Treat Varicose Veins Effectively: Solutions for Relief and Healthy Legs

Treat Varicose Veins Effectively: Solutions for Relief and Healthy Legs

If you have varicose veins, the doctor will check whether conservative measures are sufficient for treatment or if an operation is necessary. In addition to the severity of the disease, the type of varicose vein is also decisive for which treatment is carried out. 

Types of varicose veins

In general, the following types of varicose veins are distinguished:

  1. Spider veins are enlargements of the most minor veins in the skin.
  2. Reticular varicose veins are extensions of the minor skin veins distributed in a network and have a slightly tortuous shape.
  3. Prominent veins are extensions of the superficial venous system’s main veins (central veins). They include the large saphenous vein on the inside of the legs and the small saphenous vein on the back of the calf. An enlargement of the truncal veins occurs particularly frequently; in about 85 per cent of all cases, these veins are affected.
  4. Side branch vortices are extensions of the side branches of the trunk veins. They are often strongly tortuous and easily recognizable through the skin.
  5. Perforating vortices are extensions of the connections between the superficial and deep veins.


Physical therapy and vein remedies

There are various options for treating varicose veins. Physical therapy can be used as an accompanying measure. This conservative treatment includes, for example, light leg massages. However, these should not be carried out in the case of inflamed veins or thrombosis.

In addition to massagesKneipp treatments also positively affect the veins. Running, walking, and vein gymnastics also help to promote blood circulation and strengthen the function of the muscle pump. Ten minutes of daily gymnastics are often enough to alleviate the symptoms significantly. 

So-called vein remedies are also among the conservative treatment methods. They are used concomitantly, just like physical therapy. Vein remedies usually have a decongestant effect and are available as capsules, sprays, ointments and gels. Common active ingredients include horse chestnut extracts, red vine leaf extracts and arnica.

Treating varicose veins: compression therapy

When vein weakness begins, the development of varicose veins can be prevented or delayed by timely compression treatment. Even if the disease is already advanced, the symptoms can be alleviated by wearing compression stockings.

The function of the venous valves and the muscle pump is supported by compression. This prevents the blood from pooling in the legs. The compression stockings should be individually adjusted and replaced after about six months for an optimal effect.


Remove varicose veins

If the conservative methods are no longer sufficient and the varicose veins have to be removed, there are various procedures to choose from: 

  • You give away
  • laser therapy
  • Radiowellentherapies
  • Operation

Varicose veins degenerate

When sclerosing the varicose veins (sclerotherapy), a sclerosing agent is injected into the bulging vein. A liquid agent is used for small spider veins and a foaming agent for more prominent veins. It ensures that the inner walls of the vein stick together and that a connective tissue-like strand develops over time. 

Sclerotherapy is particularly suitable for spider veins, reticular varices and side branch varices. However, an operation is more advisable for more prominent varicose veins. Even with smaller varicose veins, several sessions may be necessary before the treatment is complete. Afterwards, compression stockings usually have to be worn for a certain period.

Laser and radio wave therapy

A thin laser probe is inserted into the affected varicose vein in laser therapy. The vein walls are strongly heated by the laser and closed. This method is particularly suitable for varicose veins that are not too pronounced and run in a straight line. The procedure can usually be performed on an outpatient basis under local anaesthesia. After the treatment, the patients must wear compression stockings for about four weeks.

Radiowave therapy is similar to laser therapy. Here, too, the dilated veins are closed by heat. In both procedures, only one operation is necessary to close the affected vessel in over 90 per cent of cases. 


Surgical removal of varicose veins

Due to the complete or partial removal of varicose veins (stripping/partial stripping), there is only a shallow risk of recurrence after the operation. During the procedure, a tiny probe is inserted into the affected vein and pushed out again at the end of the varicose vein. The wire is then cut and pulled out with the help of the probe. Alternatively, the varicose vein can also be removed with a cold probe. The operation is minimally invasive, leaving scarcely any scars.

The operation can be performed either on an outpatient or inpatient basis. If there are several varicose veins, they can also be removed in an operation. Discuss with your doctor whether a local anaesthetic is sufficient or whether a local anaesthetic is necessary. After the operation, following the doctor’s instructions is essential to avoid complications. Compression stockings usually have to be worn for several weeks. 

Further treatment options at a glance

In addition to the methods presented so far, there are other ways to treat varicose veins:

  • CHIVA method: The doctor uses ultrasound to look for varicose veins and tie off the diseased vein sections. As a result, they regress and degenerate over time. However, this procedure should not be used for severe varicose veins.
  • External valvuloplasty: In mild cases of trunk varicose veins, the opening area of ​​the saphenous vein can be narrowed somewhat by attaching a small polyester cuff. This restores the function of the venous valves without having to remove part of the vein.
  • Mini-phlebectomy: If there are only small, enlarged side branches, these can be removed with the help of a mini-phlebectomy. The veins are removed through small incisions, similar to a crochet hook.
  • Crossectomy: During a crossectomy, the connections between the superficial and deep veins of the legs that lead to the deep veins are severed. The operation is often performed immediately before vein stripping.

Prevent varicose veins

If there is a genetic predisposition, it is not always possible to prevent the development of varicose veins with certainty. However, the risk can be significantly reduced by taking specific precautionary measures:

  • Exercise regularly: endurance sports such as running, swimming or cycling are suitable for preventing varicose veins. However, sports such as tennis or badminton and weight training are less recommended if you already have venous insufficiency.
  • Pay attention to your weight: Being overweight can promote the development of varicose veins.
  • Go Kneipp Wading through a cold Kneipp pool can work wonders. Otherwise, cold lower leg and knee affusions or a contrast shower will do the trick.
  • Vein gymnastics helps Strengthen your veins with specific gymnastic exercises.
  • Stand little: Standing or sitting for a long time has an unfavourable effect on the leg veins. The same applies to wearing tight clothing and high heels.
  • Elevate your legs: Elevating your legs allows blood to drain more quickly and prevents blood from congesting in the veins.
  • Avoid extreme heat: when it is hot, the vessels dilate, and the blood flow slows down. This can promote the development of varicose veins.

These behaviours will help you prevent varicose veins from developing and are recommended after varicose veins have already been removed.



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