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Varicose veins are beyond an aesthetic problem

The appearance of varicose veins has a prominent hereditary context, however, there are also important precipitating factors. In women, pregnancy and the use of contraceptives, in the general population, prolonged standing or sitting.

People with varicose veins usually complain of pain in the lower limbs associated with a feeling of heaviness and tiredness, which worsen in the heat, with long periods of standing or sitting with the legs hanging. In women, these discomforts tend to get worse in the premenstrual and gestational period.

The prevention of this disease is crucial for its appearance and progression:

-  Standing or sitting for many hours, especially cross-legged, should be avoided; it is important to try to perform circular movements and take walks;

 - Regular exercise promotes muscle contraction and venous return, especially gymnastics, swimming, cycling or dancing. Sports that cause sudden movements should be avoided (for example, tennis or basketball), as they require pressure variations in the veins that cause their dilation and a reduction in venous return;

- Hot spots should also be avoided as they dilate the veins. Conversely, performing cold water baths provides pain relief and reduces the sensation of heavy legs;

- Constipation and excess weight increase venous blood pressure and should be avoided;

 - Clothing that is too tight compresses the veins and hinders circulation and flat or very high shoes have the same effect, the option being 3-4 cm heels;

- It is recommended to sleep with your feet elevated (10-15 cm) and perform movements with your legs before falling asleep;

- Massaging the legs respecting the venous return (from the bottom to the top) can alleviate.

Minimally invasive techniques have provided very good results, namely thermal ablation by radiofrequency or laser and sclerotherapy. At HPA, radiofrequency has been widely developed, consisting in the introduction of a catheter with an electrode that allows the release of radiofrequency energy in the vein wall, leading to its ablation. Its safety and effectiveness have gained advantage over other techniques. In addition, as it is minimally invasive, it is performed under local anaesthesia, allowing for an easier post-operative period; less painful, less bruises and complications.

 

1, September 2020