Varicose veins are veins that have become enlarged and twisted. A vein is said to be varicose when it is dilated, lengthened and tortuous
- Aching, heavy legs (often worse at night and after exercise)
- Ankle swelling
- A brownish-blue shiny skin discoloration around the veins.
- Skin over the vein may become dry, itchy and thin, leading to eczema (venous eczema).
- The skin may darken ( stasis dermatitis), because of the waste products building up in the legs.
- Minor injuries to the area may bleed more than normal and/or take a long time to heal.
- Rarely, there is a large amount of bleeding from a ruptured vein.
- In some people the skin above the ankle may shrink ( lipodermatosclerosis) because the fat underneath the skin becomes hard.
- Restless Legs Syndrome. Restless Legs Syndrome appears to be a common overlapping clinical syndrome in patients with varicose veins and other chronic venous insufficiency.
Varicose veins are more common in women than in men, and are linked with heredity. Other related factors are pregnancy, obesity, menopause, aging, prolonged standing, leg injury and abdominal straining.
- Stripping or vein removal is used to remove larger varicose veins. This is a hospital procedure-requiring local anesthesia/ sedation. Parts of the vein are removed or tied off, or the entire vein can be removed .
- Sclerotherapy is used to treat smaller varicose veins. This is a minor procedure where a chemical is injected into the veins and results in the vein becoming scarred.
- Foam sclerotherapy
- Endovenous Laser Treatment
- Radiofrequency ablation