Most people are familiar with the term “Varicose Veins” and may have even seen them. However, they may not be familiar with the term “Deep Vein Thrombosis” and may not even know the link between these two conditions.
So, just for the record, Varicose Veins are large, gnarled veins that appear in the legs or feet. For most people, varicose veins are generally benign and have no symptoms. In some cases they may cause aching pain and discomfort and may have to be treated. Some of the treatments include wearing compression stockings, exercise, or then, procedures to remove or close the veins.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) on the other hand, is a blood clot in a deep vein, usually in the leg. This condition is serious, because the blood clot can loosen, dislodge and travel to the lungs, lodging there. Symptoms can include leg pain and swelling, but there could also be no symptoms. Treatment includes medication and the use of compression stockings. In this article, we’ll talk about DVT and Varicose Veins, including their prevention, treatment, and differences.
How to prevent Varicose Veins
There are proven ways that you can prevent varicose veins. Some of these are:
- Exercise regularly: This is the best way to keep your leg muscles toned, your weight under control and improve blood circulation.
- Lose weight: If you are obese or overweight, you should lose weight, because obesity causes increased pressure on the veins of the legs and feet.
- Avoid wearing tight clothing: Tight clothing constricts blood flow to the legs, waist and groin.
- Avoid wearing high heels: With women being twice as likely as men to suffer from varicose veins, it is imperative that you avoid wearing high heels for prolonged periods. Flat shoes are a better alternative, as they improve the muscle tone of your calf.
- Avoid sitting or standing for prolonged periods: If you need to be either sitting or standing for long periods of time, consider wearing daily support hose or compression stockings. Also, stretch and exercise your legs regularly to improve blood circulation.
- Quit smoking: Studies show that smoking may cause varicose veins.
- Take care during pregnancy: If you are pregnant, try to sleep on your left side rather than on your back to avoid pressure from the uterus on the veins in your pelvic area. If you are prone to varicose veins during pregnancy, ask your vascular surgeon for the right compression stockings.
How to prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
You can do certain things to prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). Some of them are:
- Eat a healthy diet: You should eat a low-fat, high-fiber diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Exercise regularly: You should exercise daily, if possible. Swimming, Walking, Bicycling and other cardio-intensive exercises are a great workout. If you cannot exercise regularly, you should at least do heel toe exercises and circle your feet.
- Check your blood pressure: You should do this at least once a year, perhaps more often, if your doctor advises it. If you do have high blood pressure, you should take the appropriate medications under your doctor’s guidance. Exercising and eating well will also help keep your blood pressure under control.
- Take additional substances with care: You should inform your doctor if you are on birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, or are pregnant.
- Drink a lot of water: This is especially when you travel. You should also wear loose clothing as far as possible.
- Move around as much as possible: You should stop and move around every two hours from a sitting or standing position. This will increase the blood circulation to your legs and feet.
- Wear compression stockings: If you have blood clots in your leg or severe varicose veins, you should consult with your vascular surgeon and wear the right kind of compression stockings.
If your body mistakes the blood that is released from the damaged vessel wall of your varicose veins to be a cut or injury, it will form a blood clot at that site, which can then travel to and lodge in any of the major organs of the body. It is especially dangerous if it lodges in the lung.
There are several ways your vascular surgeon can treat both varicose veins and DVT. Here are some cutting-edge and effective treatments for both.
Treatment of Varicose Veins
As far as varicose veins are concerned, treatment does not include a long hospital stay or a long, uncomfortable recovery. Varicose veins can be treated on an outpatient basis, using less invasive procedures. Here are some common forms of treatment for varicose veins:
- Self-care: You can make your varicose veins less painful and problematic by exercising regularly, losing weight, not wearing tight clothes, elevating your legs, and avoiding long periods of sitting or standing.
- Compression stockings: These steadily squeeze your legs, thereby improving blood flow. You can buy compression stockings at most medical stores and pharmacies.
- Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT): This is a relatively painless treatment for varicose veins. It is a minimally invasive procedure. Laser treatment makes the vein slowly fade and disappear. It does this by concentrating strong bursts of light onto the vein. Once the faulty vein is sealed by the laser, blood flow is directed to the healthy veins. The entire process takes approximately an hour. Laser treatment for varicose veins is one of the most popular and one of the safest treatments.
- Endoscopic vein surgery: This is done in case you have leg ulcers due to varicose veins and if all other techniques fail. Your vascular surgeon uses a thin video camera inserted into your leg to visualize and close varicose veins. These veins are then removed through small incisions. This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis.
Treatment for Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
It is imperative that DVT be treatment be treated on an urgent basis before the clot travels to the body organs. Some of the ways you can treat DVT is as follows:
- Blood Thinners: DVT is most commonly treated with anticoagulants, also called blood thinners. These can be either injected or taken as pills and decrease your blood’s ability to clot. While they may not break up existing blood clots, they can prevent clots from becoming bigger and can reduce your risk of developing more clots.
- Clot Busters: If your DVT is very severe and blood thinners are not working, your vascular surgeon may prescribe clot busters, also called thrombolytics.
- Filters: If you cannot take medicines to thin your blood, you may need to have a filter inserted into a large vein, such as the venacava in your abdomen. This can prevent the blood clot from breaking loose and lodging in your lungs.
- Compression Stockings: These can reduce the pain and swelling caused due to DVT. They are worn on your legs from your feet to the level of your knees.
While treatment of both varicose veins and DVT is available, as far as both these conditions are concerned, prevention is definitely better than cure. At the Flow Vascular Clinic in Hyderabad, India, Dr. Abhilash Sandhyala is the expert endovascular surgeon, interventional radiologist and varicose veins specialist.
He treats varied vascular conditions and performs several interventional vascular procedures ranging from EVLT to Carotid Stenting, and from Uterine Fibroid Embolisation to Catheter Directed Thrombolysis. Dr. Sandhyala is adept at treating and helping his patients recover from several severe debilitating conditions.
So, the next time you, or somebody you know, has a vascular problem, however, slight or severe, do visit the Flow Vascular Clinic and consult with Dr. Sandhyala for the best treatment outcome possible!
For more information about and treatment for Varicose Veins, DVT, or other vascular conditions, contact Dr. Abhilash Sandhyala at (+91) 9989649498 or 9959033037, or at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.drabhilash.com