Varicose veins are quite common and may affect as much as 35 percent of America’s population, according to the Society for Vascular Surgery. They may be clearly visible signs of vein health or buried deep. If vein treatment is necessary, you have many options, including conservative therapy, procedures such as ClosureFast or – rarely – surgery. Varicose veins may cause pain, according to vascular surgeon and vein specialist Dr. Craig L. Iwamoto, of the Desert Vein Institute in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Symptoms of Varicose Veins
For many people, varicose veins cause no problems and they are symptom-free. Those who do have symptoms report they are often worse at the end of the day, at night or during warm weather. Some of the more common symptoms are a feeling of heaviness in the legs, itching skin in the affected areas, and skin discoloration. Patients may complain of swollen feet and ankles, especially when they spend long periods standing. Visible varicose veins will be swollen and distorted, with colors ranging from blue through purple or black.
Pain With Varicose Veins
When varicose veins do cause pain, the symptoms vary, as does the severity of the pain. Patients may report:
- •Aching in the legs
- •Sensations of burning
- •Muscle cramps, especially during the night
- •Throbbing sensations
Secondary sources of pain from varicose veins occur when the vein bursts or an ulcer develops. These can be extremely painful, especially if the blood from a burst vein pool around the affected area. If a condition called phlebitis develops, the pain may be accompanied by redness, heat, swelling, and discoloration of the affected area. Phlebitis is something that requires immediate treatment to prevent blood clots in the lungs.
Conservative therapy is often the first step in vein treatment. In patients who have no symptoms, compression stockings may be a good choice. Weight loss and regular exercise to improve circulation, as well as keeping legs elevated when possible, are other conservative measures. ClosureFast is a form of radiofrequency treatment that seals varicose veins shut so they can be absorbed into the tissue. Sclerotherapy involves the injection of an irritant that makes veins collapse and scar closed. VenaSeal uses a special “glue" to seal the veins. Laser therapy may be used for small veins such as spider veins. A phlebectomy involves making small cuts in the veins and then pulling out the diseased sections. All of these are minimally invasive procedures performed in a doctor’s office or vein center. They do not require general anesthetic and downtime is minimal.
If you are having problems with your varicose veins – especially if they cause pain – or simply want to improve the appearance of your legs, please contact the Desert Vein Institute at 702-726-9709. Our office is located at 1111 Shadow Lane in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our board-certified doctors can help you determine what is the best form of vein treatment for your condition and help restore your vein health. Our staff can answer any questions you may have and support you through the process of vein treatment.