Varicose veins are veins whose valves have become weak or stopped functioning. They look twisted, often raised above the skin and are normally purple or blue in colour. It is a general myth that varicose veins affect women and the elders. Although it is more common among women post-delivery or menopause and the older population, varicose veins might affect children too. A recent study has found that “hidden varicose veins” affects 1 in 20 girls by the age of 9 years and by the age of 18, 1 in every 9 had venous influx or hidden varicose veins.
It is often found that parents miss signs of varicose veins such as bulging veins and inflammation in their children. Children needing treatment for a severe varicose veins condition is very rare. However, regardless of their age, those who display symptoms of varicose veins must be investigated and treated. Investigation done through a duplex ultrasound scan reveals accurate results and based on this, the required course of treatment can be prescribed. The treatment should be based on the test results and not on the age of the patient.
A case of a 12 year old child showed that he had lost valves in all four of his major truncal veins which were dilated. His parents had also undergone treatment for varicose veins previously. He was offered the new pinhole endovenous treatment surgery similar to what an adult would have been prescribed. As a result of the treatment the child showed remarkable improvement and was able to carry out his normal activities and sports from the very next day of the surgery.
According to Karishma Vein clinic, a well-known Varicose veins treatment in Pune, there have been cases where a lot of patients in their teens have been treated. This proves that the incidence of varicose veins is not uncommon among children although the percentage may be small as compared to the total number of patients with varicose veins. In a recent case of a 19 year old boy who had ulcer in one of his ankles, the doctors did not diagnose the underlying actual problem of “hidden varicose veins” for a long time thinking that he was very young to get it. It was later discovered that he had acute venous incompetence and since the problem was unattended for a very long time, it had caused leg ulcer. He was cured by an endovenous surgery under local anaesthesia and the ulcer also disappeared.
We can conclude by saying that varicose vein affects people irrespective of their age. In the normal course, the venous valves become weak or incompetent with age. The deterioration is a slow process however, in some cases it might occur early.In such cases, it is important to investigate fully and not ignore the matter merely on the basis of the age of the patient. Proper examination of the root cause with the help of duplex ultrasound examination will help in detecting the problem. Thereafter, proper treatment in the form of an Endovenous Surgery will ensure speedy recovery and resuming normal activities.