Varicose Veins

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What Are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are not only cosmetic — they are swollen, twisted, painful veins that appear at the surface of the skin. Varicose veins are a result of a condition known as Venous Insufficiency or Venous Reflux. They occur most commonly in the feet and ankles, and are a result of weaken or failed valves. The calf muscle helps move blood from the legs back into the heart. There are valves in veins that prevent blood for returning towards the foot because of the nature of gravity. If the vein fails, blood cannot return to the heart and stays in the legs. Commonly people who suffer from varicose veins have symptoms of heaviness, cramping and restless legs. Left untreated, this condition continues to get worse and can lead to serious complications.

We offer enlightened medicine from world-class physicians specializing in patient & health care and minimally invasive procedures. Call MIMIT Health at (708) 486-2600 today and talk with one of our patient care specialist.


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Varicose veins are enlarged, bulging veins usually found in the leg. They often appear twisted and cord-like, and tend to be blue to dark purple in color.

Who Gets Varicose Veins?

In the United States, more than 30 million adults over 40 years old have varicose veins. Women are twice as likely as men to have them. You may be more likely to get varicose veins if other members of your family have them, if you are overweight or if you work at a job that requires you to stand for long periods of time. Varicose veins are sometimes part of getting older.

Why Do Varicose Veins Occur?

Varicose veins can happen when a vein is partially blocked or when the tiny valves inside the vein become weak. This causes blood to back up and make the veins swell.

There are many things that contribute to getting varicose veins, including:

  • Getting older
  • Being a woman
  • Being tall
  • A family history of vein problems
  • Being overweight
  • Pregnancy
  • Sitting or standing for a long time

What Happens If Varicose Veins Are Not Treated?

Some people believe that varicose veins are only a cosmetic problem and are not a priority when they talk with their doctors. However, varicose veins can be a real medical concern. Untreated varicose veins tend to get worse over time and can lead to serious problems that might require hospitalization.

How Are Varicose Veins Treated?

Talk with your doctor about taking care of your legs. Managing the symptoms of varicose veins may be as easy as using compression stockings and avoiding long periods without moving around.

Other options may include procedures such as surgery or other methods. If you think symptoms you are having may be related to varicose veins, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider. He or she can diagnose your condition and determine which treatment plan may be right for you.

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Treatment Options

Treatment for varicose veins involves diverting the blood out and away from the damaged vein and allowing the body to divert the blood to another of the many veins in the leg. To use a traffic analogy, we simply put up a roadblock and have the flow of traffic move to a side street. We offer the most advanced treatment options for varicose veins, like Endovenous Laser Treatment, Radio Frequency Ablation, Sclerotherapy, and Phlebectomy.

Endovenous Laser Treatment

Endovenous Laser Treatment is a procedure that is performed to treat venous insufficiency. A small tube is inserted into the affected vein using ultrasound guidance. Once the tube is in, a special catheter is introduced up the vein to the area that needs to be closed down. Utilizing laser energy, the vein wall collapses on itself and closes. After the procedure, you may begin walking immediately — activity is encouraged as tolerated.

Radio Frequency Abolation

Radio Frequency Abolation is similar to Endovenous Laser Treatment. The only difference is the type of energy that is applied to the vein wall. In Radio Frequency Abolation, radio frequency waves are delivered into the vein wall, causing it to shrink and close. The recovery time is the same as with Endovenous Laser Treatment.

Sclerotherapy

To perform Sclerotherapy, the physician will numb the skin and use ultrasound guidance to locate the vein to be eliminated. Next a special agent is delivered via a small needle into the spider veins which causes them to shrink down and collapse. Over time they will disappear.

Phlebectomy

A small needle and hook are introduced into the vein after it is numb. The physician then snares the vein and removes it from the leg. You will not require sutures, just a tight wrap. Patients are encouraged to walk immediately after the procedure.

More information:

Sclerotherapy
Radio Frequency Abolation
Endovenous Laser Treatment


We offer enlightened medicine from world-class physicians specializing in patient & health care and minimally invasive procedures. Call MIMIT Health at (708) 486-2600 today and talk with one of our patient care specialist.


 

References:
1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health website. Varicose veins and spider veins FAQs. http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/ fact-sheet/varicose-spider-veins.pdf. Accessed June 2014. 2. Mayo Clinic website. Varicose veins. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/ varicose-veins/DS00256. Accessed June 2014. 3. Gloviczki P, Comerota AJ, Dalsing MC, et al. The care of patients with varicose veins and associated chronic venous diseases: clinical practice guidelines of the Society for Vascular Surgery and the American Venous Forum. J Vasc Surg. 2011;53(5 suppl):2S-48S. 4. Fronek H. Fundamentals of Phlebology: Venous Disease for Clinicians. 2nd ed. London, England: RSM Press; 2008. 5. National Institutes of Health. Venous insufficiency. MedlinePlus website. http://www. nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000203.htm. Accessed June 2014. 6. Dean M. London Perspective: End of a comprehensive NHS? [News & Comments]. Lancet. 1991;337:351-352. 7. Mason H, Baker R, Donaldson C. Understanding public preferences for prioritizing health care interventions in England: does the type of health gain matter? J Health Serv Res Policy. 2011;16:81-89. 8. Sarin S, Shields DA, Farrah J, Scurr JH, Coleridge-Smith PD. Does venous function deteriorate in patients waiting for varicose vein surgery? J R Soc Med. 1993;86:21-23.