Varicose Veins Treatment & Info
Varicose veins are swollen, enlarged veins that are visible towards the surface of the skin, and are usually blue or green in color. Spider veins are a mild variation of varicose veins, that can appear in thin blue lines and may resemble a spider web. Sometimes the one-way valves that keep blood flowing upward to the heart malfunction, creating a back up of blood on the veins. The blockage can lead to weakened valves and veins. This may cause the veins to swell and twist, but typically do not cause serious problems. For some patients, varicose veins can cause more serious symptoms like leg swelling and calf pain. They may cause skin changes like a difference in color, thin skin, dry and scaling skin, or inflammation. For some, varicose veins are an indication of a more serious condition that may require treatment, known as deep vein thrombosis.
Cause of Varicose Veins
There are several factors that contribute to the likelihood of varicose veins developing. It is common for them to run in families, and aging is also a factor. Pregnant women have decreased circulation in their legs, and this can contribute to varicose veins appearing. Also, people who stand long hours working, or struggle with obesity also have an increased risk for bulging varicose veins. People may choose to seek treatment if their veins cause them pain and swelling, or for cosmetic improvement.
Varicose Veins Treatment Options
PA Vascular Associates in Philadelphia are experts in varicose veins treatment. Treatment varies on the severity and location of the veins. Initially, compression stockings may be recommended to compress abnormal veins, but may also be used in conjunction with other treatments. Sclerotherapy is a procedure performed with a solution that scars and closes the vein. This is done for small and medium sized varicose veins, and does not require anesthesia. Microphlebectomy is a procedure in which swollen varicose veins are removed through tiny incisions, in office. For thick, bulging varicose veins, Eversion vein stripping may be used. Performed in hospital and under general anesthesia, an incision is made in the upper leg or groin. The entire saphenous vein is removed and the incisions are stitched closed. Additionally, the VNUS Closure treatment is offered as an alternative to Eversion vein stripping, intended for patients with superficial venous reflux. Ultrasound is used to guide the Closure catheter into the diseased vein, by way of a tiny skin incision. When in place, the catheter sends RF (radiofrequency) energy to the vein wall. As the catheter is removed, the vein closes, and blood is re-routed to healthy veins. Although all treatments differ in cost, recovery time, and results, technology is making it possible to get rid of varicose veins forever.