Varicose Vein

Overview of Varicose Vein

Varicose veins, also known as varicosities or varicosities, (Phooli hui rug/پھولی ہوئی رگ) is a condition in which veins become enlarged, dilated, and overfilled with blood. Along with it, a bluish-purple or red-colored painful bulge has been observed. 

Prevalence of Varicose Veins

Lower-limb varicose veins are very common in people whose occupations require prolonged standing. Generally, lower-limb varicose veins rates are significantly high, about 10 to 30 % of people have reported worldwide. From this, women are more prone to this condition.

Signs and Symptoms of Varicose Vein

Varicose veins may not cause any pain if the following signs are present.

  • Dark blue or purple in color veins
  • Twisted and bulging veins like cords on the legs

The signs and symptoms that become painful, may include:

  • Feeling  pain and heaviness in legs
  • Burning, throbbing, muscle cramping and swelling in lower legs
  • Pain gets worse after sitting or standing for a long time
  • Itching around one or more veins
  • Discoloration in the skin around a varicose vein

Spider veins have a resemblance with varicose veins, but they differ from each other in many ways that are:

  • Smaller than spider veins
  • Spider veins are closer to the skin’s surface 
  • Spider veins have different size but look like a spider web
  • Spider veins usually occur in the legs and face

Types of Varicose Vein

Causes of Varicose Vein

Varicose veins are the improper functioning of veins. These veins have a one-way valve that controls the backflow of blood. As these valves are not workable, blood starts to build up in the veins instead of moving back to the heart. In this way, veins become enlarged. Varicose veins often affect the leg area.


Risk Factors of Varicose Vein

Certain factors that increase the risk of varicose veins are as follows:

Health Complications of Varicose Veins

A few rare complications of varicose veins can include:

  • Ulcers: In some cases, painful ulcers may appear on the skin near varicose veins, particularly ankles. Before ulcer formation, a discolored spot on the skin can be visible. 
  • Blood Clots: Accumulation of blood deep inside the veins within the affected legs and they become enlarged. This condition is medically known as thrombophlebitis. In such cases, persistent pain makes the legs swollen. 
  • Bleeding: Most closer veins to the skin may damage. This typically causes minor bleeding, which requires medical assistance.



Here are some of the ways that can help to prevent varicose veins.

  • Having a healthy weight
  • Staying physically active
  • Eating the right diet that contains more fiber and fewer salts
  • Altering your body posture regularly
  • Using compression socks and stockings
  • Maintaining good pregnancy sleeping position (on left)
  • Choosing the right footwear and avoiding heels


To diagnose varicose veins, a general physician will do a physical examination visually such as, looking at the legs while standing for swelling. A doctor also asks a person to describe any pain in the legs.

A general physician may also recommend non-invasive techniques like ultrasound to identify the valves in the veins are functioning properly or diagnose any blood clot present in the vein.

Treatment of Varicose Vein | When to Consult a Doctor

The treatment usually doesn't require a hospital stay for a longer period if it is acute. Generally, less invasive procedures are recommended for the treatment of varicose veins. The condition can be treated in many ways such as self-care before it gets worse, using noninvasive techniques, and may operate through surgeries if it is chronic.

Self-care Management

Following are the self-care strategies that prevent the varicose veins from getting worse such as:

  • Vigorous exercise
  • Losing weight
  • Avoid tight clothing
  • Make the legs elevated
  • Avoid long periods of standing or sitting 

Compression Stockings Usage

The best approach is to wear compression stockings all day. They constantly squeeze the legs and allow the blood to move efficiently inside the vein. The extent of compression of stockings varies according to their brand and quality, but everyone can buy it easily from the nearest pharmacy.

Treatment of Severe Varicose Veins 

When a person doesn't respond to the self-care management or compression stockings then a general physician may recommend one of the following therapies. These are usually applicable to more severe conditions. 

  • Varicose Veins Sclerotherapy:  A doctor injects small or medium-sized incisions with a solution or foam into a vein that forms closure of veins. After a few weeks, treated varicose veins disappear from the affected area. However, the solution can be injected more than once. This procedure can be done in the doctor's office.

  • Laser Treatment: It helps to close the smaller varicose veins or spider veins by passing the light through the affected region of the body. There is no incision or needles required for this therapy.

  • Catheter-assisted Procedures Using Radiofrequency or Laser Energy: This treatment is preferable for large varicose veins. A thin catheter tube is inserted into an enlarged vein and heats the edge of the catheter with the help of radiofrequency or laser energy. The heat destroys the vein and makes the opening of the vein close as it pulls out.

  • High Ligation and Vein Stripping: It is an outpatient procedure that involves tying off a vein before it connects to a deep vein. As the veins tie off, then remove the vein with the help of small incisions. Removing the vein does not affect the blood circulation of the leg. 

  • Ambulatory Phlebectomy: A doctor eliminates the smaller varicose veins through a series of tiny skin punctures. Only the specific affected area of the leg gets numbed by local anaesthesia in this outpatient procedure. Also left some scars on the patient's leg after this procedure.

  • Endoscopic Vein Surgery: A doctor may suggest this outpatient procedure if a person is suffering from leg ulcers as well as varicose veins. It is an advanced technique in which a small video camera is inserted into the leg. This helps to identify the varicose veins closely and remove them through small incisions.

  • Varicose Veins Pregnancy Treatment: Varicose veins are also observed during pregnancy but usually recover on their own within three to 12 months after delivery. As such, there is no medical treatment needed.

If the varicose veins do not treat by self-care therapies or compression stockings or if the legs become swollen and then consult a medical professional.