Recognizing the Stages of Varicose Veins: Get tested before it’s too late!

Does your job keep you at your desk or require you to stand for long hours? Then you probably have noticed a slight discoloration and swelling in your legs. These are most probably signs of varicose veins. Sitting or standing for long durations can hamper your circulation and put extra pressure on your legs leading to varicose veins. 

Varicose veins are usually a cosmetic concern. They are typically self-diagnosable and do not require laboratory imaging. It could be caused either by genetic/congenital factors or indicate an underlying circulation problem in some circumstances. Most often, the swelling reduces, and the pain goes away on its own. But if it doesn’t, there is cause for concern, and you need to get varicose veins treatment right away.

In this article, we’ll talk about a specific type of varicose vein that develops due to underlying venous illness and the stages it goes through 一 Chronic Venous Insufficiency  (CVI).

What is Chronic venous insufficiency(CVI)?

Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) is a condition where the venous wall and/or valves in the leg veins do not function properly, making it difficult for the blood to flow back to the heart. Normally these veins would open to allow blood to flow back to the heart and then close again. But in CVI, the veins do not close properly, resulting in blood pools. 

This is what causes these veins to enlarge and take on the bluish-purple tint of deoxygenated blood, which you can see as spider veins and varicose veins. However, spider veins are only the first stage. 

Stages of Chronic Venous Insufficiency 

We can confidently identify the following six sets of symptoms as predictable “stages” of the disease, because they appear consistently and in many patients.

Stage 1 

Spider veins stage: These small, reddish-purple veins can be found on the legs, ankles, neck, face, and other parts of the body and are caused by the same underlying CVI as varicose veins. Women are more likely to have them than men.

Stage 2 

Enlarged, rope-like veins/varicose veins: This is the stage at which most people first realize they have a vein condition. Itching, burning, or numbness, as well as fatigued, weak, or achy legs, are accompanied by enlarged veins. If you start to notice these symptoms, it’s highly advisable to get varicose veins treatment right away. 

Stage 3 

Edema/swelling: In this stage, the CVI disrupts the ability of the circulatory system to reabsorb fluids, resulting in the swelling of the legs and ankles. As a quick relief, you can wear compression garments or elevate your legs, but it’s still necessary to have it checked out by a doctor. 

Stage 4 

Discolouration: Venous congestion and poor circulation can cause changes in skin colour and texture as the condition advances. The skin on your legs can turn reddish-brown or white and develop a leathery appearance, making it brittle and vulnerable to damage.

Stage 5

Healed ulcers: You’ll have open but healed patches on your skin at this stage. These open patches are referred to as ulcers. To prevent future ulcers, your treatments will focus on reducing swelling and varicose veins.

Stage 6

Active ulcers: In this final stage of CVI, skin injuries and leg ulcers will not heal despite treatment, leaving your legs literally covered in bloody open sores.

As you can see, as the stages progress, the symptoms become more gruesome. You can prevent all serious complications by consulting your doctor as soon as you notice varicose veins in its beginning stages. 

Get a diagnosis and treatment at the best hospital in Bangalore 一 Ayu Health Hospitals. We are known for being one of the best multi-speciality hospitals in Bangalore. Our treatment centres are approved by NABH, India’s primary hospital certification agency, and have all of the latest equipment for treating varicose veins. To book an appointment, call +91 – 6366 100 800 or visit our website.

Sun City Vein Doctors Explain the Stages of Vein Disease, and Why You Want To Seek Early Treatment – Comprehensive Integrated Care

References

Varicose Veins | Johns Hopkins Medicine

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/varicose-veins#:~:text=Varicose%20veins%20happen%20in%20the,the%20veins%20to%20become%20enlarged.

Varicose Veins | Narayana Health

https://www.narayanahealth.org/varicose-veins

Understanding the Stages of Chronic Venous Insufficiency

https://www.healthline.com/health/chronic-venous-insufficiency-stages#ceap-categories

Chronic Venous Insufficiency: Treatment, Symptoms & Causes

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16872-chronic-venous-insufficiency-cvi#:~:text=Chronic%20venous%20insufficiency%20(CVI)%20is,this%20pooling%20is%20called%20stasis.

