How to Treat Varicose Veins

How to Treat Varicose Veins

A varicose vein is one which becomes enlarged or gnarled. Even though any vein could become varicose, they are usually only found in the legs and feet. Some think this is due to the increased pressure in the veins of the lower body due to walking and standing. Varicose veins are usually very easy to see since they have a thick and knobby appearance.

Causes of varicose veins

There are not any specific known causes for varicose veins but many times they develop during pregnancy. Most believe this condition to be due to poor circulation. The vein is designed to pump blood back to the heart so it can recirculate. But if the valve system in the vein does not work properly, then blood doesn’t flow as efficiently and it can pool in the veins and cause veins to visibly stick out. Although there is not one cause contributing to varicose veins there are some common risk factors such as:

  • · Being overweight
  • · Family history of varicose veins
  • · Insufficient amounts of exercise
  • · Smoking
  • · Standing or sitting for long periods of time without moving about
  • · Abnormal blood flow between veins and arteries
  • · Hormonal changes

· Aging

Women are much more likely to develop varicose veins than men and many times they occur during pregnancy. This is probably due to the reduced circulation and additional pressure in the legs during this time.

Types of varicose veins

There are several different types of varicose veins like:

· Trunk Varicose Veins
These types of varicose veins are close to the surface of the skin and can be very unpleasant looking. They are easily visible, knobbly and thick. Sometimes they are very long too.

· Reticular Varicose Veins
These types of varicose veins are grouped together and can look like a small network. They are red in appearance.

· Telangiectasia (Spider) Varicose Veins

These types of varicose veins are also called spider veins or thread veins. They are very small clusters of red, purple or blue veins. They are usually found on the legs but can also be found in the facial area. These are very harmless and they do not bulge beneath the skin’s surface like trunk varicose veins.

Symptoms of varicose veins

For most people there isn’t any pain associated with varicose veins and the only symptom is the visible signs of the enlarged veins. As they enlarge the veins turn a dark blue or purple and the veins protrude from the surface. When there are symptoms caused by varicose veins they are typically things like:

  • · Heavy feelings in the legs
  • · General achiness in the region of the varicose veins
  • · Increased pain after standing or sitting for long periods of time
  • · Itching around the vein
  • · Skin ulcers developing near the ankles

When should I see the doctor about varicose veins?

In most cases, varicose veins are mild and they can be treated at home with proper exercise, elevating the legs or wearing compression socks or hoses. These can help keep them from progressing. If you are concerned about how the veins look, certainly have them seen about. If they become warm to the touch or painful call your primary care doctor right away.

Lifestyle changes can help with varicose veins

Making some important lifestyle changes can be essential for either preventing varicose veins or making sure they do not become worse. While you cannot always stop them from forming here are some of the things you can do to reduce varicose veins or keep them from getting worse.

  • · Don’t stand or sit in one spot for a long time without taking breaks.
  • · Elevate your legs while sitting whenever it is possible to aid with circulation.
  • · Perform physical activities that help get your legs moving and help improve muscle tone. This improves circulation.
  • · Try to lose weight if you are obese, or even overweight. This helps relieve pressure on the veins and improve blood flow.
  • · Don’t wear tight clothing, especially items that fit too tightly around the waist, groin or upper legs. Tight clothes inhibit circulation and can make varicose veins get worse.
  • · Do not wear high heels for very long periods of time. Lower heels can help to tone up your calf muscles and that is better for circulation.
  • · Regular exercise can help improve circulation as well as help you maintain a healthy weight.

In some instances, the doctor may recommend you wear compression stockings. These apply a gentle pressure to the legs and increase swelling.

Primary treatment options for varicose veins

There are several different types of treatments available through a top vein specialist in New Jersey. When in comes to varicose vein treatment in NJ you have many options in choose from. In most cases the options are all done on an outpatient basis and do not require a hospital stay. And there are less invasive options that make the treatments more appealing. Here are some of the most popular treatment options available for those who suffer from varicose veins:

· Sclerotherapy

This is a procedure in which the doctor will inject a solution into the affected veins. The solution will scar the vein and then close it. It will only take a few weeks for the varicose veins to fade. Sometimes veins will need to be injected more than on time. There is no need for anesthesia and it is usually done in a doctor’s office.

· Endovenous Laser

This is another minimally invasive treatment and can be done in less than an hour. The skin directly over the faulty vein will be treated with a topical anesthetic and then the physician will insert a laser into the vein. The laser energy inside the vein will cause it to collapse and seal shut.

· Ambulatory Phlebectomy

You will get a local anesthetic for this minimally invasive procedure. It is typically done at a hospital or special outpatient clinic. The process will remove veins through the use of super small incisions. If there is any scarring at all, they will not be visible in most cases. The veins are removed through the small slits that have been made and you’ll be able to go home the same day.

· Endoscopic Vein Surgery

The doctor will make a small incision near to the varicose vein. Then he will insert a very tiny camera and move it through the vein. A specially designed surgical device is located on the end and it will be able to close off the vein as it moves through.

· Ligation and Vein Stripping

This procedure is not used as often with the latest advancements in medicine and surgery. It is only used for some of the most severe cases of varicose veins and when other options have not succeeded. The procedure is done by making an incision, then cutting the vein and pulling it all the way out. Patients are typically given anesthesia to help them sleep so they are not awake during the procedure. Recovery time is going to involve a few days of rest.

· Radiofrequency Ablation

This procedure is very similar to endovascular laser but uses heat in to destroy the vain. Using an ultrasound to correctly position the probe in the vein the physician will heat it along its entire length. This procedure only requires a local anesthesia and will take approximately 30 minutes to perform. There are some very good short-term results reported from using this method.

Surgery for varicose veins

If the individual is pregnant or was pregnant recently, the doctor will probably wait at least 6 weeks past the delivery to consider surgical options for treatment. One reason for this wait is that in many cases varicose veins that showed up during the pregnancy may fade on their own. If the veins are bothersome only because of their cosmetic appearance, then options rather than surgery will most likely be considered. Surgery is typically the best option for individuals who cannot get any relief from discomfort even after suggested lifestyle changes or other home care strategies. However, almost every surgical procedure is performed on an outpatient basis only.

Varicose veins after treatment

In procedures where the vein is actually removed it is not possible for the vein to “come back” or become varicose again. There is not any kind of treatment that can keep other veins from becoming varicose and a doctor cannot remove the tendency someone might have to develop varicose veins. In most cases a varicose vein will not recur, but if other veins do start to become noticeable they may need to undergo the same treatment. In some of the deeper veins an abnormal blood flow might cause recurrent varicose veins, but in the deeper veins the condition is not normally treatable. If the most appropriate treatment option is applied, it is not likely for varicose veins to reappear.

If you have varicose veins that are bothering you, talk to your vein care specialist about which treatment options might be the best choice for your particular situation. They can examine the veins and then suggest a proper treatment procedure based on your situation and your symptoms.