Peripheral Vascular Disease Treatment

Many people will develop varicose veins in their life. Veins carry blood to your heart, and when the one-way valves in these veins are damaged, the blood then pools up in the vein. This can cause both swelling and discomfort in the affected area. Varicose veins have a ropelike appearance, can be either blue or red and often bulge outward from underneath the skin. Most varicose veins develop very close to the surface meaning they are quite easy to see. They’re most common on the back and front of the calves, the inside of the leg and the thighs and those who have them will often find their appearance unsightly and decide to have them treated.

So if you have any questions about how to avoid developing varicose veins yourself, or want to know the best ways to stop them from getting worse if you already have them, read on to learn more about the condition.

Am I at risk of developing varicose veins?

You will be at greater risk of developing varicose veins if any of the following apply to you:

  • Family History – having a family history of varicose veins is a risk factor for developing varicose veins yourself.
  • Age – As you get older, your veins may not be able to work as well, which causes a higher risk of developing varicose veins.
  • Hormones – Hormonal changes – for instance during menstruation – can also raise the risk.
  • Standing or sitting for long periods – remaining in one position for extended periods can put you are further risk.
  • Previous blood clots – Any previous trauma to your legs or veins can increase your risk of developing further issues, including varicose veins.
  • Pregnancy – Carrying a baby places a lot of pressure on pelvic veins, which can result in the appearance of varicose veins in the legs.

How to Prevent Varicose Veins from Getting Worse

Luckily, some simple steps can be followed to assist with encouraging healthy blood flow in your legs, meaning that you can prevent your varicose veins from getting worse. Below are some things that you can try:

Exercise regularly – The muscles in your legs help your veins to push your blood to the heart, so taking some time to do some leg exercises can help prevent the appearance of any new varicose veins.

Lose weight if you’re overweight – if you are overweight or obese, there is going to be more stress placed on your legs. So losing weight can help prevent new varicose veins from appearing, and it will also be able to improve your general health as well.

Avoid standing or sitting for a long time – Anyone who works in a job that involves staying in one place for a long time is at a greater risk of making their varicose veins worse. Remembering to take a break at least every half hour to move your legs is beneficial, even if it is just a small walk. The reason for this is that it encourages blood flow up towards your heart rather than pooling in the legs. If your job requires you to stand for long periods, try to schedule a similar break to sit for a while, or consider wearing graduated compression stockings to help alleviate the congestion in the veins.

Be sure to put your feet up – If you are in a situation where you are unable to walk around or maintain movement in your legs, putting your feet up on a stool or footrest is a good way to encourage blood flow back to your heart. This is important especially if you already have varicose veins restricting the quality of your blood flow.

Invest in a compression stocking – Graduated compression stockings can prevent blood from pooling in the leg veins. If you suffer from peripheral vascular disease or diabetes, you must seek advice from your doctor or vascular surgeon before using these tight stockings.

Varicose Veins Treatment – Latest Treatment Options

If you already have varicose veins and are looking to find a way to treat them, there are several different options available, all of which are offered by vascular surgeon Adrian Ling at his practice.

Venaseal Glue – This option is a very effective and safe way to treat varicose veins. It offers minimal discomfort during the procedure and there is no need for time off work. The return to exercise and normal activity is much faster as well. The procedure involves a single local anaesthetic injection at the insertion site, obviating the need for multiple needles or a general anaesthetic. It does not carry the risk of damaging surrounding structures, such as the muscles, nerves and tissues. For these reasons, Venaseal Glue is often a preferred option to heat treatments or surgery for many patients.

Endothermal Ablation – These techniques use heat to seal the vein at very high temperatures. The two options available are Endovenous Laser and Radiofrequency ablation. Since they use very high temperatures, tumescent anaesthesia is required. This involves multiple injections of saline and local anaesthetic along the length of the vein to be treated.

Sclerotherapy – also known as microsclerotherapy and foam sclerotherapy or ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy, this treatment option involves the use of very fine needles to inject a chemical irritant into the affected veins. This causes veins to become inflamed and eventually fade completely. It is most effective for spider veins, but also is an adjunctive treatment for varicose veins.

Surgery –Surgery used to be the gold standard for treatment of varicose veins. However, with the development of minimally invasive techniques, this is no longer the case. Many vascular societies throughout the world, including the European Society for Vascular Surgery and American Society for Vascular Surgery, recommend these minimally invasive treatments as the first line therapy of choice

So if you currently have varicose veins or are at risk of developing them, try using these tips to look after your veins. If the veins are causing you discomfort, itching, swelling or ulcers, or if you do decide that you would like treatment to improve the appearance of your legs, Adrian Ling offers many different varicose veins treatment options and can help you decide which treatment option would be best for you.