Varicose veins are common medical conditions affecting adults, especially women. It is characterized by enlarged rope-like veins in your lower legs with or without pain. Treatment for varicose veins depends on the type and the severity of your symptoms.
Houston vein specialists, with more than 20 years of experience, offers a cascade of extensive varicose vein treatments to relieve symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Introduction to varicose veins
Varicose veins are swollen, gnarled (twisted like a rope), and dilated blood vessels that bulge just under your skin surface. These are bluish-purple or greenish in color and usually appear on your legs, feet, and ankles.
Etiology of varicose veins
Varicose veins most often develop due to a condition called venous insufficiency. Your veins contain a one-way valve system that enables the blood to flow to the heart. Venous insufficiency occurs when the valves are diseased or damaged and they fail to close. This causes the blood to flow backward and pool in the veins (venous reflux), leading to varicose veins. Most often varicose veins are associated with saphenous veins present deep in the legs.
Risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing varicose veins include:
- A family history of varicose veins
- Being a female
- Prolonged standing or sitting
- Heavy weight lifting
- History of blood clots
- Tobacco use
Manifestations of varicose veins
Clinical features associated with varicose veins include:
- Twisted, swollen rope-like veins
- A feeling of heaviness in your legs
- Painful, itchy legs
- Swelling in the legs, ankles, and feet
- Skin discolorations
- Ulcers or sores if left untreated
Your vein specialist will first review your medical history, followed by a physical examination of the affected leg. Furthermore, your specialist will order an ultrasound scan to check the blood flow through the affected vein.
Extensive treatment is required when conservative methods like rest, and compression stockings fail to provide relief. Treatment involves eliminating the saphenous vein to prevent recurrence.
- This procedure involves injecting solutions to shrink the affected vein.
- ClosureFast technique involves a catheter that delivers radiofrequency energy to the damaged vein wall.
- This energy is converted to heat that causes the vein to seal.
- This is an FDA- approved treatment that uses a medical adhesive.
- The adhesive is placed directly into the vein with the help of a catheter.
- The adhesive immediately shuts the diseased vein.
- This is a minimally invasive procedure performed through 3 mm incisions, to remove the affected vein.
Varicose veins, though common conditions require prompt medical treatment, especially if they cause painful symptoms. If left untreated it can lead to painful ulcers and sores that are challenging to treat. Moreover, blood clots formed can dislodge into your bloodstream and travel to different organs causing life-threatening complications.