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The term “Varicose” is derived from the Latin word “Varix” meaning twisted. Accordingly, varicose veins are twisted and enlarged veins that appear close to the surface of the skin. They are often a result of increased pressure and strain on particular veins which in turn causes them to twist.
What Factors Contribute to Varicose Veins?
Gender: Varicose Veins are more likely to occur in women vs. men.
Age: The likelihood of getting varicose veins increases with age. This is due to gradual aging and weakening of the valves present in the veins. It is this wear and tear that eventually leads to the occurrence of varicose veins.
Family History: You are more at risk for varicose veins if other family members have also suffered from vein issues.
Obesity: Extra weight translates to more pressure on the veins. As a result, varicose veins are more likely to manifest.
Immobility: Staying in one position for a long period puts pressure on your circulatory system which could contribute to varicose veins.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
There are a number of causes responsible for varicose veins. Gender is one key factor and the condition is more likely to occur in women for various reasons. Pre-menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause may all contribute to varicose veins due to the hormonal changes that accompany these bodily changes. Hormonal replacement procedures and birth control have also been linked to varicose veins.
Your occupation can also leave you more at risk for varicose veins. A job that has you sitting or standing all day is one such risk factor. The veins in your legs work against gravity to pump blood back to your heart. Calf muscles aid in this process when they contract. Due to the increased workload by the veins in your legs, wear and tear leading to varicose veins can occur.
Are Varicose Veins Dangerous?
We recommend reaching out to us for a consultation once you have identified any signs of varicose vein development. Treating varicose veins early on can help avoid various, more severe, medical complications.
Fatigue, itchiness, leg discomfort and pain may all set in when varicose veins are left untreated. Additionally, untreated varicose veins can lead to more serious medical conditions including:
- Spontaneous Bleeding
- Superficial Thrombophlebitis
- Venous Leg Ulcers
How Can You Prevent Varicose Veins?
There are a few measures you can take to prevent varicose veins. As the condition is more prone to occur in the legs it is important to get blood circulation in the legs working smoothly. Here are some activities to help you keep varicose veins at bay:
Exercise frequently: Walking regularly is an excellent way to promote blood circulation in the legs. Getting in a few miles is enough to help boost the health of your veins.
Choose appropriate footwear: Low-heeled shoes are a better option compared to high-heels as they will work the calf muscles more. This is better for your veins in the long-run as they assist in pumping blood from the legs to the heart.
Mind your diet: The added weight due to a poor diet puts unnecessary pressure on your veins.
Elevate your legs: Elevation can boost circulation in your legs. Consider several short breaks per day to elevate your legs above your heart. For instance, you can lean back on your chair and raise your legs one or two pillows above your table-top height.
Don’t sit or stand for long hours: Instead, make it a habit to frequently change your position to promote blood circulation.
How to Treat Varicose Veins
Unlike treatments of years past, today’s solutions for varicose veins are all minimally invasive and with little to no downtime. On your first visit to the Vanish Veins we will work together during your consultation to identify the best treatment option for you!
Endovenous Thermal Ablation: This is a minimally invasive procedure that’s an alternative to stripping the saphenous vein through surgical means. After the application of an anesthesia, the physician makes use of ultrasound technology to repair the vein with a catheter. The procedure takes less than an hour and patients are able to walk immediately.
Medical Adhesive Technology: This treatment option makes use of the VenaSeal procedure that has been approved by the FDA for use in the United States. By using VenaSeal, a medical adhesive, a physician can close off the vein after an injection with the guidance of ultrasound. Patients suffer minimal-zero bruising and the need to wear compression stockings afterward is eliminated. VenaSeal is also one of the few cosmetic treatments covered by Medicare and some private health insurance providers.
Foam Sclerotherapy: This treatment is administered with the use of ultrasound guidance. It is another suitable alternative to surgical stripping. Sclerotherapy makes use of a foamed or liquid sclerosant which the doctor administers on the varicose veins while monitoring the collapsed vein valve via ultrasound. This imaging guides the treatment of the collapsed vessels.
Ambulatory Phlebectomy: This treatment option involves surgically removing varicose veins. The area around the collapsed veins is flooded with local anesthesia after which a needle is used to puncture the area close to the varicose vein. A small hook is then inserted into this punctured area and used to remove the varicose vein. The procedure requires you wear compression stockings for a short time period following the treatment.
Interested in learning more? Please contact us to schedule your a consultation!