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Varicose Veins

A varicose vein is a vein that is dilated and therefore clearly visible on the skin, or palpable under the skin. Varicose veins are usually blue translucent and tortuous, and are mostly on the legs. Varicose veins are very common, they are one of the top ten complaints people go to the doctor for. They are more common in women than in men. The medical name for varicose veins is varices.

What is the function of veins?

Veins are the blood vessels that provide the return flow of blood to the heart. The arteries (arterioles) carry the blood from the heart to the legs, and through the veins it flows back to the heart. On the outside of the leg is a whole network of superficial veins through which the blood flows back up the leg. Inside the leg, between the muscles, there are also large veins through which the blood flows back. In all these veins there are valves. These valves allow the blood to easily flow back from the toes to the heart. When you walk or move your leg muscles, the veins are squeezed dry, and because of the valves, the blood can only go one way, up.

Causes and complaints

Women are slightly more likely to suffer from varicose veins than men. The risk of varicose veins increases with: 
  • Preconception: in some families, people are more likely to have varicose veins
  • Hormones and pregnancy
  • Standing for long periods at a time
  • Thrombosis
  • Surgery and accidents
  • ObesityVaricose veins often cause no symptoms at all. Many people will find the presence of varicose veins disturbing or unsightly. Varicose veins usually increase in severity gradually over the years. If the varicose veins cause symptoms, it is usually in the form of a tired, languid and heavy feeling in the legs. Sometimes one has itching and tingling or one cannot keep the legs still in bed (restless legs) or one has the feeling that something is crawling over the legs. In rare cases, there is pain or bleeding from a varicose vein. In addition, due to the improper return of blood to the heart (venous insufficiency), congestion and consequent fluid accumulation (edema) around the ankles can also occur. These symptoms increase during the day, after standing for a long time and in warm weather. If fluid accumulation persists for a long time, symptoms such as pigmentation, eczema, white scarring, hardening of the skin and subcutaneous fatty tissue and finally an open leg (ulcer cruris venosum) can develop in the lower legs.

What treatments are available?

It is important that you see your doctor who will examine you and decide the best course of action. You may be referred to other trained professionals for specialist advice.
  • External support and compression using elastic compression garments. You need to wear them to recover after surgery or get them to prevent varicose veins.
  • Intermittent compression pumps (IPC) Pressotherapy.

Use of a pressotherapy system

The system of Nymph consists of a pump and 1 or more cuffs, these are easy to use, safe and effective for varicose veins. It is important that you follow the instructions given to you by your nurse, therapist or physician for varicose veins.Before using the system, remove compression bandages or stockings. Make sure you are in a comfortable position, if necessary place a cylindrical cotton bandage or stockinette on the affected limb. Place the cuff on the varicose limb to be treated and connect the cuff to the pump. Adjust the pump settings for varicose veins this is program B or E as advised by your treating physician, then turn on the pump. The cuff will be inflated and deflated alternately, giving a gentle massage. This stimulates blood and lymph flow in your affected limb. If the pressure is too high and you experience discomfort, you can reduce the pressure setting on the pump. This can be done even during the therapy session already in progress. It is important that you follow the instructions given to you regarding the duration and frequency of use. A session lasts between 30-90 minutes. After completing therapy, the cuff and any cotton bandage should be removed. If you are wearing compression garments, you can put them back on. Experience over many years has shown that very few problems have been experienced by individuals using this system. However, if you become breathless or your limb becomes swollen or painful, or if the skin becomes red and inflamed during treatment, you should stop immediately and inform your treating physician as soon as possible.


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