Varicose veins are somewhat similar to hemorrhoids and spider veins. They are enlarged, twisted, and swollen veins that lie directly under the skin. Sometimes they can be seen through the skin as twisted blue-purple ropes. Other times they look like a thick strand of cord on top of the leg. Varicose veins can be extremely painful. They commonly appear in the legs and feet, and they most often affect women who are pregnant or obese. The veins get enlarged mostly because the valves inside them do not work well enough to keep blood flowing upwards; it thus flows back down towards the feet. While they do not pose any health risks or hazards, they can make for an unsightly appearance prompting you to seek treatment from a specialist in varicose veins in Port Saint Lucie.
Varicose veins are primarily asymptomatic, meaning they do not cause discomfort. If the blood pools in them, fluid can accumulate, creating a sensation of heaviness or pain. Itching and skin changes in the area of the varicosities are also symptoms. Sometimes, when blood flow in veins is slow, it can cause swelling; this is another symptom of varicose veins.
Varicose veins may present with purplish-red color; they appear twisted and bulgy on the skin’s surface. They look like the thick chords of a guitar.
Most varicose veins are caused by too much pressure from standing or sitting for long periods. The valves inside blood vessels do not work correctly, which leads to an increase in blood flow towards the feet and legs. Some other causes may be:
- Pregnancy – during pregnancy, the body produces a hormone called relaxin. This hormone affects blood vessels and connective tissue of the pelvis, which can cause varicose veins.
- Inactivity – when you do not move your legs enough, they tend to swell, which is why people who stay sedentary for long periods are prone to varicose veins.
- Obesity – excess weight is another contributing factor for developing varicose veins. The increased pressure can affect blood flow.
Diabetes, genetics, and smoking are the known factors that increase the risk of this condition.
Surgery is considered if varicose veins symptoms persist despite other treatments. Alternative treatments that do not include surgery include endovenous laser treatment, which uses a laser beam to close the end of the vein and create a small hole to allow blood to flow back towards the heart.
Sclerotherapy is another alternative treatment in which a chemical solution is injected into varicose veins to cause them to shrink and close. These treatments do not guarantee satisfaction; therefore, they are used as an initial step before surgery.
Surgical removal of varicose veins can be done through saphenous ligation or stripping the vein from the groin towards the knee. Another method is stripping the vein from the back of the knee towards the groin. This process can be done with local anesthesia or sedation, depending on the severity of varicose veins.
Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted, and swollen veins directly under the skin. They may present with purplish-red color; they may appear bulgy on the skin’s surface. You may develop varicose veins when valves inside blood vessels do not work correctly. Treatment involves sclerotherapy, endovenous laser treatment, and surgery.