Almost everybody knows someone who has complained about having varicose veins. For some patients, these represent mainly a cosmetic issue. For others, however, varicose vessels cause discomfort and can result in significant medical complications. Many individuals who seek to eliminate these unwanted blue or purple vessels want to know which steps they can take to help prevent the formation of new veins.
Preventing Varicose Vessels
A varicose vessel develops after a valve in a vein, usually in the leg, malfunctions. When this occurs, whether due to aging or injury, the valve allows blood traveling back to the heart from the extremities to fall backward and pool behind it. One probable result is the formation of a varicose vein.
The Office on Women’s Health notes that it is not possible to prevent every varicose vein. However, certain steps are useful to lower the risk of new vessels developing. The most important include:
- Getting regular physical exercise to boost leg and vein strength and circulation
- Shedding extra pounds and controlling body weight to avoid excess pressure on legs
- Avoiding crossing the legs for extended periods
- Elevating the legs whenever possible when at rest
- Avoiding sitting or standing in exactly the same spot for prolonged periods
- Wearing support stockings
- Avoiding clothes that constrict the legs, groin, or waist
- Steering clear of high heels for long periods in favor of shoes with lower heels, which help blood travel through veins
- Eating plenty of foods high in fiber, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
- Following a low-salt diet
All of these steps will help reduce discomfort from any varicose vessels already present.
Treatment Options for Varicose Veins
While no therapy can guarantee the prevention of future varicose vessels, a number of Las Vegas vein treatment options are minimally invasive when compression stockings fail to control discomfort. Vascular surgeons perform them on a convenient outpatient basis.
Laser vein treatment is a popular option with many patients for eliminating veins. The physician inserts a laser into the selected vein. Light energy from the laser closes the vessel. Healthy veins nearby pick up its circulatory workload.
Other outpatient options cited by the Mayo Clinic include:
- Ambulatory phlebectomy involves making small incisions in the skin and removing veins through them with a hook.
- Sclerotherapy, appropriate for spider veins and some smaller varicose vessels, requires injecting a vein with a special substance that causes them to scar and close.
- Radiofrequency ablation in procedures such as ClosureFast™ utilizes a catheter inserted into a vein to deliver energy that causes the vessel to seal shut and eventually disappear.
VenaSeal™ is a recent development that relies on medical glue injected into a vein to seal it shut. Physicians today use surgery only for advanced cases when other treatments have failed. They seldom use ligation and stripping, which was the traditional varicose vein treatment for decades.