WHAT ARE VARICOSE VEINS?
Varicose veins are swollen & twisted veins that typically occur in your legs but can appear anywhere.
Oftentimes, varicose veins or spider veins can lead to more than just an aesthetics issue, they can lead to vein pain in your legs, and make your legs feel heavy and tired. When a vein has become abnormally swollen or dilated, it looks like blue gnarled ropes on the surface of your legs and feet, and it can be an embarrassing condition for many people.
Here’s what you need to know about this condition, what you can do about it, and when it may be a sign of something serious.
WHAT CAUSES VARICOSE VEINS?
Your veins have a system of one-way valves that keep blood from flowing back to your feet as your heart pumps. When these valves start to wear out, the blood flows backward and pools in the veins. This causes the vein to bloat and twist, resulting in an undesired look. While any vein in the body could develop this condition, the legs are the most common given that naturally through activity, those valves work the hardest over time.
SPIDER VEINS ARE AN EARLY WARNING SIGN
What are spider veins?
In their most mild form, spider veins, they can make your legs look bumpy and gnarled. However, sensations of pain and heaviness can occur if proper treatment isn’t sought out. This will usually increase in the evenings or when you’ve been standing or sitting for a long time. What’s happening is that the blood isn’t moving out fast enough and ultimately ends up putting pressure on the nerves.
Are spider veins serious?
This is a dangerous sign, especially if there doesn’t seem to be a visible cause. A visual symptom of this occurring can be if a vein turns red, becomes more swollen, or gets inflamed, that’s a sign to go see a doctor to check for a blood clot. While not as serious as a clot deeper in the body, clotting near the skin can be a warning sign of deeper venous trouble. Additionally, varicose veins can cause a form of dermatitis on their own. If your skin gets itchy, flaky, or starts bleeding near the vein, that’s another sign to see a doctor. Varicose vein treatment can be easy if you don’t leave them untreated for a long time. If veins are left to worsen, more invasive vein surgery becomes the only type of surgery available to treat vascular disease.
SPIDER VEINS VS. VARICOSE VEINS
VARICOSE VEIN TREATMENT
What happens if varicose veins are left untreated?
Fortunately, there are treatments. If the pain is mild, there are treatments your doctor can teach you to do self-care at home, such as wearing compression stockings, elevating your feet, increased exercise, and the use of pain medication. But sometimes a vein requires treatment.
In rare cases, varicose veins can cause skin ulcers and other serious complications. If you have varicose veins, see a doctor right away for treatment options. Many varicose vein treatment options are covered by insurance and there are several advanced forms of treatment. However, once your veins start to become varicose, there’s often little that can be done to prevent new varicose veins from developing in the future.
Medical treatment for varicose vein disease is often the most effective option. Treatment routes will be chosen with your doctor to relieve your varicose vein symptoms in the least invasive way possible. Here are some ways your vein surgeon will treat veins:
A fine needle will inject a sclerosant medicine into the vein. Sclerosant blocks blood from flowing through and the injected vein will disappear as the blood vessel breaks down.
This laser surgery shoots light beams onto veins that will damage and close them up. Laser therapy may not work on a larger vein, so this is best suited for spider veins before they become varicose.
Using radiofrequency, varicose veins are heated and closed off. This is more invasive than laser light but still has a quick recovery time.
Men Are At Risk Too
Varicose veins in men often go unseen and untreated. According to our patient, John, he knew he had varicose veins like his father. However, he also remembered the extent of surgery his father went through with having his varicose veins stripped. Today, we’re able to offer less invasive and more successful procedures like laser vein therapy that wasn’t available many years ago.
After John tried everything from compression stockings, leg elevation, heat, and other at-home remedies, he finally decided to seek care. Once Dr. Bonau was able to see John’s varicose veins, he was able to treat him in the office with laser therapy. John was able to return to normal activities was sooner than he anticipated. He was even able to play golf the week after treatment!
VEIN RELIEF AT THE VEIN CENTRE IN NASHVILLE
If you have varicose veins and live near Nashville, visit the Nashville Vein Centre for professional and effective vein treatment. We have three locations, one in Franklin, one in Belle Meade, and one in Mt. Juliet. Visit our locations page to find the office nearest to you. Vascular surgery may be a great option to relieve your vein issues.
You can also request a consultation for varicose vein treatment here on our website or give us a call. Our friendly office staff is always happy to help!