Being a very common disease, varicose veins affect, in Brazil alone, about 35.5% of people per year. And it affects women more frequently, and for every 4 women who develop the disease there is only 1 man.
In general, as a visible problem, varicose veins can not only cause discomfort and hinder the performance of daily tasks, but can also be a source of shame and low self-esteem for many people.
Thus, treatments were developed in order to recover the quality of life of these patients and prevent more serious problems from occurring.
- 1 Why do varicose veins appear?
- 2 When are varicose veins of concern?
- 3 What treatments are available?
- 4 Do creams for varicose veins work?
- 5 How much does a varicose vein treatment cost?
- 6 Who needs to do it?
Why do varicose veins appear?
Varicose veins appear on the legs and feet, because the valves in the veins and arteries are unable to return blood with carbon dioxide to the heart.
Certain people are more likely to suffer from the condition, because of some risk factors. The most common, according to the Brazilian Society of Angiology and Vascular Surgery, are:
- Genetic predisposition: about 70% of the cases presented are in people who have or had a relative with the same problem;
- Obesity: overweight requires the cardiovascular system to perform better than it can handle.
- Gender: women are more likely to develop varicose veins, due to also having other risk factors.
- Age: Over the years, some people are more prone to conditions that can cause varicose veins. Like the collagen reduction, which makes the muscles and skin more fragile, favoring the dilation of the veins.
- Multiple pregnancies: each pregnancy causes several hormonal changes in the woman’s body, which also generates changes in the blood return of the legs. Thus, there is a greater possibility of the appearance of varicose veins.
- Sedentary habits: the lack of physical exercise, which mainly involves the movement of the legs, is also an aggravating factor for venous problems.
- Smoking: although there is no direct relationship, it is known that smoking harms the circulatory system. In addition, smokers may have more complications during the treatment of varicose veins, and consequently are unable to obtain the desired result.
- Use of high heels: although there is no scientific evidence, it is recommended that you do not wear high shoes for a long time, as it can hinder the mobility of the calf, which is very important for the return of venous blood to the heart.
- Working standing or sitting for a long time: staying in the same posture for a very long period ends up affecting blood circulation and favoring the appearance of varicose veins.
- Other factors: other problems such as venous thrombosis (formation of clots in the deep veins) and the understanding of the legs by other external supports, due to surgeries performed, can also cause the appearance of varicose veins.
When are varicose veins of concern?
Varicose veins are a cause for concern when they cease to be just an aesthetic nuisance and become associated with serious and dangerous health complications.
That is why it is important to be attentive to start treatment as soon as possible, because if the varicose veins become larger, the patient is at risk of developing several problems such as phlebitis, thrombosis, edema, and ulcers.
In order to identify the stage in which the patient is, it is essential to have a medical evaluation based on clinical examination and imaging exams. This is because there are those who have varicose veins that are not noticeable, but cause symptoms such as pain and burning.
However, there are people who have visible varicose veins but do not experience much pain or other common symptoms.
Thus, it is essential that the evaluation is done in an appropriate way to accurately diagnose the patient’s situation and so that the indicated treatment is able to avoid possible complications to the patient’s health.
What treatments are available?
Over the years, different ways of treating varicose veins have been developed, so that symptoms are relieved and appearance improves.
The available procedures can be recommended according to the severity of the varicose veins, and also with the patient’s desire to use or not use some methods, as some are more invasive than others.
In order to choose the best treatment, an evaluation with a specialist in angiology and vascular surgery is necessary, since only these professionals are qualified to carry out the procedures.
In general, the treatments that can be indicated are classified in three ways, which are:
Indicated for patients who are asymptomatic or do not have intense symptoms, but want to prevent the appearance of major complications.
Thus, the following are used:
Compression facilitates blood circulation and reduces swelling and pain in the legs. Some options that can be found are:
- Venosan ultraline pantyhose ;
- Venosan Comfortline Cotton;
- Sigvaris Ever Sheer;
- Sigvaris Antitrombo.
They are prescribed by a specialist to help the blood flow through the veins, tone them and reduce inflammation.
In general, flavonoid substances are used for manufacturing and the dosage should be guided by specialists. Among the options are:
- Venalot ;
It is oriented to those who suffer with pain, burning and tiredness , for example. On average, rest intervals for at least 15 minutes a day are indicated.
In this way, it is possible to prevent the lower limbs (legs) from being overloaded and the symptoms to intensify.
Sclerotherapy treatment (microsurgery)
People who have telangiectasias, popularly called microvessels or spider veins (because they are very thin), are able to use this resource.
Sclerotherapy treatment is considered to be of low risk and not very aggressive, but more than one session is necessary to be effective.
Other important aspect to remember is that because they are therapies based on injections, some aesthetic centers offer these services, however, it is contraindicated to perform these procedures in places that do not have specialized medical monitoring.
