Varicose veins occur when the valves designed to prevent blood from flowing backward away from the heart become weakened and allow blood to seep back down into the veins of the leg. This causes the veins to stretch and protrude beneath the skin. Varicose veins are not only unsightly; they can be painful and cause swelling of the ankles and legs. However, the vital venous system needed for circulation in the legs lies much deeper than these surface veins, making varicose vein removal possible. In addition, a number of treatments are available to alleviate the symptoms of varicose veins.
Factors Contributing to Varicose Veins
Varicose veins occur more often in women than men, and genetics also plays a role. Women who are pregnant frequently have varicose veins, but they typically return to normal within three months following the pregnancy. Certain medications such as birth control pills and estrogen can weaken the vein valves. People with occupations requiring them to stand or sit for long periods of time usually have a higher incidence of varicose veins, and age is another contributing factor.
Several non-invasive treatments are used to control the symptoms of varicose veins. Compression stockings constrict the legs to help muscles and veins move blood more efficiently. A low carbohydrate diet and exercise have also been effective in treating varicose veins. Coenzyme Q10 improves circulation and tissue oxygenation, while Omega-3 oils increase the elasticity of blood vessels. Weight maintenance, avoiding restrictive clothing and elevating the legs are other methods of controlling the symptoms.
A number of minimally invasive techniques are available to treat varicose veins that allow the patient to return to normal activities in a short time. Most of these treatments involve procedures to close the veins with weakened valves. Once the vein is closed off, the blood will drain into deeper veins, allowing it to return to the heart normally. Sclerotherapy consists of injecting a solution into the affected vein to cause scarring and close it. Lasers are also used to send bursts of light that collapse the vein. The procedure can be done in the doctor’s office and doesn’t require anesthesia. A microphlebectomy is varicose vein removal through a one tenth inch incision.
Many people who suffer from varicose veins forgo treatment because they don’t think they’re insurance will cover the costs. On average, 95 percent of the cost for varicose vein treatment is covered by insurance.
Call Metropolitan Vein and Aesthetic Center at 914-295-2202 to find a solution that’s right for you.