Ultimate Guide to Varicose Veins

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Image of a doctor holding a sign that reads "varicose veins." This image is representing how this article is a guide to understanding varicose veins.

What Is A Varicose Vein?

Varicose veins refer to veins that become abnormally thick, enlarged, widened, bulging and twisted. They can appear swollen and visible through the skin. Furthermore, they commonly appear on the legs or thighs, however they can affect any area of the body.

What Are The Most Common Causes of Varicose Veins?

This is an image of an old man celebrating his 80th birthday, a pregnant woman, and someone sitting down at work. This is to represent the various causes of varicose veins.

Some of the widely known causes of varicose veins are:

  • Poorly Functioning Vein Valves: Valves always keep blood moving up towards the heart. Because, when the valves are not functioning well, they allow blood to collect in the veins. As more blood collects with nowhere to go, it causes the veins to swell.
  • Pregnancy: Varicose veins are yet another symptom that comes with pregnancy—mostly occurring during the first trimester. Pregnancy leads to increased hormone levels and blood volumes which causes the veins to enlarge in size.
  • Aging: Elderly people often develop varicose veins because blood vessels become less flexible and less elastic as we age. As the veins age it becomes more difficult for them to effectively circulate blood from the legs back to the heart.
  • Prolonged Sitting and Standing: Excessive sitting and standing places an immense amount of pressure on the veins situated on the lower limbs, leading to varicose veins.
  • Genetics: You can develop varicose veins if a blood relative had them, even if you avoid the other risk factors.
  • Obesity: Being obese is not good for overall health and can lead to many serious diseases, including vein disease and varicose veins.

Apart from these causes, there are other predisposing factors like injury to the leg, the use of contraceptives, being chronically inactive, and participating in sexual intercourse.

What Are Some of The Signs and Symptoms of Varicose Veins?

Noticeable characteristic symptoms of varicose veins include:

  • Color changes on the skin
  • Discomfort, heaviness and aching legs
  • Swelling, cramping and feeling fatigue
  • Swollen, lumpy and twisted veins on the legs
  • Skin sores that don’t heal quickly in the affected area

Varicose Vein Treatments

There are several ways that individuals can get treated or treat themselves from varicose veins.
Self-care steps used to curb varicose veins:

  • Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time to keep the blood in your legs flowing properly
  • Wear compression stockings to decrease swelling
  • Elevate or raise the legs above your heart regularly
  • Do appropriate exercises like walking and swimming to stay fit and promote blood flow
  • Lose weight if necessary

What If Your Symptoms Are Severe?

If the symptoms you are experiencing are severe, it is very likely treatment will be necessary. It is very difficult for this condition to go away on its own due to the blocked vein valves. For instance, aside from during medical treatment, it is not possible for the vein valves to unblock themselves. So if you’re symptoms are unbearable, its likely due to a significant build up of blood in the veins of your legs and ankles. Treatment methods available for varicose veins includes:

Laser therapy:

Variety of lasers are useful by inserting a tiny fiber into the varicose veins

Sclerotherapy:

The doctor injects the vein with a chemical solution to harden the vein, causing it to disappear

Bypass:

Reroutes blood flow around the blocked vein

Ablation:

A thin and flexible tube is inserted to heat and destroy the vein tissue of the damaged vein

Angioplasty and stenting:

This procedure is required to open a blocked vein

Microphlebectomy:

Small cuts are made near the affected area to remove the damaged vein

Varicose Vein Treatment

Therefore, varicose veins can advance quickly and it’s important to seek advice from a medical professional if you think you may have varicose veins. Furthermore, if you would like to learn more about what you can do to prevent vein disease or about the treatments available to you, check out our website and find a location nearest you.

Whether it’s varicose veins, spider veins, or venous ulcers, our clinics treat a variety of vein disease conditions. Varicose treatments take between 15-30 minutes depending on the number of veins affected. If you believe you are suffering from vein disease, contact us at 888.768.3467 to learn more about which treatment would work best for you.

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