The varicose vein is a common vascular condition that mainly affects the lower limbs. Varicose veins usually appear as bulging and twisted veins in the lower parts of the body. However, they may also appear in the esophagus (esophageal varices), vulva (varicoceles), and rectum (hemorrhoids). It is a common condition that affects nearly 20 percent of men and up to 33 percent of women.
What causes varicose veins?
Varicose veins may be caused by various factors that include increased intravenous pressure resulting from prolonged standing. It can also be caused by increased intra-abdominal pressure due to obesity, pregnancy, chronic constipation, or tumors. Varicose veins may also be caused by venous diseases that interfere with the proper functioning of the valves. Veins contain valves whose work is to keep blood flowing in one direction.
Diagnosing varicose veins
Varicose veins may present differently among patients. Varicose veins are usually asymptomatic for most of the people. However, some patients may experience symptoms which are typically localized over the area with bulging or twisted veins. Localized manifestation include burning or itching, pain, swelling, and leg aching. These symptoms may become worse, especially after periods of prolonged standing. The good thing is that such symptoms can disappear when you rest and keep your legs in an elevated position.
Women are more likely to experience varicose veins symptoms than men. Most women report lower limb symptoms such as swelling, heaviness or tension, itching, cramps, or restless legs. Although varicose veins may cause severe discomfort or cosmetic concerns, the condition rarely causes medical complications. However, some patients may experience skin pigmentation, venous ulceration, decrease in lower leg circumference, infection, and eczema. Varicose veins rarely cause external hemorrhage.
Treating varicose veins
Patients experiencing severe varicose veins symptoms may require treatment to help them lead a healthy life. Also, you may seek treatment for your varicose veins to address cosmetic concerns. The available treatment options for varicose veins include:
• Conservative management
• Injection sclerotherapy
• Laser treatment
• Endovenous interventions
The treatment option mainly used depends on patient preference. Other factors that determine the choice of treatment include cost, insurance reimbursement, symptoms, available medical resources, and the possibility of developing complications. The choice of therapy can also be influenced by the level of experience of the vein doc attending to the patient.
According to Diana Wilsher, a vein doc at Metro Vein Centers, patients can ease varicose vein symptoms by avoiding prolonged standing and elevating the affected leg. Other tricks that can help to alleviate symptoms include loosening of restrictive clothes, wearing compression socks, and routine exercises. Also, Diana Wilsher advice patients to focus on cutting weight since it can help to relieve varicose veins symptoms.
This is among the most effective treatments for varicose veins. A laser machine is used to deliver laser rays through the skin and into the affected veins. The endothelium absorbs the laser rays, which helps to seal the scarring vein.
This is among the most recent treatments for varicose veins. It involves the use of a long, thin catheter that delivers energy to the affected veins. The energy, usually in the form of laser energy, radio waves or common heat collapses and scleroses the vein.
A few years ago, surgery was the most popular treatment option for varicose veins. However, modern studies do not support operation as the best treatment option for this condition. Surgery requires making surgical incisions that may cause complications and blood loss.
Getting treatment at Metro Vein Centers
Metro vein centers are among the few vein clinics in the country, offering the most modern and effective treatments for varicose veins. According to Diana Wilsher, a board-certified vein doc, you no longer need to cope with severe symptoms while you can get treatment and resume your healthy life on the same day.
Metro Vein Centers have offices in New Jersey, Texas, Michigan, and Texas. Every clinic in these states is fully equipped and run by highly trained doctors with a wealth of experience in treating various vascular conditions.