence may lead to extremely painful ulcers, bleeding in the veins and other complications.


Diagnosis

Post the primary evaluation the doctors confirm the condition by checking the symptoms and performing a physical inspection of the legs. Seriousness may require a thorough examination with a duplex ultrasound scan by an interventional radiologist. Ultrasound is opted for many cases as an examination of every vein including the smaller veins may help in improving the treatments. A specific test for diagnosis is suggested when the condition is observed originating from the Pelvis.

Diagnosis and treatments in such cases are usually given by phlebologist (vein specialist), doctors specializing in blow flow and vascular medicine, interventional radiologist to understand the internal complication without a surgery.


Treatment

Studies and previous cases suggest that it is necessary for one to proceed with the treatment at the right time to prevent complications. Suggestions offered by Interventional radiologists have proven to be most advanced with best results, as these experts performed specialized treatment procedures for immediate relief thereby helping patients resume daily functions.

Guidelines suggested by the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (UK) suggest that it is best to consult an interventional radiologist before reviewing other treatment options

Sharing more insights, Dr. Bhavesh Arun Popat added, "People are choosing this treatment option regularly and it is the first choice of treatment as there are no cuts or stitches and one can start walking 2 hours after the procedure."

Specialised clinics today provide many different types of treatments for patients with Varicose Veins. Some of them include Endovenous laser ablation treatment (EVLT), Radiofrequency Ablation, Non-thermal treatments, VenaSeal cyanoacrylate, Sclerotherapy (Spider Vein Treatment), Clarivein and Varithena.

EVLT is the most commonly preferred treatment suggested to treat the condition. Often called as the golden standard treatment, EVLT involves offering heat to close off challenging veins, along with imaging guidance used by the interventional radiologists. This type of treatment lets the patient to rest during the process and helps them return to some of their daily activities.

Benefits of EVLT:

  • It has minimal effect on the body compared to surgery
  • It is a minimally invasive procedure
  • Safe for all age groups and success rate
  • Leaves no scars and marks
  • does not require general anesthesia in many cases
  • Issued and recognized under the NICE Guidelines, UK

However, it is also suggested that a patient should consult and choose the treatment offered by the specialists depending on many other factors and complications diagnosed.

Note: This is a guest article written by Dr. Bhavesh Arun Popat, a renowned Endovascular specialist from Mumbai. He currently serves Joint Secretary of Maharashtra State Branch of Indian Society of Vascular & Interventional Radiology. He is also affiliated with the Indian Society of Vascular & Interventional Radiology (ISVIR) and Cardiovascular & Interventional Radiology Society of Europe (CIRSE). To know more details about him, visit www.endovascularclinic.in

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