Varicose Veins

Veins are thin-walled vessels through which the impure blood is carried back to the heart. They usually have valves which regulate the flow of blood towards the heart. Varicose veins are a condition in which veins become enlarged, dilated or thickened. Varicose veins can occur in any part of the body but generally appear on the legs. The veins of the legs are the largest in the body and they carry the blood from the lower extremities upwards towards the heart. Though there are no mechanical obstacles to blood-flow, it is usually the incompetence of the valve which leads to an increase in intravenous pressure. Varicose veins have an unsightly appearance and can be dangerous. Varicose veins are about thrice as common an occurrence in women as in men. This disease is rare in rural undeveloped societies. Symptoms The first sign of varicose veins is a swelling along the course of the veins. This may be followed by muscular cramps and a feeling of tiredness in the legs behind the knees. In some cases, the normal flow of blood towards the heart may be reversed when the patient is in an upright position. This results in venous blood collecting in the lower part of the legs and the skin becomes purplish and pigmented, leading to what is known as varicose eczema or varicose ulcers. Both conditions cause severe pain. Causes A varicose condition of the veins results from sluggish circulation due to various factors such as constipation, dietetic errors, lack of exercise and smoking. Standing for long periods and wearing tight clothing can also lead to sluggish circulation. Pregnancy may cause varicose veins due to increased pressure in the pelvis and abdomen, which slows down the flow of blood from the lower extremities to the heart. Women usually suffer from this condition in the early years of child-bearing. Obesity can also cause varicose veins. Treatment Certain nutrients, especially vitamins E, and C, have been found effective in the treatment of this disease. The patient should take vitamin C in a therapeutic dose up to 3,000 mg. and vitamin E in therapeutic doses from 600 to 1,200 I.U. daily. This will relieve him of pain and leg cramps associated with varicose veins. The alternate hot and cold hip bath is very valuable and should be taken daily. A hot Epsom-salts bath is also very valuable and should be taken twice a week. Elastic stockings without activity have no role in treatment. However if used, they must be combined with ambulation Surgery which is an OPD procedure and done through mini hole incision in inguinal region is reserved for refractory varicose veins. dr-sanjay-madan-214x300 By Dr. Sanjay Madan, Specialist Orthopedic Surgeon

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