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Varicose Veins continued
varicose veins are a medical condition for young and old

The veins over the calf muscle were swollen and often painful; as was a pronounced, dark spot about the size of a pea. This, the surgeon advised, was of major concern. It was a blood clot. Once again, local anaesthetic was administered before he began making a number of incisions around the affected area. Having cauterised the extremities of the swollen veins with the laser, he cut and removed each section in turn; as well as the clot which looked like a shotgun pellet. Doing a thorough job, he then went around the leg with his laser, including behind the thigh, to cauterise swollen veins that I had only ever felt, but had never actually seen. The entire procedure seemed to take no time at all. With the wounds dressed and following a short rest, I walked out of the surgery unaided and certainly minus the discomfort that I had suffered for years.

Naturally, following the surgery there were a number of rules to aid with recovery. Swelling along the areas treated was still present and cream was prescribed to rub in to soften lumps. I was also given scripts for pain killers which I never bothered filling because I experienced only mild discomfort and they weren't necessary. One of the surgeon's main insistences was regular exercise - at least a thirty-minute walk every day; plus some short supplementary sessions around the home at intervals; but definitely no heavy lifting or strenuous exercise for at least a week. Compression stockings also had to be worn until the swelling subsided. All in all the surgery was not a problem; neither was the follow-up routine. There are procedures other than those I've described; but I won't go into details at this time. The medical experts know what they are about and will only do what is necessary for their individual cases.

Had it not been for the painful blood clot I might never have bothered seeking medical assistance - I'm glad now that I did. Maybe if I'd taken more notice of the early signs as many still don't, I might have avoided making matters worse. Regular walking is one positive way to keep the circulation flowing through the legs. Standing for too long in one spot is not a good idea; and carrying heavy loads for any length of time can also be a contributor to varicose veins. Overweight people are really doing the same thing, putting constant pressure on the back and lower limbs.

As for diet, that can make a difference. Chocolate, cookies and cakes have high amounts of sugar; and any other similar foods should be avoided, or only eaten occasionally in small quantities. Alcohol would fall into this category; and especially soda and energy drinks. Canned foods are apparently inadvisable; and too much salt or salty foods such as snacks and crisps are not a good idea. Some of the beneficial substances are supposed to be turmeric, ginger, cayenne peppers, garlic and vitamin E; but I can't testify to this.

What I will say, though, is that maintaining a healthy lifestyle has to be the way to go. And should those unsightly veins start to appear; don't just cover them up with long pants and forget them - consult a GP for advice before they cause more problems than a little.

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