What Is Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are swelling and dilation of veins that usually occur in the legs due to accumulation of blood. People who suffer from this disease, their veins can also be seen protruding out in blue or purple. Sometimes the shape resembles a knot or a twisted cord. In addition, other symptoms that may accompany varicose veins are swelling of the lower leg (including the ankle), the legs are heavy and uncomfortable, discoloration of the lower leg skin or dry-looking skin, and leg muscle cramps.

Varicose veins can occur in all veins of the body, but this condition most often occurs in the legs (especially the calf) due to the great pressure when we stand or walk. Cases of varicose veins are mostly experienced by women than men. In addition to female sex, other factors that can increase a person affected by varicose veins are obesity , pregnancy , and old age.

The cause of blood clots in varicose veins
Blood deposits in the veins result from weakening or damaging the venous valve. The veins function to drain blood from the whole body to the heart. Inside the veins, there is a valve that serves as a one-way door so that the blood that has passed through it can not come back again. Weakness or destruction of the venous valve causes a backflow of blood and blood buildup in the veins. This buildup then causes the vessels to widen.

Diagnosis of varicose veins
The diagnosis of varicose disease is done by first collecting information about the symptoms, medical history, and risk factors in the patient. After that the doctor will perform a physical examination by observing the parts that have varicose veins. Special tests are rarely recommended unless the doctor suspects deep vein problems or other complications. An example of a possible test might be the US Duplex Doppler.

Treatment of Varicose veins
The condition of varicose veins that are still relatively mild can still be handled alone at home. The goal is to relieve symptoms, prevent worsened varicose veins, and avoid complications of wounds or bleeding.

One example of handling that we can do is to wear antivarises stockings or also called compression bundles. In addition, avoid standing for too long and take a few moments to rest your feet in the position of the body rested with a buffer (the position of the foot higher than the body). Do not forget to always maintain ideal body weight and exercise routine.

If the discomfort or pain due to varicose veins still feels even if you have done the handling at home, or even cause complications, then you should see a doctor. Treatment methods that may be suggested by doctors are surgical removal of veins that have varicose veins and venous closure surgery by using a special material shaped foam (sclerotherapy) or by using heat (endothermal ablation).

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Symptoms Of Varicose Veins

Most of the symptoms of varicose veins occur in the legs (especially the calves). In some cases, a person may experience varicose veins in the pelvis, anus, vagina, uterus, or throat.

The characteristics of people who experience varicose veins can be seen from the emergence of veins behind the skin that looks swollen or protruding. Sometimes the vessels appear to resemble a blue or purple twisted string. Other symptoms may include painful, throbbing, hot legs, swelling in the lower leg (including ankles), legs are heavy and uncomfortable, the skin in the varicose area is dry and itchy, and leg muscle cramps .

If varicose veins are still relatively mild, patients rarely feel the symptoms. Symptoms of varicose veins will especially be felt when the patient stood too long or live in areas with warm weather. To slightly defuse it, try taking a short walk or rest while sitting or lying down by putting your feet on the pads as a buffer to keep your feet up.

Varicose veins should not be taken lightly and should be handled properly. If varicose veins have occurred for years, then the disruption of blood flow inside the veins has the potential to cause complications, such as:
  • Thrombophlebitis , which is blood clotting and inflammation of the small veins adjacent to the skin surface. Symptoms are marked by pain inside the affected part of the varicose veins and the skin appears flushed.
  • Deep vein thrombosis . The cause is almost the same as thrombophlebitis, the blood clots in the vessels Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis in the form of swelling and pain in the legs.
  • Tukak or open wounds. This condition is caused by a buildup of fluid in the tissues that leads to an increase in blood pressure inside the pen vessels. Gradually, the wound will form on the skin around the area of ​​varicose veins and will be very painful. The part that is usually prone to experience this complication is the ankle.
  • Bleeding. This condition occurs when the veins that have varicose veins break. The bleeding is usually mild.
  • Varicose eczema. This condition is characterized by reddish skin, scaly, until finally peeled off. In some cases, the skin of the blistered patient becomes hardened (crusted) permanently.

The Cause Of Varicose Veins

Blood vessels in the human body is divided into two, namely the arteries and veins. Arteries in charge of spreading blood flow containing nutrients and oxygen from the heart to all body tissues and veins in charge of returning the blood into the heart with the valves and muscle contraction aid.

Because our anatomy is perpendicular, the furthest part of the heart is the leg. Of course, the heavy duty in this case is the leg veins because they have to defy gravity in draining the blood back to the heart.

But the heavy duty of the leg veins is slightly lightened by the presence of the venous valve. The function of the venous valve resembles a one-way door system. In other words, the blood rising to the heart will pass, but it can not come back because the valve through will be locked.

Varicose veins begin with high pressure on vein walls triggered by various factors. The effect of this high pressure makes the venous wall stretch (loss of elasticity) and the valve inside becomes weak. With the weakening of the valve, the function does not go well and blood flow to the heart becomes disturbed. The blood that flows into the heart becomes reversed and eventually settles at one point in the veins. Continuous blood deposits in these veins make these vessels swell, damage the valves, and there are varicose veins.

