Complicated Varicose Veins

Complicated varicose veins, with edema and ulceration, can pose challenges for medical treatment. Researchers in India conducted a study in which they evaluated the effectiveness of leech therapy in reducing venous congestion, reversing edema and hyperpigmentation, and healing of varicose ulcers. Twenty patients were treated with leeches applied to the area surrounding the varicose ulcers and the patients monitored. The results following leech therapy were impressive:

The investigators also evaluated the blood sucked by the leeches from 7 patients. By matching the pO2 level of the patient's venous blood to that in the leeches, the investigators showed that leeches were attracted only to venous and not arterial blood. The researchers concluded that leeches were an effective treatment for complicated varicose veins.

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