Do You Have Varicose Veins?
If you have varicose veins, it may be time to visit a specialist like Dr Paul Collins St Petersburg FL who can help you with treatment. Although varicose veins are usually harmless, they can cause tenderness, pain, and disfigurement with swelling and bulges under the skin.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
Your blood travels throughout your body through a series of veins. In healthy veins, there are valves that open to let blood through, then close again to prevent blood from backing up. With varicose veins these valves don’t work properly, so blood often pools up in the vein instead of flowing freely from one valve to another. As blood pools up, it causes the vein to twist and bulge.
Varicose veins are usually found in the feet, legs or abdomen, and any condition that puts excessive pressure on these areas of your body can cause varicose veins. The most common causes are standing for long periods of time, obesity, pregnancy, and a sedentary lifestyle with prolonged sitting. In some instances, chronic constipation or tumors can contribute to varicose veins, particularly in the abdomen. Age and genetics are also a factor. Your veins become weaker and more prone to damage with age, and if other family members have varicose veins, there’s a greater chance that you will too.
How Are Varicose Veins Treated?
For mild cases, self-treatments such as exercise, weight loss, elevating your legs, and compression stockings can help reduce pain and swelling. For more severe cases, medical treatment is advised. Typical medical treatments include:
Laser Surgery – Laser surgery is a non-invasive procedure without needles or incisions. When strong bursts of laser light are shot onto the vein, they slowly fade and disappear.
Sclerotherapy – Small needles are used to inject a solution into the veins causing them to scar and close up. Varicose veins typically fade within several weeks, but veins may require more than one injection. This procedure doesn’t require anesthesia and is usually done in your doctor’s office.
Vein Stripping – During vein stripping, a long vein is removed through small incisions. It’s a safe, outpatient procedure and will not adversely affect blood circulation since that’s provided by deeper veins in the legs.
Ambulatory Phlebectomy – Through a series of tiny skin punctures, small varicose veins are removed with minimal scarring. As a safe, outpatient procedure, only the areas where incisions are made are numbed.