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Surgery Is Available To Repair Or Completely Remove The Damaged Veins

Mar 20

Damaged veins can cause pain, discomfort and a lower quality of life. They're usually a symptom of chronic venous disease (CVI), a progressive condition that occurs when the valves in your veins malfunction or fail. Treatment can't reverse the damage to your valves, but it can relieve symptoms and give you a more comfortable lifestyle.

Symptoms of varicose damaged veins in legs are enlarged, swollen and knotted clusters of purple veins near the skin's surface; itching of the skin above the damaged veins; and sometimes ulcers that bleed easily and have a blue color in the skin (cyanosis). Often, a doctor diagnoses a varicose vein based on its appearance and by a patient's medical history. In some cases, an X-ray or ultrasound exam may be done to find the underlying cause.

Many things can cause varicose veins, including age-related wear and tear on the valves that control blood flow and increase pressure in your legs and feet. Being overweight or clinically obese can also increase the pressure on your vein walls. Certain hormones, especially those used for sex and during pregnancy and menopause, might also cause the condition because they relax the vein walls and valves.

The most common way to treat a varicose vein is with a minimally invasive procedure done in your provider's office or clinic. During sclerotherapy, your provider injects a solution -- either salt water or a chemical agent -- into the damaged vein. This causes the vein to close and eventually disappear from view. Another procedure is called endovenous thermal ablation, which involves using a laser or high-frequency radio waves to heat the inside of the damaged vein. This also causes the vein to close up and eventually fade from view. Surgical removal of larger varicose veins is another option. In this procedure, a doctor makes small incisions or needle punctures over the affected vein and uses a phlebectomy hook to remove the damaged vein through one of these incisions.

Nonsurgical treatments for varicose veins include elevating your legs while sitting or standing, changing the way you do activities, wearing compression stockings, and taking a prescription-strength over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen or aspirin. At home, you can raise your legs while resting or taking regular brisk walks to improve circulation and tone the calf muscles that move blood through the veins.

For more serious problems, surgery is available to repair or completely remove the damaged veins. The surgery is performed under local anesthesia. You can recover more quickly from this procedure than from other surgical procedures, and you might need fewer stitches. Some people can also benefit from a less-invasive procedure that involves inserting a stent into the damaged vein to keep it open.