When is Surgery on Leg Veins Appropriate?
Leg vein surgery is highly recommended when an individual has what are called “varicose veins”. This is when the blood vessels in the leg no longer pump blood up towards the heart as they should.
Whilst the direct cause is not known, it occurs when the blood vessels allow the blood to move back down towards the feet as a result of gravity or leak the blood out.
As a result, the extra blood that is now inside causes the blood vessels to swell up. While the rest of the body, and specifically the circulatory system, does continue to function normally, it is important to get them checked and this can lead to surgery.
Why does it happen?
There are a number of reasons why people do get this condition, although the exact cause isn’t known, and it comes down to;
- Genetics – if both parents have the condition there is a 70% that their offspring will too and 40% of only one parent has it
Both men and women experience this condition, however, it appears to be that women are more susceptible – likely due to the increased risk as a result of pregnancy.
People who work in jobs that require them to stand on their feet for long periods are also more susceptible to the condition. This includes people such as; hairdressers, retail workers, tradesmen and factory workers.
If not treated properly, the condition can lead to some medical risks. Due to the increased inflammation over time, they can cause hardening of the skin and even ulcers.
They also lead to a higher risk of blood clots, also known as deep vein thrombosis, that is a serious health risk and require immediate medical attention.
Should anyone be experiencing the following symptoms, it is highly recommended that they see a medical professional to avoid further health risks as leg vein surgery may be necessary:
- Dull ache or heaviness in the leg
- Swelling of the blood vessels in the leg and a noticeable bulge as a result
- Itching of the leg around the bulging blood vessels
- Or any other related symptom when a clear swelling of the blood vessels can be seen on the leg
If surgery is required, or at least treatment, there are a number of procedures that can be chosen in order to help improve the condition. In the meantime, it is advised to avoid exposure to excessive heat.
This is because heat causes inflammation and swelling of the veins, increasing the pressure. If they become too pressurized they may rupture and this will cause heavy bleeding in the leg, posing an even bigger health risk.
There are two forms of endovenous ablation that can be performed by specialists to remove the varicose veins by The Vein Institute; laser and radiofrequency.
Both of these processes involve a local anesthetic being applied to the affected area(s) before a small laser or radiofrequency FIBRE, respectively, is used to seal the affected area(s).A bandage is then applied to help reduce soreness until the next visit to follow up the treatment and check on the previous episode.
Another method that can be used to seal off the varicose veins is via ‘medical superglue’. This is where a scan is completed to highlight the affected area(s) followed by the application of the medical superglue to seal off the affected blood vessels.
This method of treatment allows the patient to walk out of the practice with minimal pain and no restrictions on lifestyle as some of the treatments may result.
The final method of leg vein surgery for varicose veins is called ultrasound guided sclerotherapy. Here, a scan is completed to identify the affected area(s) and then a foam is injected to seal the affected blood vessels.
Ultrasound is used to track and guide the foam to the correct areas and ensure that it does the required job. This process can take a few treatments and in some instances will induce some pain. However, like all the treatments, they are sure to remove the varicose veins and therefore improve overall health.
The ultimate question of “do I need treatment” depends on the circumstance and the progression of the condition. However, regardless of the state, it is recommended that if an individual is experiencing any of the above-outlined symptoms, they should seek medical advice.
A medical professional will be able to advise the individual on the appropriate course of action and ensure them that their health will be looked after.