Vein disease affects millions of Indians every year. But many ignore the warning signs and remain untreated or seek treatment for the disease only when venous leg ulcers or other complications arise. Veins health care is crucial to one’s well-being, and with experience, we can say that the sooner it is treated the better. If avoided for long it can result in serious complications.
Dr. Bhavesh Arun Popat who provides laser varicose veins treatment in Mumbai explains in detail the stages of vein disease, the signs, and the symptoms, learn what you can do to minimize or reduce the risks and when you should act against it or take action.
The first or initial stages of vein disease
Like other medical conditions, vein disease also comes in stages. It is important to assess yourself if you are at the risk for vein diseases. Start by looking for the small or slow and subtle changes in your lower legs.
In the initial stages of this vein disease, you would notice the following;
Spider Veins – Spider veins are small, damaged veins that can appear on the surface of the legs. They are small and appear in the form of a web, thin and twisted wire. Spider veins may be of blue, purple, or red colour. They are treated for cosmetic reasons. It is flat and is not swollen, bulge or lump-like.
Varicose Veins – Varicose veins occur when damaged valves in the veins allow the blood to pool or flow in the wrong direction. They usually happen in the lower leg region. Varicose is twisted, swollen, enlarged veins. They often appear dark purple or blue. They may result in itching, pain, heaviness of the leg, and restlessness. Overweight people are more prone to varicose vein disease. Pregnant women too are susceptible to varicose as well. If left untreated for long, varicose may rupture and cause varicose ulcers on the skin.
The advanced stages of vein disease
If people with vein disease delay seeking treatment then the advanced stages of the vein disease can significantly disturb or damage the life quality. It will take longer to relieve the symptoms.
- Swelling and skin colour change – Untreated varicose can lead to leg swelling, skin discoloration accompanied by severe leg pain. In the later stage of varicose, the leg veins will not work properly, hence the body will be unable to absorb fluid and the legs will often swell. The collection of body fluids in the leg region can also change the skin colour, which is often seen in the ankle area. It may appear pale or red. At this stage open sores get developed easily, these sores take time to heal or may recur again.
- Venous leg ulcers—Venous leg ulcers cause leg swelling and skin discoloration. There is insufficient blood supply in the veins depriving it of healing power and in providing nutrients to the skin. This condition may lead to the extreme pain, chronic. They are open wounds, they may also introduce bacteria into your legs, causing further pain and increasing the chance of infection.
Further, this Venous leg ulcer can damage your lymphatic system. This system is a network of vessels, tissues, and organs, which together work to move a colourless, watery fluid called lymph back into your bloodstream. When the lymphatic system gets disturbed and does not work properly, it can lead to lipid accumulation and further damage to the walls of the veins.
Treatment of vein disease
If you notice the vein disease sign or symptoms and you are ready to take action, treatment against vein disease then you are taking a proactive step toward a healthy vein and lymphatic system.
Depending upon the stages of vein disease treatment include:
- Compression stockings — These snug-fitting stockings, help keep blood flow properly in and through the veins weakened by vein disease.
- Medications — Sometimes oral medications are prescribed, to fight infection or inflammation.
- Sclerotherapy – It’s often considered the treatment of choice for small varicose veins. It involves injecting a solution directly into the vein rerouting blood flow to healthier veins.
- Microphlebectomy — The damaged varicose vein is removed through a small surgery which does not require any stitches.
- Endovenous Thermal Ablation — Heat through laser or high-frequency radio waves are used to shut down the problematic vein, which is reabsorbed by the body.
- VenaSeal Closure System – Here, patient-friendly, safe-for-the-body medical glue is used to effectively close the diseased vein.
Take Action Against Vein Disease
Assess yourself whether you are at risk or not, check out if your legs feel heavy when you are standing and at ease or better when resting, do you notice spider vein formation? If you identify or relate with the risk factor, but do not have any of the warning signs then take out time for regular exercise, avoid prolonged standing or excessive sitting, stop smoking, consume a balanced and healthy diet, best treatment time is to start from the first stage itself, nip them in the bud.