Varicose Veins and Spider Veins
Varicose veins are swollen and enlarged blood vessels that may cause pain and discomfort in those who have it. A milder version of this is spider veins. While these veins can be found anywhere on the body, they are often present in the legs due to increased pressure in the lower body from standing and walking upright.
These visible veins are caused by weakened valves which malfunction. As a result, there is a backflow of blood that pools in the veins instead of flowing to the heart and veins become congested, twisted, and lengthened.
How do Varicose Veins Occur?
As you age, your risk of developing varicose veins increases due to the wear and tear on the valves in your blood that help to regulate blood flow. You are also at a higher risk if you have a family history of varicose veins, are obese, or have been standing or sitting for long periods of time. Generally, varicose veins occur more commonly in females due to hormonal changes and pregnancy. Patients with a history of deep venous thrombosis are also at risk.
How Do I know If I Have Varicose Veins?
If you are experiencing swollen and enlarged networks of red/purple/blue vessels, a heavy feeling or swelling in the legs, and leg aching, you might have varicose veins. Skin discoloration or darkening around the veins as well as itchy skin around veins are also common symptoms of varicose veins.
How Do I Prevent Varicose Veins?
Although there is no complete prevention for varicose veins, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of it. For example, exercising, watching your weight, elevating your legs, eating a high fiber and low salt diet, changing sitting/standing positions regularly, and for the ladies avoiding high heels and tight hosiery.
What are some complications related to varicose veins?
It is important to seek medical advice if your varicose veins are causing discomfort or if your symptoms are stopping you from going about your everyday life. While rare, extreme pain or discomfort could be a sign of complications due to varicose veins. These complications include painful ulcers that may look discolored, blood clots which cause the affected leg to become painful and swell.
DIAGNOSIS OF VARICOSE VEINS
Varicose veins can be diagnosed through a thorough clinical physical examination from a professional as well as an ultrasound scan of the legs. The ultrasound scan is essential in determining the cause, degree, and extent of varicose veins.
WHAT TREATMENTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR ME?
- Tight compression stockings can help to promote blood flow throughout the legs and may alleviate some discomfort, preventing the progression of disease. However, more serious cases of varicose veins with prominent symptoms could require further treatment and care.
- Traditional open surgery known as high-tie and vein stripping – this method requires general anesthesia and requires a night’s stay in hospital. Open surgery is often associated with greater pain and a slower process.
- With the same benefits as a traditional surgery, minimally invasive surgeries cause less pain and have a quicker recovery time as compared to traditional surgery. Instead of a large opening, the surgery is performed through a miniscule incision. Advancements in technology allow for only a small puncture for probes to be inserted into the vein to seal it off. This usually takes place as a day surgery with quick return to daily activities and no need for a disruption to your everyday life or an expensive hospital stay. It is done under local anaesthesia or light sedation where either heat, mechanical, or chemical means will be used to seal the vein.
Our treatment techniques include:
- Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA)
Radio frequency energy is used to heat up and damage the vein wall. A fast and safe outpatient procedure, it takes about 35-40 minutes to perform. Furthermore, it is also a minimally invasive procedure.
- Venseal™/VenaBlock Glue Closure
A small amount of specially formulated medical adhesive is used to seal the varicose vein permanently. Through the closure of these veins, blood is rerouted to healthy veins located nearby, providing relief. This procedure provides a comfortable experience and typically is completed within 15-20 minutes.
- Clarivein™ Mechanochemical Ablation
This procedure combines the mechanical destruction of the veins and the injection of sclerosant (a chemical used in sclerotherapy that seals off veins). A special catheter is inserted that has a wire rotating at high speed, damaging the innermost layer of the vein (or the venous intima). At the same time, there is controlled injection of sclerosant which seals off the vein.This is a painless technique which requires a lot less local anaesthetic injections. Additionally, there is no risk of heat induced to surrounding nerves due to the mechanochemical ablation technique.
- Cryo-Laser and Cryo-Sclerotherapy (CLaCs)
Suitable for spider veins, this procedure combines transdermal laser and injection sclerotherapy using a chemical sclerosant, all under skin cool (-20C). It leaves minimal scarring and pigmentation post-surgery.
This procedure makes use of the Harmony XL PRO, a powerful treatment tool for your aesthetic needs. Using its light, laser, and AFT (Advanced Fluorescence Technology), affected blood vessels beneath the skin are targeted. The treatments are safe and effective, providing you with the long term, reliable results that you desire.
These minimally invasive procedures will aid in curing stubborn varicose veins and minimising their appearance, helping you to achieve skin that is not only smooth and clear but most importantly, pain-free.
To find out if any of these procedures will be suitable, request a consultation with one of our doctors to help you understand your options and select the best solution available for you.