Varicose Veins: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Varicose veins are a common condition, affecting 50% of people over the age of 50. They can occur at any age, for both men and women, and develop most commonly in the legs and ankles.
What are they and how are they caused?
Varicose veins are veins engorged with blood due to weakened or damaged valves. The veins, with the help of the muscles, carry blood back to the heart. In some areas of the body, this process is taking place against the flow of gravity so the veins have a series of valves to help prevent the blood from flowing backward. When these valves fail to function properly, blood can back up and pool in the side branches of the veins causing swelling and leading to the formation of varicose veins.
There are a variety of factors that can contribute to the development of varicose veins. Here are some of the most common causes: Genetics, Aging, Pregnancy, Excess weight, Prolonged standing or sitting and Leg trauma
What are the symptoms?
The most obvious visible sign of varicose veins in your legs is the appearance of enlarged and perhaps blue or twisted veins. These veins are closely associated with spider veins and reticular veins that clinically are as important. In addition, you may experience a combination of the following symptoms:
– General pain or aching in the legs
– Cramping or charley horses, especially at nights
– Swelling in the legs, ankles or feet
– Feeling of heaviness or tiredness in the legs
– Sores or discoloration on your skin, commonly near the ankle
– Restless legs
– Itch or discoloration of the skin of the legs
How are they treated?
Once a patient is diagnosed with having varicose veins, a trained physician can explore the options available. Traditionally, treatment was performed surgically by removing (stripping) the vein from the leg. There are now less invasive, less painful methods of treating varicose veins. One very effective method is Endovenous Radio Frequency Ablation, which involves the use of Radio Frequency heat to seal off the vein. This treatment allows for a comfortable recovery and a quick return to everyday activities. ClariVein procedure is another even newer technique available which uses a chemical along with mechanical technique to shut off the vein. Dr. Kaveh has years of experience in treating varicose veins and is currently one of the only physicians in Nevada trained to perform ClariVein procedure.
Anyone with signs or symptoms of varicose veins deserves to be evaluated thoroughly by our doctor. He can then provide the options for treatment of not only the symptoms but also for prevention of the progression of the disease process.
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