Varicose Veins Clinic

Varicose veins are twisted, swollen blood vessels that create a bulge under the surface of your skin. These purple or blue bulges usually appear in your feet, legs, and ankles and can sometimes be itchy or painful. Varicose veins are often surrounded by spider veins, which are purple or red smaller lines appearing close to the surface of the skin.

Although varicose veins can be uncomfortable or unsightly, they aren’t dangerous in most cases. However, in some cases, the condition can get serious, leading to serious health problems like development of blood clots. Some of the symptoms of varicose veins can be controlled with conservative treatment but if the symptoms are extensive, surgery or laser therapy may be needed.


What is the difference between spider veins and varicose veins?

Spider and varicose veins are both venous diseases but they present differently. Varicose veins are larger than spider veins. Spider veins appear like blue or red branches of a tree or spider webs, and they lie close to the surface of the skin.

Spider veins usually don’t cause pain. They can occur anywhere on the body but are most commonly found on the feet, behind the knee, or on the face. Varicose veins usually appear on your legs or feet.


Who can develop varicose veins?

Anyone can get varicose veins. However, the presence of certain factors that increase your chances of varicose veins. Those are:

  • Gender
    The walls of the veins get stretched due to some female hormones. Pregnant women, women taking birth control medications, or those going through menopause are constantly experiencing changes in their hormone levels. So, they have an increased chance of developing varicose veins.
  • Age
    The walls of the veins don’t work as efficiently as they once did as the person ages. This is because veins lose their elasticity and stiffen.
  • Lifestyle
    Sitting or standing for extended periods of time reduces circulation. Wearing restrictive clothing including pants with tight waistbands or girdles can reduce the blood flow.
  • Family history
    Varicose veins can sometimes be inherited.
  • Overall health
    Certain medical conditions such as some tumours or severe constipation increase venous pressure.
  • Weight
    Obesity increases the pressure on the veins.
  • Tobacco use
    Those who use tobacco products are more susceptible to developing varicose veins.

How common are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are an extremely common condition. In fact, one in every three adults has them. The condition is more common in females than in males.


What are the symptoms of varicose veins?

One of the most prominent symptoms of varicose veins is a purple or blue gnarled vein just under the surface of the skin. The other noticeable symptoms of varicose veins include:

  • Heavy legs
    Your leg muscles may feel heavy, tired, or sluggish, especially after you perform a physical exercise.
  • Bulging veins
    Swollen, twisted, or rope-like veins that are often purple or blue. They appear on your ankles, legs, or feet just beneath the surface of the skin. Tiny blue or red lines can appear near the area.
  • Itching
    You may experience some itching in the area around the varicose veins.
  • Pain
    You may experience pain, soreness, or itchiness on your legs, especially behind the knees. You may also experience some cramps in your muscles.
  • Skin ulcers and discolouration
    Varicose veins can lead to brown discolouration on the skin if left untreated.
  • Swelling
    Your ankles, feet, and legs can throb and swell.

Where do varicose veins usually occur?

Varicose veins most commonly affect the lower half of the body, including the ankles, calves, and feet. They can also affect the pelvic area, especially in those who have had children. If varicose veins affect the testicles, it can lead to infertility.


What causes varicose veins?

Varicose veins occur due to the weakening of the venous walls. As the venous blood pressure increases, the walls get weakened which allows the veins to get bigger. As the veins undergo stretching, the valves inside the veins that allow the blood to move in only one direction cease to function normally. Sluggish blood pools or backs up in your veins causing them to bulge, swell, or twist.

The walls and valves of the veins can weaken for many different reasons including as a part of the ageing process, hormones, restrictive clothing, excess weight, or build up of pressure inside the vein due to standing for extended periods of time.


How are varicose veins diagnosed?

Varicose veins are easy to see as they lie close to the skin’s surface. The condition is usually diagnosed by healthcare providers during a physical examination. They will examine your veins while you are standing or sitting and even feel them. Apart from that, your healthcare provider may ask you to get an ultrasound of your veins to see detailed images of your veins or look for complications. It is a painless and safe test that employs sound waves to create pictures of internal tissues. Ultrasounds can also reveal how well the valves are working and if there are any blood clots.


What is the treatment for varicose veins?

