About Varicose Veins
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are twisted swollen veins you can see bulging beneath the skin and affect up to 20% of ALL adults. They are caused by leaky valves in the veins which allow blood to flow backwards in the veins increasing their pressure and stretching them. This vein stretching can cause leg pain, fatigue, itching and burning. The increased pressure in the vein can push fluid into the surrounding tissues causing swelling, skin discoloration and even skin breakdown to form ulcers.
What are the symptoms of varicose veins?
Symptoms can vary but the most commonly experienced symptoms are pain, aching, fatigue, itching, heaviness, “restless leg”, and swelling. In some instances, an ulcer or sore can develop that requires more immediate medical treatment.
Are varicose veins a common condition?
Varicose veins are very common, affecting up to 1 in 5 adults. About 80 million Americans suffer from some form of varicose veins.
Varicose veins are more common in women than in men and are usually seen in patents between 35 and 65 years old.
There are many factors that influence that likelihood a person will develop varicose veins in their lifetime. The biggest risk factor is genetics. Odds are if you have varicose veins then someone in your family does as well. Generally, the incidence of varicose veins increases with age.
How are varicose veins treated?
Varicose veins are primarily treated with Thermal Ablation and Phlebectomy.
What is Thermal Ablation?
Thermal Ablation is a technique that destroys the vein from the inside using heat. This is done with a laser catheter. The procedure is performed with a local anesthetic and requires only a small needle puncture to the vein being treated.
What is Phlebectomy?
Phlebectomy is a technique where the dilated veins are removed through tiny incisions. The procedure is performed with a local anesthetic with immediate medical and cosmetic results. If the patient requires laser treatment as well it often can be done as part of the same procedure.
When can I return to normal activity?
The procedures are performed in our office as an outpatient with patients returning to normal activities in just a couple days.
Is the treatment painful?
All procedures are performed with a local anesthetic which requires small injections. Afterwards there can be some bruising and tenderness requiring mild anti-inflammatory medications such as motrin or ibuprofen.
Are there any risks?
All procedures have some risks however MVL has had no serious complications in over 6000 procedures.
What if I do not have my varicose veins treated?
Varicose veins are caused by abnormally functioning veins and without treatments are only likely to get worse with time.