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All About Varicose Veins

August 13, 2018 • Desert Vein Institute • Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are a common circulatory problem characterized by gnarled, enlarged veins. The appearance of varicose veins is the result of diseased veins and faulty valves, which cause poor circulation. Varicose veins can cause a number of problems, including unsightly bulging veins. Fortunately, vein treatment can reduce the appearance of varicose veins and restore proper blood flow.

Varicose veins are common and can affect anyone. In fact, up to 35 percent of people in the United States have varicose veins, according to the Society for Vascular Surgery.

Some factors increase a person’s risk of developing varicose veins. Women, women who have had multiple pregnancies, and people who are obese have a higher risk of varicose veins. It is possible to inherit a high risk of varicose veins from a parent.

How Varicose Veins Form

The heart pumps blood to the lungs and then to far reaches of the body and back. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood from the lungs to the rest of the body. Cells use the oxygen to function and, in the process, create toxins. Veins carry these toxins away from the cells.

Gravity helps blood flow in arteries downwards towards the feet. Veins must fight gravity to move blood upwards. Small valves trap blood in small segments within the veins in between heartbeats.

If the valves fail, the blood flows backward and down towards the feet. Excess blood accumulates in the veins of the lower legs. The accumulated blood presses against the inside of the veins and this pressure cause the vein to bloat and twist. When this happens near the surface of the skin, a varicose vein appears.

Varicose veins are unattractive but do not usually cause other symptoms. When symptoms do develop, they often include pain, itching, swelling, leg heaviness or tiredness, or burning. Symptoms are usually worse later in the day.

Vein Health

Individuals can take steps to keep veins healthy and reduce the appearance of varicose veins. Some of these steps towards vein health include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Exercising
  • Avoiding long periods of standing or sitting
  • Wear compression stockings that squeeze blood up and out of lower leg veins

Varicose Vein Treatment

Varicose vein treatment involves closing the affected vein. After treatment, the body routes blood through other veins. The treated vein breaks apart; nearby tissue absorbs the remnants of the treated vein, which causes the varicose vein to fade from view.

There are several varicose vein treatments. ClosureFast uses the power of radiofrequency (RF) energy. In this procedure, the vein doctor inserts a thin, flexible catheter into the vein and then emits RF signals through the catheter. The vein responds to the RF energy by swelling up and closing. Laser vein treatment uses the power of light energy to cause the closure of a varicose vein.

Other treatments can include VenaSeal™ that uses a medical glue to close veins. Phlebectomy is a procedure in which the venous surgeon removes the affected vein through tiny incisions in the skin.

Each varicose vein treatment is safe and effective. Varicose vein treatment removes the appearance of varicose veins.

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