Although there is no definitive cure for varicose veins, certain treatment options are available to relieve discomfort and reduce their appearance, including:

  • Elastic stockings
    Supportive socks or stockings reduce discomfort by compressing your veins. The compression enhances blood flow and stops your veins from stretching.
  • Elevation
    To reduce the pressure inside the veins and increase blood flow, it is recommended to elevate your legs several times during the day.
  • Sclerotherapy or injection therapy
    Sclerotherapy involves injection of a solution into your vein by a healthcare provider. The solution causes the walls of the veins to stick together. Eventually, your veins fade away as they turn into scar tissue.
  • Laser therapy
    Your healthcare provider may suggest a minimally invasive procedure known as endovenous thermal ablation, which involves closing off the damaged vein using a catheter.
  • Vein surgery
    These procedures are also called stripping and ligation. The affected vein is tied off to stop the pooling of blood. The vein may also be stripped or removed to prevent the recurrence of varicose veins.

What are the complications of treatment?

Many patients who have undergone surgical stripping get varicose veins again at some point in their lives. Varicose veins can also recur after endovenous ablation. The potential side effects of the treatment for varicose veins include skin burns, scarring, nerve injury, infections, and deep vein thrombosis ( a condition characterised by development of a blood clot in a vein deep inside the body).

The side effects of sclerotherapy include development of brown areas on the skin where the needle touched, bruising or redness lasting for a few days, and hardness and lumps for a few months. New varicose veins can develop as a result of sclerotherapy which may require further treatment.


How can varicose veins be prevented?

While varicose veins can’t be completely prevented, you can decrease your chances of getting them by following a healthy and active lifestyle. Following are some of the measures that doctors recommend for prevention and treatment of varicose veins:

  • Leg elevation
    Raising the feet above your waist helps restore blood flow to the heart.
  • Avoid standing for long periods of time
    Take regular breaks to stretch and walk around to encourage blood flow, especially if you are doing a job that necessitates you to be on your feet for extended periods of time.
  • Try to maintain a healthy weight
    The pressure inside your blood vessels can be reduced if you try to get rid of the excess pounds.
  • Stay active
    You must avoid sitting still for extended periods of time and move frequently to improve circulation.
  • Quit tobacco use
    Smoking causes damage to the blood vessels, reduces the flow of blood, and gives rise to an array of health problems.
  • Try using compression stockings
    Support socks can compress your veins and encourage the circulation of blood, thus preventing the varicose veins from worsening.
  • Stay active
    Avoid sitting still for prolonged periods of time and move frequently to improve circulation.
  • Wear well-fitted clothes
    Make sure that your waistband is not too tight and not interfering with your blood flow.

What is the outlook for people with varicose veins?

Varicose veins are usually not dangerous and don’t give rise to long-term complications. Most people with varicose veins are, however, concerned with the way they look. Even though they may experience some degree of discomfort, complications are rare.


How long do varicose veins last?

If varicose veins occur during a pregnancy, those may go away on their own within 2-3 weeks of delivery. For some other people, the condition may keep on recurring after treatment.


What are the complications of varicose veins?

If left untreated, varicose veins can cause bleeding, ulcers, and skin discolouration. Chronic venous insufficiency may give rise to severe varicose veins, which may affect the ability of your veins to pump blood into your heart.

Those with varicose veins are more susceptible to developing blood clots. Therefore, your healthcare provider will assess and monitor your for conditions associated with blood clotting including:

  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
    Those with varicose veins are more susceptible to developing deep veins thrombosis.
  • Superficial thrombophlebitis
    Sometimes blood clots develop inside varicose veins, giving rise to a condition known as superficial thrombophlebitis or venous thrombosis. Although thrombophlebitis is a painful condition, it is treatable and usually not dangerous.
  • Pulmonary embolism
    DVT can give rise to a blood clot that can lodge in your long giving rise to pulmonary embolism, a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention.

Do varicose veins return after treatment?

Varicose veins tend to recur after treatment, especially in females who become pregnant post treatment. You have an increased chance of recurrence of varicose veins if you have a sedentary lifestyle or are obese.


When should I talk to my doctor about varicose veins?

Although varicose veins are usually not life-threatening, you should visit a healthcare provider if you suspect having them. If you are located in Indore, you can visit the Varicose Veins Clinic at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Indore and get an appointment with an expert doctor who will guide you to the next step. Our medical staff is highly qualified and has years of experience in the field. They evaluate every patient thoroughly and formulate tailored treatment plans that best suit their individual needs. Our goal is to provide the best possible medical treatment and care to all our patients and deliver optimum medical attention at all times.