Having bulging, bluish-purple veins under your skin can be distressing, in addition to being unaesthetic. These are common vein problems among 40% of women, and 20% of men. Fortunately, this can be effectively managed if diagnosed early.
Dr. Andrew Doe is a board-certified interventional radiologist who masters the skill of performing minimally invasive procedures to treat vascular problems like varicose veins.
Understanding varicose veins and their cause
Varicose veins are common vascular problems that are characterized by enlarged, bulging, and gnarled veins that appear just beneath the skin surface of your legs. These blue, purple, or green veins are most often harmless and painless. But sometimes if left untreated, they can lead to painful symptoms.
Varicose veins form due to chronic venous insufficiency. This occurs when your veins’ one-way valve system fails to pump deoxygenated blood back to the heart from your lower extremities. As a result, the blood starts pooling within the vein increasing the pressure. This leads to abnormal stretching of the vein walls.
Varicose veins risk factors
Your chances of having varicose veins increase due to the following risk factors:
- Age above 30 years
- Family history
- Prolonged standing or sitting
- Lifting heavy objects
Common clinical features associated with varicose veins
Varicose veins can lead to painful symptoms, in addition to being unappealing. These include:
- Throbbing pain and heaviness in your legs
- Burning and tingling sensation
- Muscle spasms
- Muscles soreness and cramping
- Mild swelling near your ankles
- Pain worsens while standing or sitting, and may improve when lying down
- Restless leg syndrome
- Skin discoloration
Minimally invasive procedures for varicose veins
Conservative methods are the first-line treatments for varicose veins. However, your vein specialist may recommend minimally invasive procedures if these methods fail. Treatment includes:
- Your doctor uses a special medical adhesive that seals the diseased vein.
- The procedure takes 20 to 30 minutes and offers the following benefits:
- No sedation required
- No compression stockings are required after surgery
- Yields quick results
- Early return to routine activities
- This procedure involves closing the diseased vein through laser energy, which is delivered by an ultrasound-guided catheter.
- The blood is rerouted through other healthy veins.
- The procedure may take around 20 minutes and be performed using twilight sedation.
Your vein specialist will determine the type of treatment that best suits your individual vein health.
Varicose veins are common vascular problems that can be unappealing due to the appearance of enlarged and bulging veins in your legs. Though not serious they can be painful and cause discomfort. If left untreated they can lead to complications like the formation of blood clots. Thus it is essential to seek medical help at the right time to improve your quality of life.