What Causes Varicose Veins & How To Get Rid of Them?

You probably might have a general idea of what varicose veins are and what they look like: those little purple veins that suddenly seem to appear on your legs. It’s usually seen in people who are tall and stand for prolonged durations. And if not evaluated and treated accordingly could lead to complications in the future. 

These are some basic information that is common to the general public. But you ought to know more than just that. With just limited knowledge, you could be susceptible to false information or even neglect your own condition, which might cause problems in the future. 

In this article, you’ll find everything you need to know about varicose veins: causes, symptoms, treatments and even preventive measures. So let’s start with the basics and understand what they are and how they develop. 

What Are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted veins that could appear anywhere on the body but are most commonly seen on legs. You’re at a higher risk of getting varicose veins if you’re older, female, obese, don’t exercise, or have a family history of varicose veins. 

They can also be found on the face and arms in milder forms. These are known as spider veins or telangiectasia, and they appear like a red or blue spider web beneath the skin.

To truly understand varicose veins, let’s know how the veins in our body function 一 

Veins are thin-walled, soft tubes that carry blood back to the heart from the arms and legs. Because veins function against gravity, they include valves that allow blood to flow forward but not backward. Due to weakness of the vein wall and loss of valve function, varicose veins start to appear. These weakened veins continue to enlarge under gravity’s pressure, and over time, may become elongated, twisted, pouched, and thicker.

What Causes Varicose Veins?

The causes of varicose veins are a result of weakened venous systems. Weak veins occur under 3 major causes: Primary causes, Secondary causes and congenital causes. 

Varicose veins are a hereditary condition that affect numerous members of the same family. Hence, the primary causes of varicose veins are a result of a defect in the vein’s wall that is genetically inherited.

Trauma, deep vein thrombosis, pelvic masses such as pregnancy, uterine fibroids, and ovarian masses, or arteriovenous malformations such as Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome are all secondary causes of varicose veins.

Congenital varicose veins are caused by abnormalities in the vascular system’s natural development and are usually present from birth as part of a vascular abnormality in the limb. 

The following are some common risk factors that cause blood pressure to rise, leading veins to become stretched, swollen, and enlarged.

  • Pregnancy 
  • Ageing 
  • Standing for longer durations 
  • Obesity 
  • Menopause 
  • Heavy lifting
  • Oral contraceptive pills or hormone replacement

Although you can’t completely avoid some of these risk factors, there are certain measures you can take to delay the development and progress of varicose veins.

Symptoms of Varicose Veins 

The symptoms of varicose veins differ from person to person. However, the most commonly seen symptoms include – 

Mild Symptoms 

  • Colour changes on the skin
  • Sore legs 
  • Rash 
  • Itching 
  • Cramps 

Severe Symptoms 

  • Swelling and heaviness around the veins 
  • Bleeding 
  • Ulcers 

How are Varicose Veins diagnosed?

Varicose veins can be diagnosed through a simple physical examination. Your doctor will note down your symptoms, as well as your personal and family medical history. Then, they will examine your veins for bulging when you stand. 

An ultrasound of your veins may also be performed by your doctor. This will aid in the detection of abnormalities with blood flow and vein structure. They may also examine you for signs of more serious conditions such as blood clots, vein damage, or ulcers.

What Are the Treatments for Varicose Veins? 

Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, or medical treatments depending on your symptoms. 

Lifestyle Changes 

To help ease symptoms or prevent varicose veins from worsening, your doctor may suggest making lifestyle changes. These may include:

  • Compression garments: Wearing compression garments like stockings or socks to help blood flow and prevent pooling.
  • Elevating legs: When sitting down, use a footstool to help blood flow in the right direction.  
  • Regularly exercising: Exercise improves blood circulation in your limbs. Walking and cycling are highly recommended. 
  • Avoiding salt: To help prevent varicose veins, your diet must have as little salt as possible. Sodium causes the body to retain water, which can lead to varicose veins.
  • Avoiding high heels: Wearing high heels for a longer period of time might limit blood flow in the legs and aggravate varicose veins. 

