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Varicose Veins – A Real Medical Problem?
Varicose Veins – A Real Medical Problem?

What is the problem?

Very often, when women spot an unsightly bulging vein on their calves or bluish small veins around their thighs, they think to themselves, “this looks unpleasant, but I guess there is no need to see a vein doctor about this.”

Spider Veins

Spider Veins

Most people don’t realize that this might just be a surface manifestation of a much more serious problem; Chronic Venous Insufficiency.

Veins in the human body are responsible for bringing blood back to the heart. Normally, the veins in the legs work properly even when a person is standing up, to prevent blood from pooling in the calves. However, for people who do not have working veins, this blood pools in the calves causing varicose veins and other symptoms like ‘tiredness’ of the legs, ‘burning’ or ‘bursting’ sensation after standing for too long.

If left untreated, the condition can potentially lead to a more serious problem of permanent skin damage (called ”Lipodermatosclerosis” ) and recurring wounds or ulcers may form on the calves.

Severe leg ulcer

Patient with severe permanent skin damage with a leg ulcer due to untreated Chronic Venous Insufficiency

These ulcers can also turn to skin cancer if left untreated for too long—leading to possible leg amputation.

Thankfully, only a small portion of patients end up with these complications, but based on historical data, doctors don’t really know the exact percentage and will advocate early treatment for all cases.

How to get the problem diagnosed

A proper diagnosis can only be reached by an Ultrasound performed by a trained Vascular Surgeon or Vascular Sonographer.

This process is non-invasive and involves the ultrasound done with the patient standing up, or seated upright for part of the procedure.

Vascular Sonography

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