The heart pumps blood full of nutrients through arteries all around the body and they return to the heart with waste products through veins.
In the lower limbs there exist two main venous or vein systems. The superficial and deep venous systems. Many people have heard of the deep venous system, through conditions such as a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or better known to the public as a clot in the leg. They are situated deep to muscle and take back the majority of blood to the heart through their one way valves.
The superficial system on the other hand sits above the muscles in their own superficial compartment. They move slower than deep veins but connect directly with the deep veins which then pumps blood back to the heart.
It achieves this by having valves in them, which open and close allowing blood to flow in only one direction at any one time.
When the valves in superficial veins become damaged or there are abnormalities in the vein wall, this results in blood flowing in both directions. At this point, the vein becomes abnormal and does not function properly. This then leads to a build-up of pressure in the superficial venous system and results in vein branches distending and elongating to relieve this enormous pressure. These branches or tributaries often become the varicosities or bulging veins seen on thighs and legs of patients.
Some of the causes or risk factors of varicose veins
Varicose veins are enlarged, tortuous and elongated veins that can are seen bulging out of the skin, commonly in the thighs, knees and legs, but can also be seen in other regions of the body. They can vary in colour, from being skin coloured to being slightly blue or green in colour depending on your skin type.
Up to 40% of women and 20% of men suffer from varicose veins. Symptoms include tired, heavy legs, aching, cramps and swelling, as well as prominent veins that are clearly visible under the skin. The suffering doesn’t have to be permanent, though. There are surgery free treatments available that have seen the successful removal of varicose veins. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, consult your doctor or book an appointment with us today.
Varicose veins occur because of failure of blood to be pumped back to the heart, due to damaged valves or abnormalities in the wall of the vein. Varicose veins commonly run in families, therefore they have a strong hereditary component. Female hormones play a major role, as does the pressure changes in the lower limb veins that happen during pregnancy. Older age groups as well as obesity are other important risk factors. Certain occupations with prolonged standing or sitting have a stronger predisposition to develop varicose veins. Previous history of having clots in the leg and not wearing adequate compression give rise to varicose veins as well, mainly as a secondary cause.
Spider veins or telangiectasias are fine veins that are often seen just under the skin surface. They are commonly less than 2 mm in size. They can be found anywhere on the body but are common on the face and legs. They often are but not always, a result of the superficial venous system not functioning with damaged valves. Therefore it is vital to always get a duplex ultrasound scan before being treated for spider veins. Failure to do so, will result in worsening of the spider veins or continual reappearance after treatment.
Using superficial laser treatments with spider veins on the lower limbs, only work when the cause of the veins deeper have been treated. If not, they will continue to reappear and most persist. Laser treatments are often very helpful for facial veins.
At Doctor Vein we provide removal of varicose veins through various treatments including sclerotherapy at an affordable cost. Each treatment is non-invasive and surgery free, allowing you peace of mind. If you have any questions about varicose veins, spider veins or our treatments, feel free to give us a call on 03 9190 8922.
Don’t put it off! If treatment of varicose veins is arranged early enough, this will prevent them from progressing to more chronic diseases. Visit our Frankston clinic, conveniently located on the Mornington Peninsula near Melbourne. We’re here to help.