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Varicose Veins Can Negatively Affect Patients

Millions of people have varicose veins. For some this is a cosmetic problem and nothing more. However, having varicose veins may be a precursor of other more serious medical conditions. Dr. Peter Gloviczki is a vascular surgeon of the Mayo Clinic and he reports that 25% of Americans are sufferers of varicose veins and 6% have advance stages indicated by skin changes or ulcerations. He also stressed that the diagnosis of how serious it is can be made through ultrasound and current invasive therapy is effective and available.  Gloviczki assisted in the development of the national guidelines on varicose veins treatment for the Society for Vascular Surgery and the American Venous Forum.

People who are overweight, obese, pregnant women and those who sit or stand for long periods are the usual victims of varicose veins.  This condition can also be hereditary.  More serious complications can result like bleeding, ulcerations, blood clots and skin changes.

For some, lifestyle changes can help remedy varicose veins. Exercise and losing weight are the most common suggestions that doctors will give for such a condition.  Elevating the legs for a period of time after work or chores can also prevent development into advance stages. Another suggestion would be the wearing of compression stockings to apply pressure on the legs and improve blood circulation.

You have varicose veins if the following symptoms occur:

  • Visible large veins
  • Swelling of the feet or ankles
  • Feeling of “heavy” legs
  • Painful legs
  • Cramps or throbbing in legs
  • Itchiness in the lower leg or ankles
  • Skin around the varicose vein area is discoloured

When varicose veins are creating other medical issues then treatment through vein procedures are called for. The medical procedures are made for vein removal or to close the veins.  Specific treatments can be any of the following:

A liquid chemical is used in sclerotherapy to get the varicose vein to close. The liquid is injected directly into the vein which closes the vein by utilizing scarring and irritation.  The treatment can be between 4 to 6 weeks.

Microsclerotherapy is for the treatment of smaller varicose veins know as spider veins. Just like sclerotherapy, the objective is for the vein to close.  

Endoscopic vein surgery is when the doctor makes a small cut near the varicose vein and uses a small camera at the end of a flexible tube through the vein. A device is used to close the vein. This is resorted to on more serious cases.

Endovenous ablation therapy closes varicose veins by utilizing heat from lasers and radiowaves.

Laser surgery applies light energies to the varicose vein.  This process “melts” the swollen vein.

In more chronic instances of varicose veins vein ligation and stripping is typically utilized.  Within this vein procedure, veins are removed and then tied shut through small incisions made to the skin.

On varicose veins near the skin’s surface, vein doctors typically use a procedure called ambulatory phlebectomy.  This method involves the doctor making small incisions in the skin to help remove the varicose veins.  If you'd like more information about the treatment options for varicose and spider veins, ask a free sleep question to a sleep specialist today.

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