The sclerotherapy methods are:
- Foam sclerotherapy: recommended for small proportions of spider veins and varicose veins, this method is performed by injecting substance (foam) directly into the dilated vessels, preventing blood from circulating through them. On average, it lasts less than 30 minutes and the perforations made are almost minimal, so it does not cause many scars on the skin.
- Glucose sclerotherapy: similar to the previous one, it applies a glucose solution directly to the vessels and varicose veins, which are less apparent, so that they can reduce the dilation completely.
It is usually necessary to have several sessions with a minimum interval of 5 days between them, and because it is done with glucose not suitable for diabetics.
Surgical procedures are recommended for those who have varicose veins, with a thickness greater than 3mm.
Although some surgeries are less invasive than others, as they use lasers and high temperature, all should be performed only under anesthesia and in a surgical center with trained professionals.
Possible techniques are:
Phlebectomy is performed by microincisions made with the help of a hook on the part where the varicose veins are found.
Before starting, the patient receives anesthesia with sedation and blocking of motor activities in the lower limbs, after taking effect, the surgeon begins to make microincisions along the path of the varicose veins.
Each session lasts an average of 30 minutes, and recovery does not usually take more than 3 days (depending on the size of the veins, if they are longer, the recovery time also increases).
It is also possible to perform phlebectomy by transillumination, which is the use of lighted equipment for the removal of inflamed veins.
It is indicated for when the patient has varicose veins that are deeper and more extensive, because in this way the surgeon or surgeon will remove, by means of a cut, the entire saphenous vein, causing the blood to flow through others.
Before starting, local anesthesia is applied to block the femoral nerve, shortly after, a cut of 1cm to 2cm is made close to the groin and another in the knee / leg region. And, with the aid of a fleboextrator, the saphenous vein is removed.
In some cases, the patient is discharged on the same day. When not, it usually remains for only 1 day under observation.
Recovery takes longer in relation to phlebectomy, as the procedure can generate pain and bruising in the region.
Using a vascular ultrasonic device to orient himself, the surgeon or surgeon will introduce a laser fiber into the saphenous vein (magna) that fires infrared rays.
Infrared rays, due to the high temperature, completely close the harmful vein, causing it to lose its usefulness and no longer cause complications.
This technique is recommended for those who want a little invasive treatment, as there is no need for a cut as large as that of conventional surgery.
On average, the procedure lasts 1h30, and the recovery time is not usually longer than a week.
This is also a less aggressive option, as it is done through the introduction of a catheter that emits heat into the saphenous vein.
The instrument stimulates thermocoagulation, which consequently causes the vein to close.
In general, each session lasts about 20 to 30 minutes, recovery is fast (2-3 days) and does not usually cause much pain or bruising.
Do creams for varicose veins work?
According to the Brazilian Society of Angiology and Vascular Surgery, creams are not considered a form of effective treatment against varicose veins, as they cannot pass the skin and reach the vessel wall.
Some products available for purchase help to disguise the spider veins and improve the appearance of the region with varicose veins.
There are also creams and ointments that can be prescribed by a (a) specialist to relieve symptoms, quite common and uncomfortable in cases of varicose veins. This can cause weight relief and fatigue in the legs, but without effectively addressing the source of the problem.
How much does a varicose vein treatment cost?
The price * of a treatment for varicose veins depends on the method chosen, the surgical center in which it will be done and the professionals who will perform it. In addition, there may be additional costs for consultations, tests and medication.
Whoever wishes to undergo treatment through the Unified Health System (SUS), should schedule an evaluation at the nearest service station, so that a specialist can analyze which procedure is most appropriate to resolve the case.
The forms of treatment provided by SUS are conventional surgery and foam sclerotherapy.
Some values of treatments available on the market are:
- Understanding stock : it costs on average from R $ 90 to R $ 150;
- Phlebectomy: can cost around R $ 1000;
- Traditional surgery: it can cost from R $ 1000 to R $ 2500;
- Endolaser surgery: the price can reach R $ 300 per session;
- Radio frequency: on average R $ 250 per session;
- Foam sclerotherapy: on average R $ 200 per session;
- Glucose sclerotherapy: can cost between R $ 200 and R $ 500 per session.
* Prices consulted in October 2020. Prices may change.
Who needs to do it?
People who feel uncomfortable aesthetically or those who, due to the symptoms that varicose veins cause, are unable to do common everyday activities can seek medical evaluation to treat varicose veins.
It is important to note that each condition is unique, so any procedure must be indicated and monitored by a specialized medical team.
If any of these methods mentioned throughout the text interested you, do not hesitate to look for a specialist to help you with this problem.
In this way, it is possible to avoid complications and improve the quality of life.
How about finding out about possible treatments for other diseases? The Healthy Minute provides several texts to help you!