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As with many other areas in medicine swollen legs can be treated medically, with devices or with intervention. Treating the clot or the infection – In anyone in whom there is acute leg swelling an acute cause should be looked for.
Compression pumps – Compression pumps are great for treatment of swollen legs that are caused by lymphedema. Venous ablation – Swollen legs can sometimes result from chronic venous insufficiency.
Spider veins and varicose veinsSpider veins and varicose veins are practically a rite of passage.
To provide even greater transparency and choice, we are working on a number of other cookie-related enhancements. Join tens of thousands of doctors, health professionals and patients who receive our newsletters. Varicose veins are enlarged, swollen, and tortuous (twisting) veins, frequently linked to faulty valves in the vein. In healthy veins, the valves within them stop the blood from remaining stagnant or flowing back - they open and close so that the blood can only flow in one direction.
According to UK health authorities, up to 30% of all adults are affected by varicose veins. Although varicose veins may occur anywhere in the human body, they are most commonly found in the legs and feet, particularly in the calves.
In the majority of cases, varicose veins pose no health or circulation problems; although they may not look nice, they do not usually require treatment (for health reasons). A sign is something everybody can detect, such as a rash or bloodshot eyes, while a symptom is something only the patient can feel and describe, such as pain or ringing in the ears.
The circulation system - arteries and veins form part of our circulation system, with blood flowing from the heart into the arteries and to tissues and organs, and coming back to the heart via the veins. The veins have one-way valves that allow blood through, but not back, so that the blood travels in only one direction.
Researchers from the University of Heidelberg in Heidelberg, Germany, wrote in The FASEB Journal (October 2011 issue) that transcription factor AP-1, a single protein that binds to DNA control gene function, kicks off the process that causes varicose veins. On the next page we look at factors that raise the risk of developing varicose veins and the diagnosis of varicose veins. Sources: National Health Service (UK), National Institutes of Health (USA), Wikipedia (photos), Medical News Today archives.
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For any corrections of factual information, or to contact our editorial team, please see our contact page.
Please note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional.
Learn all about DVT (deep vein thrombosis), a blood clot that forms in a vein in the body (commonly the leg). In 2009 F care systems developed an all-in-one device for the treatment of all sorts of varicose veins.
Varicose veins are generally seen during physical examination with naked eye, since they are close to the skin surface.
The principle of thermocoagulation is the heating of the vein which makes the vein coagulate. Please enable JavaScript in your browser to experience all the custom features of our site, including the ability to make a purchase. You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. Varicose veins symptoms include enlarged flesh-colored, blue or purple veins often found on the calf or on the leg.
Varicose veins symptoms encompass any vein that becomes varicose, but the veins most commonly affected are those in your legs and feet. For many people, varicose veins are just unsightly, but for others, varicose veins can cause aching pain and discomfort. Veins have valves that act as one-way flaps to stop the blood from flowing backwards as it moves up the legs. The causes of varicose veins vary from person to person and many factors can contribute to the risk of developing varicose veins. Conventional treatment often includes sclerotherapy (for spider veins), where the doctor injects a solution into the vein that causes the vein walls to seal shut. Do not cross your legs while sitting and always elevate your legs when resting as much as possible.
Wear elastic support stockings and avoid tight clothing that constricts your waist, groin or legs. In vascular clinics it is very common to see patients who have been given the wrong diagnosis for their swollen legs. In some patients lymphedema and swollen legs are actually a result of longstanding vein occlusion.
As we age, many of us find the jagged purple lines or swollen bluish cords spreading along our thighs and calves. It is intended for general information purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. Occasionally, in very severe cases, the varicose veins may rupture, or varicose ulcers may form on the skin. If the valves are damaged or weakened, they may allow the blood to flow back and accumulate in the vein, making it varicose. The National Institute of Health estimates that 33% of women and 17% of men in the USA are affected. Experts say that standing and walking places extra pressure on the veins of the lower limbs.

If the patient is in considerable discomfort, or if complications, such as ulcers develop, then treatment is required. The returning blood has to travel against gravity in the veins, this is done through muscle contractions and a system of valves. If the walls of the vein become stretched and less flexible (elastic), the valves may get weaker. In Figure B, the varicose vein has a faulty valve, there is abnormal blood flow, the walls of the vein are thin and stretched.
On the final page we discuss the treatments for varicose veins, including compression stockings and surgery. Because veins work against the force of gravity in legs, they have valves that allow forward blood flow, but not reverse. However, the vein with nonfunctioning valves that create varicose veins are generally more deeply located, and thus cannot be seen without special instruments. This rise in temperature is achieved by sending a high frequency pulse in the tip of the needle or catheter. The small veins are treated with the special designed thermo coagulation needles R3I and R6I for veins on face or legs.
They often appear twisted and bulging, may be swollen and raised above the surface of the skin and can become quite painful. That's because standing and walking upright increases the pressure in the veins in your lower body. Causes of varicose veins include increasing age, having family members with vein problems or being born with weak vein valves.
Also common methods of treatment are laser surgery or surgical removal of the varicose veins. If you must stand for a long time, shift your weight from one leg to the other every few minutes. Eating fiber reduces the chances of constipation – which can contribute to varicose veins. It is typical of people who sit at a desk all day or older people who just do not move much. In these particular patients opening the occluded veins with venoplasty can resolve the swelling.
It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health.
The image in the middle shows where in a leg the varicose vein might appear.Image by National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. Contraction (squeezing) of the leg muscles pumps the blood towards the heart while the valves in the veins prevent backflow towards the feet. Because the needle or catheter is isolated, the effect is very local and the effect on the surrounding tissue is limited. The larger veins up to 5 mm are treated with a special designed catheter which will be penetrated into the vein and coagulates the vein from the inside. Often edema starts at feet (ankle area) but may occur in the sacral area or face (eyelids). Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but they are just smaller and usually found on the legs and face (and are harmless).
Other causes of varicose veins are hormonal changes due to menopause, pregnancy and puberty. If you must sit for long periods of time, stand up and move around or take a short walk every 30 minutes. The ablation takes care of the major veins that are responsible for the venous insufficiency. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the BootsWebMD Site.
If these valves lose their function, the blood leaks (reflux) toward feet, accumulates in thin-walled superficial veins causing them to enlarge and become what we call ‘’varicose veins’’. Ultrasound examination however, must be performed by an experienced radiologist, preferably by the one who will also perform the treatment.
Water retention has different causes and characteristics, starting from diseases with general impairment.
Similarly so can obesity, leg injury, prolonged standing and other things that weaken vein valves. Eating too much salt can cause you to retain water and cause further swelling in the legs, feet or ankles. But for patients with lymphedema who are willing to use them, compression pumps are often a huge success. If this was indeed the central cause for swollen legs, then it is a rather definitive treatment. Varicose veins symptoms can cause also include sores, skin ulcers and rashes on the skin tissue around the varicose veins. Not every patient benefits from diuretics and not all patients can wear compression stockings.
Also see original before-and-after pictures that have not been altered and that meet BootsWebMD's editorial standards. For example, patients who have venous insufficiency and swollen legs by the end of the day often have thin legs when they just wake up.
What are spider veins?Spider veins are small, twisted blood vessels that are visible through the skin. These patients should wear compression stockings when they wake up to prevent the swelling from accumulating by evening. However, there are some reports of liposuction that have worked for patients with severe lipedema. What are varicose veins?Varicose veins are larger blood vessels that have become swollen and twisted.

