The veins in our legs, feet and ankles sometimes become swollen, resulting in a condition known as varicose veins.
There are two venous systems in our legs. These comprise of deep veins that are squeezed by the muscles in the legs during movement, to circulate the blood back towards the heart, and superficial veins that are closer to the surface and are not as important as the deep veins. These cause varicose veins. Both sets of veins have one-way valves that prevent backflow of blood. If a valve fails, blood is allowed to flow the wrong way, down the vein. Pressure on standing leads to failure of these valves and the formation of a bulge in the vein where blood is pooled, causing the development of varicose veins.
Most people associate varicose veins with the leg calves, but they also occur on the soles of the feet, with symptoms similar to plantar fasciitis. A patient suffering foot pain could be thought to have plantar fasciitis but an MRI scan may prove it is varicose veins.
People who stand for long periods, such as teachers and healthcare workers, often develop varicose veins, with more women affected than men. Veins on the feet can become painful, swollen or tender, and some patients request foot vein treatment or vein removal. If you suffer from this condition it is best not to stand for too long and utilise the services of a Removals companies Essex if you are moving home to take the pressure off your feet and legs.
Treatments for varicose veins include using compression stockings. These are designed to steadily squeeze your legs to improve circulation. They are tighter at the ankle to encourage blood to flow towards the heart. They help with pain, discomfort and swelling, but are not designed to help prevent veins from getting worse or prevent new veins appearing. Compression stockings should be put on first thing in the morning and removed when you go to bed.
If further treatment is required, a vascular specialist will advise on the best treatment. Endothermal ablation uses lasers or high frequency radio waves to seal the affected veins. An ambulatory phlebectomy requires a small incision to remove superficial veins from the affected area. Other treatments include endovenous laser treatment and ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy. All these procedures are performed in an outpatient setting, with the patient receiving a local anaesthetic. If all else fails, a surgical procedure called ligation or stripping can be carried out under general anaesthetic.