Here are some factors that can trigger damage to the venous valve and increase the risk of exposure to varicose veins, including:
  • Stood too long. This habit can cause blood in the leg veins to be difficult to flow into the heart.
  • Age. The older the person's age the delicate elasticity of the vein will decrease. Of course this also can reduce the performance of the valve due to participate weaken. If it's like this, blood will easily fight the current and settle in the veins.
  • Pregnancy. Usually varicose veins begin to appear when the uterus begins to enlarge and the volume of blood increases so that it gives more pressure on the veins. In addition to pressure, increased hormone levels during pregnancy can also make the venous muscles become more relaxed and impact on weakening valve protection. Therefore, the formation of varicose veins.
  • Hereditary factors. Varicose veins are a disease that can be hereditary. That is, your chances of experiencing this condition will be greater if you have the same diseased family.
  • Obesity . The pressure on the leg veins will increase if your body weight is large as well. In addition to complicating the vein in pushing blood to the heart, great pressure can also weaken the valve so that the blood backflow occurs.
  • Other health problems, such as vascular defects, swelling or tumors in the pelvic cavity, and diseases that make blood clot.

Diagnosis Of Varicose Veins

Check with your doctor if pain or tenderness in the legs due to varicose veins to interfere with your daily activities, especially disturbing sleep. You are even encouraged to see your doctor immediately if there is a wound on the skin surface that covers the veins of varicose veins.

Before performing a physical examination, the doctor will usually collect information about the patient's medical history first. The data collected can be either the patient's perceived symptoms or the risk factors he may have on varicose veins, for example if the patient likes to stand too long, has a family background of varicose disease, or has had a serious foot injury.

Furthermore, the doctor will make visible observations only on the legs that are sick, swollen, skin discoloration, even if there is a wound. When observed, most doctors will ask the patient to stand up.

Subsequent tests or tests are usually unnecessary unless the doctor suspects complications of varicose veins (eg deep vein thrombosis ). The most commonly recommended test in this case is the US Duplex Doppler. This scanning method can help doctors see blood flow inside the veins through images produced by high frequency sound waves.

In addition to ultrasound Duplex Doppler, blood flow inside the veins can also be observed by doctors through a test called an angiogram, although this method is rarely performed. In an angiogram test, the doctor will inject a special dye into the veins to flow along with the blood. Next, the doctor will use an X-ray to see the level of fluidity of the flow of the dyestuff. If it is not smooth, it indicates the presence of blood clots inside the veins.

Treatment Of Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are still relatively mild can still be treated alone at home without having to go to the hospital. The goal of treatment independently is to relieve symptoms of varicose disease, reduce the severity, and prevent complications.

Some of the things that include the treatment of varicose veins independently include keeping the weight in a healthy capacity, exercising regularly, not standing too long, and resting the legs by way of straightening the legs in a slightly elevated position (buffered bearing).

In addition to these ways, one thing that should not be forgotten by people with varicose veins is the use of special stockings dealing with varicose veins. Another term of this stocking is compression buckle. Varicose veins are designed to put pressure on the leg muscles and veins so that blood flow more smoothly. This stockings can also relieve swelling and pain due to varicose veins.

The use of varicose veins is usually recommended by the doctor from the start you wake up in the morning until before you sleep at night. Usually the age of use of a variceal stockings ranged from 3-6 months, after which it must be replaced with a new one. If the use of varicose veins makes your skin dry, you can use a moisturizing cream before you sleep. But if the symptoms of varicose veins do not go away through treatment at home or even more severe and potentially cause complications, then you should see a doctor immediately.

Here are some examples of treatments that may be suggested by a doctor, including:
  • Injection of sclerotherapy, ie injection of a special fluid into the veins that have varicose veins with the aim of forming a wound that can close the blood vessel. In addition to special fluids, there is the latest sclerotherapy technique by injecting a substance that resembles a foam. This method is usually done to treat varicose veins in large veins. In doing the injection, the doctor will be guided by ultrasound . Side effects of sclerotherapy may include lower back pain, headache, reduced vision (temporary), skin discoloration, blood vessels in other body veins, and fainting.
  • Radiofrequency. This method aims to close the veins that suffered large swelling due to varicose veins by burning the walls using radiofrequency energy. Once burned, the walls of the veins will collapse and close the channel. Once the veins that have varicose veins are locked, the blood will automatically flow naturally through other healthy veins. In order to fire radiofrequency energy appropriately, doctors need the help of catheters and ultrasound. Radiofrequency side effects can be tingling.
  • Laser. Just like radiofrequency, treatment by firing a laser beam also aims to close veins that have varicose veins. This method is also aided with catheters and ultrasound. Side effects of laser light can be pain and bruising in the varicose veins, or the feet feel hard.
  • Open surgery . This is a procedure of removal of veins that are exposed to varicose veins through incisions made on the skin surface.

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