Varicose veins are a common disease

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10. December 2014

Varicose veins in men

Clinicians and experts sound the alarm: Even though men are affected by varicose disease almost as frequently as women, they seldom seek treatment for their varicose veins. However, just like women, they too can suffer from the complications of untreated disease: skin changes, ulcers on the lower legs, or even thrombosis. Early treatment of varicose veins demonstrably prevents complications and improves the quality of life of those affected. Foam sclerotherapy offers an efficient patient-friendly therapeutic option that also might improve compliance with treatment in men.

In Germany, about 1 man in 4 has chronic vein disease of the legs. Even though women more often experience the typical symptoms of swelling and pain, this changes with increasing severity of the condition. Chronic skin changes (such as pigmentation and eczema), venous leg ulcers, and thrombosis due to vein disease are even slightly more common in men than in women.

Despite the serious complications, men are still reluctant to see a doctor for the diagnosis and treatment of varicose veins. It is a fact that women undergo therapeutic procedures for varicose veins more than twice as often as men. And even those men who do seek treatment often wait far too long, so that the disease is already considerably more advanced by the time they do so. It is well known that men generally seek medical attention far less frequently than women, so it is not surprising that a considerable gender difference also applies when it comes to treatment for vein disease. A large-scale study carried out at Dr. Seiter’s Vein Centre in Stuttgart has confirmed the suspicion that men in general pay less attention to varicose veins. More than half the men questioned considered the changes as unimportant, were not bothered by them, or had not even noticed them at all – despite the fact that varicose veins are easy enough to recognise, even for non-professionals. In contrast, more than 90% of women took the problem seriously and had sought treatment. Less than 1 man in 5 was bothered by the appearance of the varicose veins, although nearly all female patients saw them as an aesthetic blemish.

Early treatment is extremely important to prevent the disease getting worse. Besides surgical procedures, such as high saphenofemoral ligation (crossectomy) and stripping, sclerotherapy is becoming increasingly popular. Sclerotherapy with a foam sclerosant is appropriate for use in many cases, even for large varicose veins. Scientific studies have shown that foam sclerotherapy is both safe and effective. In addition, the minimally invasive procedure carried out on an outpatient basis, allows patients to resume their normal everyday activities immediately after treatment.

These convincing advantages of sclerotherapy should also persuade men to do more about their varicose veins than they have done up to now.

 

Author: mwo