Can Valves in Veins Be Repaired?

Veins play an essential role in the body. Veins carry blood to and from the heart. Valves in veins are a flap-like structure that regulates and maintains the direction of the blood flow throughout the body. The valves’ main job is to keep the blood moving in the correct path that is towards the heart and stop the blood from flowing in the wrong direction. 

Damaged veins valves 

Damaged veins valves can occur due to a variety of reasons, and it may be due to – 

  • Aging
  • Obesity 
  • Hereditary factor 
  • Pregnancy 
  • Any injury 
  • Medical condition (varicose veins, etc.)
  • Sitting or standing for an elongated period.

Damaged valves can reduce blood circulation and make you feel weak. In severe cases, it can cause blood clots or blockages in your veins which can put your overall health in danger. Damaged valves restrict the blood to flow correctly, and it can cause the blood to pool or collect within the veins. This condition is known as venous insufficiency. 

If the valves of the legs are damaged, it can cause the legs veins to swell and bulge below the surface of the skin, and this condition is called varicose veins. 

How do I know that my valves are damaged?

People keep asking me how I would know that my valves are damaged so that I can take medical help to prevent it from getting more damaged. 

As a vascular surgeon here I’m mentioning a few signs and symptoms so that you can identify if your valves are getting damage.

Signs & symptoms:

  • Heaviness in the legs 
  • Swelling in the lower leg or ankle, especially after standing for a more extended period
  • Aching or tiredness in legs
  • Statistic ulcer 
  • Itchiness in legs
  • Pain in legs 
  • Skin looks like leather.

One of the most common symptoms of damaged veins valves is heaviness and tiredness in legs. It can be felt especially after walking or standing for a longer period. 

As the veins’ valves keep getting more damaged, new symptoms start appearing. Fluid may collect in your lower legs or ankles, and it can cause swelling in the legs. Your skin may appear discolored, and skin above the ankles and legs becomes thin. 

If these symptoms are ignored and left untreated, it can lead to an open wound or ulcers that are non- healing and can form a venous stasis ulcer.

If you notice any of these symptoms, then it is significant that you’re suffering from venous insufficiency. You should consult a doctor immediately.  

Can Valves in Veins Be Repaired?

Yes, valves in veins can be repaired. There are few ways to fix the valves in veins and to stop the blood from flowing in the wrong way or direction.

Non-Surgical Treatment 

  • Compression stockings give relief from these signs and symptoms.
  • These stockings also aid ulcer healing.
  • If superficial veins are affected, then they may be treated through injection or vein ablation.
  • In severe cases, angioplasty and stenting may be recommended if deep veins are affected.

In rare and most serious cases, surgical bypass may be required.

If non-surgical treatment doesn’t help you to get relieved from the symptoms, then the doctor may recommend other surgical procedures.

Venaseal 

In the vena seal process, a medical adhesive which is a type of thin glue will be injected inside your veins through small incisions in the skin. This vena seal vein glue helps to seal or close the vein. 

During the procedure, a continuous compression is applied on the leg. Venaseal method closes the damaged vein and encourages blood flow to other areas. 

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)

In this RFA procedure, radio waves are used to close the damaged veins. 

During this procedure, the heat produced by radiofrequency is sent into the vein by using a thin and flexible tube called a catheter, this stops the blood from flowing in a damaged vein.  

 Sclerotherapy 

In this procedure, a liquid chemical solution is used to seal the varicose veins. 

Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT)

In EVLT laser heat is used to close and treat varicose veins. 

The procedures mentioned above take only a small amount of time. Patients may feel minimal discomfort during the above-mentioned procedures. After the treatment, the majority of patients can go back home and resume their day to day routine.  

Angioplasty

It is a surgical procedure that helps to open the blocked blood vessels that supply blood to the legs. This process improves blood flow. 

Angioplasty is also used to treat arteries supplying your heart(coronary angioplasty) or kidney(renal angioplasty). 

This procedure requires tiny incisions on the skin. Doctors will insert a fine tube called catheter or sheath inside the affected artery. 

The narrowed or blocked blood vessels are stretched and opened by using a stent. The stent is a small mesh tube made of metals that keeps the artery open. This treatment is also used to treat a condition called Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). 

Valve repair procedure

In valve repair procedure, the surgeon makes incisions to access the damaged vein and then stitches the valves to strengthen it. This procedure requires a hospital stay, and it may restrict your daily activities for up to six weeks after the procedure.  

Valve Transplant 

A valve transplant is a procedure in which a healthy vein will replace a damaged vein. In this procedure, the surgeon makes incisions and cuts the damaged vein, then a suitable vein valve (usually, taken from the leg) will be selected to replace the damaged one. The healthy vein valve will be attached to the open end of the damaged vein by a medical procedure. 

This procedure requires a hospital stay, and it may restrict your daily activities for up to six weeks after the procedure.  

Valvuloplasty 

Valvuloplasty is the most common method to repair the valve. In this procedure, stitches are used to restore the valve. In the valvuloplasty procedure, two ways are there to applied stitches. 

One way is to stitch inside the valve of the vein to tighten it and the second way is to stitch on the outside of the vein to make the vein narrower.  

Superficial Venous Surgery

Superficial Venous Surgery refers to the procedure that usually involves stripping or tying off the affected veins.

Consult a vascular surgeon to repair your valves in veins. A Vascular surgeon will recommend the best suitable treatment for the condition of your valve. 

How to prevent valves from getting damaged?

  • Exercise daily
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Try to avoid stand or sit for more extended periods 
  • If suffering from any medical conditions like varicose veins or spider veins, don’t neglect the state and treat it before it gets too late. 
  • Take good care of your leg.

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