Varicose veins are an extremely common problem that affects adults around the world. Most people suffer with muscle cramps, aching and discomfort while complications include eczema, oedema, ulceration, lipodermatosclerosis, phlebitis and bleeding.
This has a significant negative effect on a patient’s life. Leeches therapy for varicose veins is gaining popularity these days. Doctors are using leeches for treating abscesses, glaucoma, painful joints, myasthenia, and also to heal thrombosis and venous diseases.
Medical leeches are even used in plastic surgery, to cure infertility as well as for improving brain circulation.
Using medical leeches in therapies for treatment of varicose ulcers, reduction of edema and to generate vein decongestion was recently tested and whether leeches selectively suck out the venous blood was investigated. A medical leech known as Hirudo medicinalis was adequately put to use on the areas that are closer to the varicose ulcers in more than 40 patients who were suffering with hemorrhoids.
The patients were checked for improvements of varicose ulcers and reduction in hyperpigmentation, limb girth and pain. In this research, the partial pressure of O2 in the arterial and venous blood of six patients was compared to the blood sucked by the leech.
Soon after the ulcers showed healing, 85 percent of the patients showed a decrease in pain and girth of the limbs and seventy five percent patients showed a decrease in visible hyperpigmentation.
The tests concluded that medical leeches effectively suck out the venous blood as well as help in the reduction of varicose ulcers and can probably be used as a subsequent remedy for treating varicose veins and hemorrhoids.
During treatment, the leeches fall off by themselves after a duration ranging from 5 to 35 minutes with each leech sucking off approximately 25 to 45 milliliters of blood.
However, leeches therapy is not efficient for people whose venous disease is due to insufficient valves or dilation of the vessels. Leech saliva is known to have antibacterial effects and useful enzymes. They are also known to have anti-coagulation properties that help save the blood from thickening and coagulation. It is fairly easy to apply leeches to the affected area. However, it does require an operation performed only by a qualified medical professional.