Medical Treatments 

If lifestyle changes don’t work, or if your varicose veins are causing you a lot of pain and discomfort, your doctor may recommend alternative medical procedures. These include – 

  • Endovenous ablation: This procedure uses heat from a laser to close varicose veins. Doctors employ this procedure to help ease symptoms such as pain, swelling, and irritation. It is safe, less invasive than surgery, and leaves virtually no scars.

To read more about laser treatments for varicose veins head over to our blog: Laser treatment for Varicose Veins

  • Sclerotherapy:  This is another procedure that also works by closing off the varicose veins. Here, your veins are injected with liquid or foam chemicals to seal them closed. This treatment is often used to treat small varicose veins, also known as spider veins.
  • Surgery: If varicose veins are large, they are removed surgically. Small cuts are made to remove smaller varicose veins near the skin’s surface and for larger, deeper veins, different tools are used to tie off and remove them in a procedure called vein ligation or stripping.

These procedures are usually done under general anaesthesia. In most cases, the patient can go home the same day, but if the procedure was performed on multiple areas of the body, they may need to stay one night in the hospital.

If you have varicose veins or know someone who might be affected by this condition, Reach out to Ayu Health Hospital Professionals to get a personal consultation. And if you are looking for a centre with excellent care and treatments for varicose veins, look no further! 

Ayu Health Hospitals offer all advanced Varicose treatment procedures and carry mandatory certifications from the government authorities. Our treatment centres have all the latest equipment to treat varicose veins and are accredited by NABH, India’s premier hospital accreditation body. Call us at +91 – 6366 100 800 or visit our website to book an appointment

Laser treatment for Varicose Veins

What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins refer to the blood vessels that are enlarged, swollen and twisted, which can be seen under the skin. The veins usually appear to black or blue, which is different from the natural vein colour. The veins become the varicose veins when they are filled and dilated with blood. 

 

Usually present in the legs, varicose veins may form in other body parts as well. Varicose veins appear to have a red or bluish-purple colour and are often very painful. 

In many cases, varicose or spider veins are just a cosmetic concern, but in some cases, they become so painful and require immediate treatment.

Causes of Varicose Veins

  • The weak valves and vein walls cause varicose veins
  • When the valves don’t function properly, it causes the blood to flow backwards, which ultimately leads to swelling in the legs, making them enlarged.
  • When the walls of the veins stretch, they lose their elasticity which weakens the valves and ultimately results in the formation of varicose veins.
  • Improper blood circulation that happens when faulty valves allow blood to flow in the wrong direction, which ultimately can cause varicose veins. 

Symptoms of Varicose Veins

  • Veins appear bulged and twisted 
  • Skin discolouration around a varicose vein
  • Swollen ankles and aching legs
  • Lower limbs can suffer from throbbing, burning, muscle cramping and swelling

Laser treatment for Varicose Veins

Laser Treatment uses a laser that is a highly focused beam of heat that treats the varicose veins. The temperature of the laser damages the vein, which is causing scar tissue form. 

This scar tissue closes the Varicose vein due to which the vein loses its source of blood and ultimately dies. The vein eventually disappears within a year or two.

The laser treatments are preferably better than the other medications because they are less painful, and the recovery time is short. 

The laser treatment usually gets over in an hour or less, depending on the case profile. Also, the procedure is a daycare treatment. The types of laser treatments are:

Simple Laser treatment

The treatment cures the tiny veins and the spider veins that are present just beneath the skin surface. This treatment is performed on the outer skin and can require two or more laser treatments to cure the varicose veins. It is a non-invasive treatment that makes the use of radio-frequency to heat up the vein wall and then finally the affected vein contracts and closes the varicose veins. The patients need to have multiple follow-ups with the doctors to entirely remove the varicose veins.

