What Are Varicose Veins?
- Varicosities can develop in any vein but are most common in the legs since standing and walking increase venous pressure. These unhealthy saphenous veins result from elevated blood pressure deeper in the leg.
- The underlying disease that often causes varicose veins is called chronic venous insufficiency.
- Varicose veins have a tell-tale twisted (tortuous) appearance, bulging at the surface of the skin in a bluish-purple or red hue.
- Family history is the top predictor of varicose vein development. Other risk factors include pregnancy, aging, weight gain, and excessive sitting or standing on the job.
- Treating varicose veins not only eliminates symptoms, it also improves your appearance and prevents serious complications. Varicose vein treatment options include minor lifestyle adjustments and minimally invasive procedures with no downtime.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
A common condition called venous insufficiency is the usual cause of varicose veins. Leg veins rely on valves that close to pump blood toward the heart and prevent accumulation or retrograde flow of blood toward the feet. Whеn thеѕе valves weaken or break, blood pools in the veins, rather than returning to the heart. As a result, the veins swell and bulge, twisting to accommodate the excess blood. Leg veins have to work against the gravitational pull, making them more prone to varicosities than other blood vessels in the body. In addition to valve failure, veins weakened by trauma or containing blood clots are also susceptible to varicose vein formation. Less commonly, venous inflammation (phlebitis) and congenital abnormalities cause varicose veins.
What Are The Symptoms Of Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are often asymptomatic, but here are some common symptoms:
- Twisted, bulging, large veins
- Leg heaviness, particularly at night
- Restless legs syndrome
- Swelling in the lower extremities
- Fatty deposits beneath the skin (Lipodermatosclerosis)
- Spider veins (Telangiectasias) at the same location
- Bluish or brownish discoloration on the ankles, calves, or shins
- Dry, red, itchy skin (called venous eczema or stasis dermatitis)
- Achiness or cramping in the legs
Who Is Affected By Varicose Veins?
Varicose Vein Treatments:
Multiple effective treatment options exist for patients with varicose veins. The best method of treatment depends on the patient’s unique venous composition and medical history. The severity and location of your varicosity, as well as any symptoms and skin changes help your doctor determine the best course of action.
Potential Treatments Include:
- Sclerotherapy: injecting liquid or foam into the damaged vessel to destroy it
- Ablаtіоn: employing radiofrequency, laser, or heat to destroy damaged veins
- Surgеrу: stripping or pulling the veins out surgically, known as “phlebectomy”
- Elevating legs while seated or lying down
- Support ѕtосkіngѕ
NOTE: Sclerotherapy and Radiofrequency Ablation remain the best options for most patients with vаrісоѕе vеіnѕ.
Is Varicose Vein Treatment Safe?
When performed by a board-certified vein doctor, varicose vein treatment is safe and easy for the majority of patients. The introduction of minimally invasive therapy at the turn of the 21st century vastly improved the safety profile of vein treatments. While vein treatment is safer than ever, it’s still essential to seek treatment from a trained vein doctor who customizes treatment for each patient. The award-winning vein doctors at New Jersey Vein Center tailor the treatment specifically to you.