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Varicose Veins

Image Vein

Roura DermSurgery’s Center for Vein Care specializes in Phlebology. We are one of few centers in the Philippines offering the most modern and most effective non-surgical treatment of various varicosities.

What are Varicose Veins?

Veins and arteries, while both part of the circulatory system, function quite differently from each other. "Poor circulation" is a nonspecific term which often refers to arterial blockages. Arteries bring oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the extremities and can be thought of like a tube or hose. Veins, unlike arteries, have one-way valves and channel oxygen-depleted blood back toward the heart. If the valves of the veins don't function well, blood doesn't flow efficiently. The veins become enlarged because they are congested with blood. These enlarged veins are commonly called spider veins or varicose veins. Spider veins are small red, blue or purple veins on the surface of the skin. Varicose veins are larger distended veins that are located somewhat deeper than spider veins.

Pain in the legs is frequently related to abnormal leg veins. Symptoms, often made worse by prolonged standing, include feelings of fatigue, heaviness, aching, burning, throbbing, itching, cramping, and restlessness of the legs. Leg swelling can occur. Severe varicose veins can compromise the nutrition of the skin and lead to eczema, inflammation or even ulceration of the lower leg.

Vein disorders are not always visible; diagnostic techniques are important tools in determining the cause and severity of the problem. In addition to a physical examination, non-invasive ultrasound is often used.

What Causes Varicose Veins?

Heredity is the number one contributing factor causing varicose and spider veins. Women are more likely to suffer from abnormal leg veins. Up to 50% of American women may be affected. Hormonal factors including puberty, pregnancy, menopause, the use of birth control pills, estrogen, and progesterone affect the disease. It is very common for pregnant women to develop varicose veins during the first trimester. Pregnancy causes increases in hormone levels and blood volume which in turn cause veins to enlarge. In addition, the enlarged uterus causes increased pressure on the veins. Varicose veins due to pregnancy often improve within 3 months after delivery. However, with successive pregnancies, abnormal veins are more likely to remain. Other predisposing factors include aging, standing occupations, obesity and leg injury.

How Phlebology Help?

Phlebology is the field of medicine that deals with vein diseases. It has been an established medical specialty in Europe for more than 50 years; serious interest in phlebology has developed over the past two decades in the United States. In 2005, phlebology was recognized by the American Medical Association as a medical practice specialty.

The American College of Phlebology was founded in 1985 and is the largest phlebology society in the United States. It was established to improve the standard of care related to disorders of the veins. Its members are physicians and other health care professionals with backgrounds in a variety of medical specialties who share a common interest and expertise in vein diseases and disorders.

When and How are Veins Treated?

The most commonly asked questions are: "Do veins require treatment?" and "What treatment is best?" Veins that are cosmetically unappealing or cause pain or other symptoms are prime candidates for treatment. There are two general treatment options: conservative measures, such as compression stockings, and corrective measures such as sclerotherapy, surgery and light source/laser treatment. In some cases, a combination of treatment methods works best.