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What Is Varicose Veins?

In this article, we will talk about varicose veins which are quite common among women especially in the society. Varicose disease affects approximately 60% of the adult population worldwide. (1)

What Is Varicose Veins?

There are two main vessel groups in our body. These arteries and veins. The arteries provide the distribution of clean blood to the body and the veins allow the blood used to be transported to the heart. Varicose veins occur in veins that carry blood to the heart.

The structural distortions that occur in the veins are called varicose veins. The enlarged vessels become curved and color changes are observed. Varicose veins have a reddish and purplish color.

Causes of Varicose Veins?

The veins carry the used blood collected from the body to the heart. There are valves on the vessels to prevent the blood from escaping during this transport. These valves are located at 5 to 10 cm intervals on the veins. The deterioration of these valves causes the dirty blood to leak and accumulate in the area. Polluted blood accumulated in the region causes the vessel to dilate and structurally deteriorate over time.

The reason for the deterioration of the vascular valves is the increased pressure on the legs. The conditions that increase the pressure are as follows;

  • Genetic
  • Stay for a long time
  •  Sit for a long time
  •  High body mass index (Being Overweight)
  • Old age
  • Pregnancy

Genetic

Varicose veins are not as accurate as a genetic disease, but the connection of varicose veins with genetic factors cannot be denied. The risk of varicose veins is much higher in individuals with a family history of varicose veins. It is thought that the risk of having varicose veins in women with varicose veins is 90%.

Long Standing / Long sitting

When the blood used in the legs is pumped to the heart, there may be difficulty. This is because the blood moves from the legs to the heart and moves in the opposite direction of gravity. Prolonged standing or sitting makes it difficult to pump the blood and provides a suitable ground for varicose veins.

Being Overweight

The body mass index of the person is more than necessary, ie being overweight increases the pressure exerted on the legs. Increased pressure causes deterioration of the vascular valves and the formation of varicose veins.

Age

Weakening of tissues and muscles occurs with age. Therefore, the risk of varicose veins is higher in older ages. Almost more than half of women over the age of 50 have varicose veins. In the studies, the risk of varicose veins in the young population is 39%, whereas the risk increases to 62% in individuals over 50 years of age.(2)

Pregnancy

There are many changes in the mother’s body during pregnancy. One of these is the increase in the amount of blood found in the mother’s body. The increase in the amount of blood in the vessels leads to an increase in the pressure applied to the vessels. In addition, the growth of the baby over time also increases the pressure in the body, preparing the appropriate time for the formation of varicose veins.

How is it treated?

Varicose veins are preferred according to the type of varicose veins. Varicose veins are generally divided into 3 capillaries, medium and large size varices.

Capillaries are usually vascular fractures that are not considered a health problem. They are very thin structures with a size of 1.2 mm. They do not expand into medium-sized or large-sized varicose veins over time, but they can spread like spider veins.

Medium-sized and large-sized varicose veins are arteriosclerosis. Medium-sized varicose veins can become large varicose veins if left untreated. Large varicose veins, if left untreated, may develop into leg sores over time.

Varicose veins are treated with non-surgical techniques such as laser, radio frequency, sclerotherapy and foam treatment. Varicose veins can also be treated surgically. However, it was not considered because it was rather primitive compared to non-surgical treatments.

Varicose Veins Treatment

The laser device has been used successfully in the field of health and cosmetics. Varicose veins treatment is one of the areas where it is used in the health field. The treatment is administered intravenously and on the surface of the skin in 2 different ways.

Laser Therapy From Skin (Exotherme Laser):

The technique applied from the surface of the skin is used only for hair vessel vein fractures. This technique is also called Exotherme Laser treatment. With the laser device, the capillaries formed on the skin are treated with laser beam. The laser device acts on an area of 1 cm.

Intravenous Laser Therapy (EndoVenosis Laser Ablation) (EVLA):

EndoVenosis laser ablation (EVLA) is an intravenous laser treatment for varicose veins that occur under the skin other than capillaries. Intravenous laser treatment is performed with ultrasound device. A small incision is made in the skin and the thin end of the laser device proceeds in the vein with ultrasound guidance. After reaching the desired point the device is energized and the desired area is progressively closed.

Varicose Veins Treatment by Radio Frequency:

Radio frequency therapy is applied intravenously and on the surface of the skin just like laser treatment. The radio frequency device has been developed as a more effective device for the treatment of varicose veins than laser. The area of action is 7 times wider than the laser. That is, the laser device can affect 1 cm area while the rf device can affect 7 cm area.

Radio Frequency Treatment From Skin Surface:

In the radio frequency treatment applied on the surface of the skin, capillaries are treated by means of the device that converts radio waves into heat energy.

EndoVenosisRadioFrequencyAblation (EVRF)

It is an intravenous technique used for venous dilatation. Its application is the same as intravenous laser technique. It is applied by removing the map with the ultrasound device. It has a wider range than laser.

Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is the closure of the vessel by injection without any incision. It is the most efficient and practical treatment of varicose veins. The drug, which closes the vein, is injected into the vein with the help of an injector. The procedure is easy and painless as being a needle. The form applied to the venous dilations is called sclerotherapy and the form applied to the capillaries is called microsclerlerotherapy.

Foam Treatment

Foam therapy is a form of sclerotherapy developed for large-scale vessels. In the treatment of foam, the active substance is reacted with air with the help of triple tap and formed into foam form. In this way, less area is affected by the early material.

There is no risk of varicose veins in the vessels treated with foam and sclerotherapy. With treatment, the problematic vessel is treated permanently.

Advantages of Foam and Sclerotherapy

Varicose veins were treated surgically in old times. In other words, by making incision on the skin (20-30 cm), the problematic vessel was cut and removed from the body. Nowadays, however, sclerotherapy and foam treatment is simple as much as an injection without any incision. – There is no need for hospital admission.

  • No need for narcosis.
  • Patient comfort is high.
  • No risk of repeating.
  • It can be applied in a short time as 10 minutes.
  • Painless.
  • No need of special care after treatment.
  • Treatment fees are economical. It is not costly   as surgery.
  • No loss of work force. The patient may return to social life on the same day.

References

[1] Boisseau, M. R. (2014). Chronic venous disease and the genetic influence. Phlebolymphology21(2), 100-111.https://www.phlebolymphology.org/chronic-venous-disease-and-the-genetic-influence/

[2] Caggiati, A., Rosi, C., Heyn, R., Franceschini, M., & Acconcia, M. C. (2006). Age-related variations of varicose veins anatomy. Journal of vascular surgery44(6), 1291-1295. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0741521406013656

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