Many adults in the United States suffer from varicose veins, which are frequently caused by genetics. Varicose veins, characterized by swollen, twisted, and bulging veins in the legs, may seem harmless. However, it would be best if you did not dismiss them as a minor cosmetic problem or a normal part of aging. Ignoring them can lead to severe medical issues.
What is a Varicose Vein?
Varicose veins are abnormal, twisted, and swollen veins most commonly found in the legs. They result from malfunctioning valves in the veins responsible for controlling blood flow. When these valves do not work correctly, blood can flow backward and accumulate in the veins, causing them to twist and enlarge.
Varicose veins can be swollen or raised veins that are often dark purple or blue. They can cause symptoms such as aching, cramping, and discomfort. Left untreated, they can lead to more severe complications, such as blood clots, skin ulcers, and bleeding.
Signs and Symptoms of Varicose Veins
The signs and symptoms of varicose leg veins can include the following:
- Visible veins, appearing as twisted, enlarged, and bulging veins, typically in the legs
- Aching and pain in the affected legs, particularly after standing or sitting for long periods
- Swelling in the legs, ankles, and feet
- Cramping or fatigue in their legs.
- A burning or itchy rash in the affected area
- Discolored skin, thickening, and ulceration in the affected area
- Restless leg syndrome, a condition characterized by an irresistible urge to move the legs
- It is important to note that not everyone with varicose veins will experience all of these symptoms.
When to Seek Treatment for Varicose Veins
When varicose veins are causing symptoms like pain, itching, swelling, cramping, or skin discoloration, treatment is necessary. It is also crucial to get treatment if the condition leads to more severe side effects, like chronic swelling or ulcers.
It is crucial to seek medical attention if you experience symptoms, even if there are no outward signs of the disease. Doing so will help you avoid further complications, such as a blood clot, and ensure that you get the proper care.
In severe cases, there is a slight chance of developing deep vein blood clots, or deep vein thrombosis. Symptoms of blood clots include leg pain, redness, and swelling. A blood clot may also happen in other body parts. Also, it is best to get treatment for varicose veins if you have a family history of the condition.
How to Treat Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are treatable in many ways, including:
This procedure involves injecting the affected vein with a solution. The vein eventually dissipates after the vein collapses due to the solution. Doctors can perform this procedure as an outpatient and typically perform it in their office. A sclerosant, also known as a saline solution, detergent, or foam, is the solution used in sclerotherapy.
The location and size of the vein that needs treatment will determine the type of sclerosant used. The process typically takes 30 to 60 minutes to complete. Usually, the treated vein will disappear in three to six weeks.
In the process of endovenous laser ablation, the doctor destroys the varicose vein’s inner lining with heat, causing it to collapse. He or she uses a tiny skin incision to insert a catheter, a thin tube, into the vein to perform the procedure. The catheter heats the vein using either radiofrequency or laser energy. Local anesthesia is necessary throughout the procedure, which typically lasts an hour. The treated vein will usually disappear 3 to 6 weeks after the treatment.
Like endovenous laser therapy, laser treatment for varicose veins heats the vein with laser energy rather than radiofrequency energy. The doctor makes a tiny skin incision to insert a thin laser fiber into the vein. The laser heats the vein, causing it to burst. The procedure typically takes an hour to complete under local anesthesia. The treated vein will usually disappear 3 to 6 weeks after the treatment.
This surgical procedure removes varicose veins by making a few tiny skin incisions. The procedure, carried out under local anesthesia, typically lasts an hour. The doctor removes the vein through small incisions made along its length. After that, he or she staples or stitches the incisions shut. This procedure typically requires a week of recovery, during which the patient should refrain from strenuous activity and wear compression stockings.
The purpose of compression stockings is to increase the flow of blood by applying pressure to the legs. These stockings, typically worn from the foot to the knee or thigh, have different compression levels. The level of compression will depend on the severity of the varicose veins. They can aid in pain relief and swelling reduction.
Exercise can help increase blood flow and lessen varicose vein symptoms. Exercises that increase blood flow, such as walking, swimming, and cycling, can help relieve pain and swelling. Before beginning any exercise regimen, it is best to consult your doctor, especially if you suffer from severe varicose veins or other underlying medical conditions.
Being overweight can worsen the symptoms of varicose veins by putting more pressure on the veins in your legs. Losing weight can relieve the pressure in your veins, enhancing blood flow. You can lose weight by eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise.
Avoid Standing or Sitting for Extended Periods
Prolonged sitting and standing can exacerbate your varicose veins. You can improve blood flow and lessen varicose veins’ symptoms by avoiding extended periods of sitting or standing.
Most doctors typically regard these therapies as secure and efficient. It is best to consult a medical expert to determine the best course of action for your particular condition.
Restore Your Legs’ Beauty and Health
Do not let varicose veins hold you back any longer! Visit North Texas Vein Specialists to learn more about our state-of-the-art treatments and schedule your consultation today. Take the first step towards healthier, pain-free legs and more confidence by calling (817) 927-5627 today.