As per the doctor’s prescription, the process is performed in 6-12 weeks if it is more than one laser treatment. Also, this laser treatment is considered very safe and effective in curing the varicose veins.  

Endovenous Laser Ablation

Also, known as “EVLA Treatment”, the treatment is performed under general anesthesia. It cures massive varicose and requires a lighter dose of sedative before it begins. 

The process uses a laser fibre that passes through the thin tube into the vein. While the patient undergoes this process, the doctor examines the affected area on a duplex ultrasound screen. The process ends up heating the affected vein and resulting in its closure.

It is an inpatient process, and the patient gets discharged after a few hours of treatment


Laser Treatment Procedure for Varicose Veins

  • During Procedure: The treatment procedure begins by numbing the area for inserting the tube in the vein. For this, your doctor may give you the injection or a shot along the vein that is under treatment. Also, a doppler ultrasound wave is used to examine the vein during the procedure and take the images on the computer screen. The next step involves making a cut or incision in the skin to insert the catheter. Then the laser fibre is put in the catheter. After the insertion, the doctor removes the catheter slowly, and the laser starts burning the vein. This treatment will close the vein, which will eventually die curing the problem.
  • After Procedure: The procedure ends in an hour or so, after that, the patient may start walking and will recover in a short time. If the patient undergoes simple laser treatment, he or she can continue with their daily routine immediately. Since the procedure ends in an hour, the patients can walk by themselves and return to their healthy life.

Depending on the severity of the affected area, the patients may have recurrences of the problem. To avoid such repetitions, the patients must have regular checkups with their doctors. Though the probability of suffering the same problem is very less, patients should never neglect any symptoms if felt again. Every patient must have detailed knowledge about the treatment process and then opt for the treatment.


How advantageous is Laser Treatment over other treatments?

  • The laser treatment is very affordable as compared to other treatments.
  • Every person who undergoes laser therapy can resume their routine immediately after wearing the compression stockings, whereas others require bed rest for a week or two.
  • Doctors make a small incision to start the laser treatment process, unlike others.
  • The process completes in an hour, and your recovery starts from there and then where as the non-laser treatments may take 1-2 days to complete.
  • The recovery period makes laser treatment the best solution for youngsters as you can return to a healthy life.
  • It is very safe and does not cause any pain to the patient.
  • The success rates are also better than other treatments.

Myths about Laser Treatment

  1. Laser Treatment can burn the skin: Most of the patients scare to undergo laser treatment because they fear that skin may burn. But laser treatment is very safe and is most successful in curing varicose veins. No cases of burn have come up, and patients recover in a short period.
  2. Laser Treatment is painful: Another misconception that binds people from undergoing laser treatment is that it is excruciating. The doctor examines your affected area and the entire body before your treatment procedure begins. Laser treatment is considered the best solution for painless treatment.
  3. Laser Treatment affects the inner organs: Most people fail to understand that doctors only use the laser on the affected pain for its closure and removal without touching any other organ. This procedure has no effects on any other organ or leg. 
  4. Laser Treatment can increase the chances of having skin infection: Patients need to know that the treatment only deals with curing the varicose veins internally without any exposure to the outer layer of the skin. There is no chance that one can get skin infections.
  5. Laser Treatment causes cancer: There is no probability of developing cancer after undergoing laser treatment.The treatment is very safe and is the best possible solution to cure varicose veins. 

How can Ayu Health Help? 

Ayu Health is India’s most trusted network of hospitals. Our in-house laser treatment experts are among the best in their field and will identify the most optimal treatment for the specific individual. 

Ayu Health hospitals offer all advanced Varicose treatment procedures and carry mandatory certifications from the government authorities. Our treatment centres have all the latest equipment to cure the Varicose veins problem, and are accredited by NABH, India’s premier hospital accreditation body.

If you are looking for a leading doctor who can treat and perform effective Laser treatment and suggest the best methods to get the procedure just right for you in India, you can call +91 – 6366 100 800 or visit us at https://www.ayu.health/surgery/Varicose-Veins-29.