Also, from a practical standpoint the major problem is to find a physician willing to perform this procedure. Varicose veins can develop anywhere in the body, but usually appear on the legs and ankles. These valves allow blood to flow in the right direction from superficial veins to deeper veins and to the heart. Depending on the size of the blood vessel and extent of swelling, the result is a spider vein or varicose vein.
The problem is also more common in people with jobs that keep them on their feet, including nurses and teachers. Other factors that may contribute include ageing, obesity, pregnancy, prior trauma, surgery to the leg and a genetic predisposition. Severely swollen veins can be tender to the touch and may reduce circulation, leading to itchy, swollen ankles. They can also produce chronic skin and tissue changes such as discolouration and ulceration of the skin. Occasionally, they may cause ulcers – large sores in the skin – especially near the ankles.
Required fields are marked *Name * Email * Website Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Most spider veins and varicose veins don't need to be treated, unless they result in symptoms, ulcers, bleeding, or phlebitis, or because you want them removed for cosmetic reasons. If the veins are causing pain, soreness, and muscle fatigue or cramping, there are steps you can take at home to help reduce the symptoms.
Treatment: Support stockingsThe simplest treatment for spider veins and varicose veins is to pull on a pair of support stockings.
Sometimes called compression stockings, they may help improve circulation and relieve pain and discomfort in the legs. BendoMD assumes no responsibility for the consequences of not presenting yourself to the doctor has on your health.
Treatment: Lifestyle changesLosing weight and walking regularly can ease the symptoms of spider veins and varicose veins.
Whenever possible, prop up your legs with a pillow or reclining chair, so they rest at or above the level of your heart. Treatment: SclerotherapyIf home remedies don't yield enough improvement, there are medical procedures to eliminate spider veins and varicose veins. A doctor injects a chemical solution directly into the abnormal vein that irritates and scars the vein closing it off so it disappears. A thorough evaluation prior to the treatment is necessary to reduce the risk of side effects such as discolouration, or the likelihood of new, superficial tiny blood vessels forming.
Sclerotherapy: Before and afterAfter treatment with sclerotherapy, spider veins generally disappear in three to six weeks, while varicose veins may take three to four months to respond. Once gone, the veins do not reappear, but you will probably develop new spider veins at the same rate as before. Treatment: Laser therapyLaser therapy and intense light pulse (ILP) therapy destroys tiny spider veins and small varicose veins with heat.
Side effects may include minor discomfort in the treated area, skin discolouration, and the formation of blisters. More than one session is usually needed to get results, and it can take a year or two for the vein to disappear completely. Treatment: Vein surgeryFor varicose veins that are too large to respond to sclerotherapy or laser therapy, surgery is an option.
The standard procedure is ligation and stripping - tying off a vein and removing the problematic segment.
If the vein is near the skin’s surface, it may be possible to remove it through a tiny incision that does not need stitches. Vein surgery: Before and afterVein ligation and stripping successfully removes varicose veins in nine out of 10 people. The procedure does not usually require a hospital stay, but you may need between one and three weeks before returning to work, depending on the type of work you do.
It's important to consider that surgery done for cosmetic reasons is rarely available on the NHS, so you will usually have to pay for it privately.
Treatment: Endovenous laserEndovenous laser is a new alternative for veins that were once only treatable by surgery. A small laser fibre is placed inside the vein, pressure is placed on the vein, and the laser delivers pulses of laser light. Treatment: Radiofrequency ablationRadiofrequency ablation is another option for large varicose veins.
A small catheter delivers radiofrequency energy (instead of laser energy) directly into the vein wall, causing it to heat up and collapse. Treatment: Suction removalThis treatment is also known as transilluminated powered phlebectomy. Any affected veins are sucked out using special equipment inserted through one or two small cuts in the skin.
Exercise helps keep your weight under control and your leg muscles toned, so your blood will flow freely. If your job keeps you on your feet, stretch your leg muscles often to increase circulation.

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