Is there a cure for varicose veins, varicose eczema and leg ulcers. As over 50% of us will be affected by a vein condition such as varicose veins, varicose eczema or leg ulceration, this is an important question.
These conditions are far more common than heart disease and they cause serious distress. In most cases, they are caused by a fault in the one way valves of the superficial veins that lie just under the skin which causes down flow of blood in the wrong direction, a condition called superficial venous reflux. The most commonly affected vein is the Great Saphenous Vein and the reflux flows down from the groin, down the inside of the thigh and into the calf. This superficial venous reflux can cause visible varicose vein, varicose eczema and if severe, it can cause leg ulceration. When the Great Saphenous Vein is affected by reflux, the varicose veins, eczema and ulceration usually occur on the inner calf around or above the inner ankle bone (medial malleolus).
In line with current guidance from the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (CG168), reflux in superficial veins is usually treated by endothermal ablation. Under ultrasound guidance, fine catheters are inserted into the abnormal veins through needle pricks and closed with heat energy usually under local anaesthetic. When reflux is abolished the varicose veins improve or disappear, the varicose eczema gets better and the leg ulcer can heal.
A less frequently affected vein is the Small Saphenous Vein which lies under the skin at the back of the calf. When there is reflux in this vein problems can occur on the outside of the calf and ankle area. Whenever there is reflux, the blood flow to the skin is reduced and a special type of varicose eczema with scars can arise, a condition called atrophie blanche.
When reflux is treated by endothermal ablation the skin circulation improves and the atrophie blanche can heal, there is less swelling and varicose veins and leg ulcers can the prevented.
Varicose veins and varicose eczema are caused by superficial vein reflux and they indicate that the circulation to the skin is poor and the leg is at risk of ulceration. Endothermal ablation is a treatment that is approved by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence. It can be performed under local anaesthetic without surgery and successful treatment of vein reflux leads to improvement of the skin circulation with prevention of leg ulcers. If leg ulcers are already present, vein reflux treatment allows the ulcers to heal.
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