What Are Varicose Veins?
Arteries carry blood from the heart towards the body parts, while veins carry blood from the body parts back to the heart. As the blood is pumped back to the heart, one-way valves in the veins prevent the blood from flowing backwards. If the one-way valves become weak, some of the blood can reflux back into the vein and collect there, causing the vein to become congested or clogged. This congestion will lead to abnormal dilatation of the vein.
Problems Associated with Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are noticeably swollen and raised beneath the surface of the skin. They are dark purple or blue in color, and can look like cords or become twisted and bulging. They are found most often on the back of the calves or on the inside of the legs, anywhere from the groin to the ankle.
Varicose VeinsVaricose veins usually enlarge and worsen over time. They can cause the legs and feet to swell. Although severe leg pain is not common, leg muscles may feel fatigued or heavy, or throb and cramp at night. The skin on the legs and around the ankles can be itchy or burn. When the skin tissue around the varicose vein does not receive enough nourishment, sores or skin ulcers may develop.
Ways to Treat Varicose Veins
Generally, there are two options: conservative measures such as compression stockings, or corrective measures such as surgery, sclerotherapy or laser treatment to remove the veins. In many cases, a combination of treatment may work best.
Treating Varicose Veins by Minimally Invasive Surgery
Subfascial endoscopic perforating vein surgery (SEPS)
Subfascial endoscopic perforating vein surgery (SEPS) refers to the division of perforating veins, which are dilated hence allowing reflux of blood to the varicose veins. The operation separates the superficial varicose veins from the deep venous system with endoscopic means. A small incision at the upper part of the leg alone is required to complete this procedure. This procedure can reduce the recurrence of varicose veins.
Transilluminated powered phlebectomy
Transilluminated powered phlebectomy is a procedure in which the surgeon makes two to three 2 mm incisions on the skin and removes the varicose vein using a small powered surgical device while viewing the vein using a transilluminating light. "Transilluminated" refers to the passing of light under the skin and "phlebectomy" is the medical term for vein removal.
Advantages of Minimally Invasive Surgery
With subfascial endoscopic perforating vein surgery (SEPS) and transilluminated powered phlebectomy, the surgeon removes veins through a minimal number of small incisions in shorter operation time, which leads to earlier recovery for the patient with good cosmetic results.