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There are no accurate incidence estimates on varicose veins. Several studies report that 3-4 out of 10 people will develop varicose veins sometime in their life. Other studies conclude that the number is much greater.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are enlarged veins under the skin and are often easily visible. They develop when the valves in the veins do not function properly, allowing the blood to flow towards the legs instead of flowing to the right direction, i.e. towards the heart. In the overwhelming majority of cases, one of the main superficial veins –the great or the small saphenous vein- is insufficient. Varicose veins are branches of these veins.
Typically, a much larger blood volume circulates within varicose veins at a smaller velocity than normal and the pressure inside the varices is increased.
Gradually, the skin on the leg hardens and exhibits inflammation while it often gets a blue colour. At the end stage, ulcers may develop that are difficult to heal.
Factors causing the development of varicose veins:
- Gender. Women run three times the risk of developing varicose veins.
- Pregnancy. Due to hormones and increased abdominal pressure.
- Age. Over the years, the incidence of varicose veins elevates.
- Lifestyle. Standing for long periods or sedentary life are particularly aggravating factors.
Patients most commonly complain about leg heaviness, itching or aching, even on a daily basis. The symptoms worsen over the day and oedema development around the ankle and/or the leg in the evenings is often reported. Also, patients frequently complain about night cramps.
Varicose veins complications
The most common varicose veins complication is thrombosis which results in the development of inflammation around the varicose vein – superficial thrombophlebitis. The thrombus (clot) inside the varicose vein lumen may extend and cause deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism with subsequent sudden death.
Another serious complication is varicose veins-induced haemorrhage. Varicose veins are superficially located, right under the skin. The likelihood of skin trauma causing haemorrhage is considerable.
Apart from the clinical examination, an ultrasound examination (triplex) is of particular importance. In a painless and safe way, the examination reveals the venous insufficiency and assists in the detailed ‘mapping’ of the lower limb venous system which is especially useful in designing the applicable treatment.
Varicose veins treatment is necessary for the following reasons:
- When symptoms are present, which can be intense and daily and negatively affecting the patient’s quality of life.
- Prevention of complications, which can be considerably serious.
- Previous complications, which particularly increase the likelihood of exhibiting new complications.
- Cosmetic reasons. Varicose veins are aesthetically unappealing and significantly reduce self-esteem in women.
The most reliable conservative management of varicose veins is wearing graded compression elastic stockings, combinable with medication. Everyday use of the elastic stockings is very difficult. Invasive treatment is the only permanent treatment for varicose veins.
Varicose veins endoluminal Laser treatment
Varicose veins endoluminal Laser treatment constitutes the most modern treatment of varicose veins.
In this technique, the ablation of the saphenous vein is replaced by sublimation of the vein via Laser application inside the lumen of the varicose vein. Almost every stage of the procedure is ultrasound-guided.
The Laser technique applied at the procedure is the most modern one. Elves Radial, the innovative fiber, disperses the laser beam at 360o, affecting the entire perimeter of the vein wall.
Endoluminal Laser treatment advantages
- It is performed under specific local anaesthesia. Commonly, the anaesthesiologist administers the patient with light sedation.
- It is exceptionally safe with minimal or no complications.
- Immediate post-operative mobilization of the patient.
- Immediate and pain-free post-procedure mobilization. The patient is usually discharged from the hospital within one to two hours after the procedure.
- Immediate resumption of daily activities. Patients can return to work after one to two days.
- Excellent aesthetic result without any surgical incisions or stitches. Actually, the marks are hardly noticeable after a few months.
- Smaller recurrence likelihood.
To arrange a consultation, please call +30 210 6184195 (08:00 – 16:00)