Varicose veins are visible, swollen veins just under the surface of the skin that most commonly appear on the legs. They are very common in adults, and become more common as the person gets older. Varicose veins occur more frequently in women than men. There usually aren’t any symptoms other than appearance, but in some cases varicose veins can cause pain, sores, blood clots, or other problems.
What Are Varicose Veins?
In order to prevent blood from flowing backward, veins have built-in valves that only allow the blood to flow in one direction. The vein itself swells when these valves fail, because the blood is able to collect in one place rather than flowing freely.
Heredity is most commonly associated with varicose veins, but there are situations that can trigger the formation of varicose veins, as well. These include (but are not limited to):
- Jobs that require a lot of standing
- Postmenopausal hormone replacement
- Increased abdominal pressure caused by constipation, tumors, or tight garments
- Chronic heart valve conditions
How to Prevent Varicose Veins
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent or mitigate the negative effects of varicose veins. Of course, staying fit (or losing weight if necessary) and a healthy diet will help. If possible, avoid standing for long periods of time. It’s also best to avoid sitting with your legs crossed for extended periods of time. Working out and increasing leg strength is also recommended. Finally, taking care of your skin by avoiding long period of time in the sun and keeping your skin clean and moisturized will also help keep varicose veins in check.
Treatments for Varicose Veins
Treatments vary by patient and their ultrasound findings. The type of treatment used depends on the type and severity of the varicose veins. Some are less invasive than others, and recovery times vary from a couple of weeks to no time at all.
At the vein clinic, we offer several types of treatments, including:
ClosureFast is a minimally invasive treatment alternative with less pain and less bruising when compared to traditional vein stripping surgery and laser treatment.
Endovenous Laser Ablation
A newer technique in varicose vein treatment is Endovenous Laser Ablation, which uses a laser or high-frequency radio waves to create intense local heat in the affected vein. This heat closes up the targeted vessel. This treatment closes off the problem veins but leaves them in place so there is minimal bleeding and bruising.
VenaSeal is the only non-tumescent, non-thermal, non-sclerosant procedure for varicose veins that uses a proprietary medical adhesive delivered endovenously to close the vein.
A Micro Phlebecomy procedure is used to remove surface varicose veins that are too large to be treated with sclerotherapy. Phlebectomy is far less invasive than surgical stripping because only the surface veins are treated. The result is minimal, if any, recovery time.
Sclerotherapy is an extremely safe and effective procedure that’s used to treat veins that reflux that are close to the skin surface, near nerves or that are very tortuous. A sclerosant solution is injected into the abnormal veins, which causes the vein wall to collapse. The veins dissolve and disappear as the body gradually absorbs them. An ultrasound is used to guide placement of the medication and monitored for successful treatment.
At The Vein Clinic, we offer all of these treatments for varicose veins. You’ll need to consult one of our experienced physicians to determine which one is right for you.