Health disorders such as varicose veins should not be taken lightly. Not only interferes with a person’s physical appearance, but can cause discomfort, pain to cause bleeding if not immediately get the right therapy.
In medicine, veins are blood vessels that function to return blood from the whole body to the heart. Veins consist of 3 types, namely superficial veins (near the surface of the skin), deep veins (located deeper and larger in size) and perforator veins (veins that connect deep and superficial veins).
Varicose veins are veins that experience dilation and tortuous, often seen as blue blood vessels that are clearly visible on the skin.
Veins in both limbs are assisted by a calf muscle that compresses the vein and pushes blood back to the heart against the force of gravity. Veins are blood vessels that have valves.
Valves in the veins function to help flow blood to the heart by preventing the flow of blood pumped from the extremities, flowing downwards, following the force of gravity.
Varicose Veins Causes
The cause of varicose veins is venous reflux. Venous valves can malfunction so that retrograde flow or blood flow can become stasis. Risk factors for varicose veins are family history, female, age, multiple pregnancies, obesity and a previous history of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis).
Varicose veins often occur in the lower extremities, usually in superficial veins.
The usual subjective symptoms of patients are pain, severe pain in the extremities, fatigue, muscle cramps, itching and tingling.
Varicose Vein Severity
There are six severity related to varicose vein disease. From mild to severe, in the form of ulcers to embolization (release of blood clots) that can be fatal.
- C0 = varicose vein diameter <3 mm, which is invisible and non palpable.
- C1 = telangiectasias/spider veins (dilation of intradermal venules <1 mm), or reticular vein (subdermic venous dilation, sizes 1-3 mm)
- C2 = dilation of venous veins more than equal to 3 mm.
- C3 = the presence of edema, the presence of increased fluid in the skin and subcutaneous tissue.
- C4 = presence of pigmentation (skin discoloration becomes darker) and eczema (erythematous dermatitis)
- C5 = healed venous ulcer
- C6 = active venous ulcer
Varicose veins diagnosis and treatment
An examination that can be done for varicose veins is a Doppler ultrasound examination. Ultrasound is performed to assess veins in the lower extremities such as valve incompetence and reflux blood flow.
Meanwhile, for the therapeutic approach in varicose veins generally consists of two types, namely conservative therapy or surgery / endovascular therapy.
Conservative therapy in the form of compression stocking installation, limb elevation and anti-pain medications. Stockings are used during daily activities. Endovascular therapy is a therapeutic procedure performed from within a vein. Endovascular therapy that can be done for varicose veins is EVLA (Endovenous Laser Ablation), RFA (Radiofrequency Ablation) and Sealant.
In addition to endovascular techniques, there is also varicose vein therapy in the form of surgery, namely vein stripping. Vein stripping is a surgical procedure to remove varicose veins of the extremities, which is performed under anesthesia in the operating room. The choice of varicose vein therapy depends on clinical symptoms, indications and contraindications in each patient.
Minimally Invasive Varicose Vein Treatment
EVLA (Endovenous Laser Ablation) is a varicose vein therapy procedure that uses electromagnetic energy (close to infrared light) that can keep veins closed due to thermal ablation. The action of EVLA begins with a local anesthetic, then performs a puncture in the vein affected by varicose veins and inserted laser fiber into the vein.
Meanwhile, RFA (Radiofrequency Ablation) is a minimally invasive therapy that uses electrodes to drain radiofrequency energy or heat energy so that unhealthy veins can be closed.
In addition to RFA, there is minimally invasive therapy that can be given to patients, namely Sealant, a therapy that uses glue to glue veins so that varicose veins are not visible.
Don’t Let Varicose Veins Get Worse
Over time, varicose veins can worsen, so it’s important to get an immediate consultation and treatment.
Varicose veins can get worse at existing levels if therapy is not done. One of them is a venous ulcer.
Ulcers are lesions on the skin to a depth exceeding fat tissue, even up to muscle or bone. Complications that can occur also are the formation of thrombus and even rupture.
Varicose veins that are not treated can get bigger so that it ruptures and bleeding occurs. Varicose veins are also associated with an increased risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis).
DVT is the formation of thrombus or plaque in the inner veins, which can become a pulmonary embolism (plaque carried in the bloodstream to the lungs) so that it can cause shortness of breath even until death.
To prevent the appearance of varicose vein disease, avoiding the habit of sitting or standing for too long. And the most important thing is to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
If you already have symptoms or signs, immediately check the health of your feet with the doctor to get treatment before experiencing the degree of severity. Simple examination and painless with ultrasound, handling can use a variety of methods up to the most advanced.