Venous disease and compression hosiery
Venous disease of the lower leg is a very common condition. It has been estimated that half the adult population will consult their doctors about problems with their leg veins at some stage during their lives. Varicose veins affect between 10% and 20% of the population and are about twice as common in women as in men.
The symptoms caused by incompetent veins are very variable. Small varicosities and dermal flares may cause only cosmetic complaints. However, larger varicosities may cause pain in the legs. Patients who suffer deep vein thrombosis may experience swelling of the limb. Patients with severe venous valvular incompetence my suffer ulceration of the leg.
These are superficial dilated venules which often occur without incompetence of the main superficial veins.
These small varicose are 1 – 3mm in diameter and represent the smaller branches of the venous system.
Medium-sized varicosities occur most commonly in the calf or the lower part of the thigh.
Varicosities arising from the main trunk of the long saphenous vein.
Proper treatment of venous disease is dependent upon an accurate diagnosis. A clinical examination is essential in assessing the extent of the venous problem. A variety of methods may be employed, including duplex ultra sound imaging which is used to obtain pictures of the deep and superficial veins.
Treatment of Venous disease depends upon which veins are affected. Mild symptoms of aching may be treated by compression hosiery alone. Varicose veins are often removed by surgical excision or treated by injection sclerotherapy. Patients with Venous ulceration are likely to be treated with compression bandaging to heal the ulcer. Compression hosiery is then used to prevent recurrence.