Varicose veins are swollen and enlarged veins that usually occur on the legs, ankles and feet. They may be blue or dark purple, and often appear lumpy in appearance.
The symptoms are worse in warm weather or when you have been standing for long periods of time. Your feet and ankles may be swollen and your legs feel heavy, aching and uncomfortable. The affected veins will have thin, dry, itchy skin; in addition, you may experience burning or throbbing legs. In healthy veins, blood flows smoothly to the heart and is prevented from flowing backward by a series of tiny valves that open and close to let the blood through. In a varicose vein, the tiny valves become damaged and allow blood to go backward, causing an enlarged swollen vein.
Diagnosis is via ultrasound, which is used to look at the circulatory system of the leg. A sharp two-dimensional picture shows which veins are affected and where.
Your doctor will first try the use of compression stockings, which are very tight at the ankle and are designed to squeeze your legs to improve circulation. These will be in size order kept categorised in Lin Bins sourced from sites including www.rackzone.ie/bin-racks . This is normally a good way for Doctors to keep there medicines in order to. This is usually trialled for six months; thereafter, an endothermal ablation will be performed, which involves using high-frequency radio waves or lasers to seal the affected vein. If this treatment is not suitable, a treatment called sclerotherapy is offered. This involves injecting special foam into the vein to scar and seal it.
A surgical procedure is offered if these treatments are not suitable. Ligation and stripping are procedures in which the affected vein is removed. This is carried out under general anaesthetic. Two small incisions are made, one at the top of your varicose vein near the groin and the second further down your leg near your knee. The top of the vein is tied up and sealed. A thin wire is passed through the bottom of the vein and carefully pulled out and removed through the lower cut in your leg. An overnight stay is sometimes required, but you can usually go home on the same day. You will need up to three weeks to recover before returning to work, and compression stocking may be needed for a week after surgery.